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Monday, November 25, 2013


In Yuma we settled into the driveway of our friends of nearly 40 years, Dan and Cindy. Dan and I worked for the same Sheriff's Department in Washington State nearly 40 years ago. We both took a test at a Sheriff's Department in the Olympic Peninsula, Dan was hired and later became Undersheriff then County Administrator. I stayed where we started, became Undersheriff and eventually moved on into other Public Safety fields. Dan and Cindy have had a "winter" home in Yuma for many years. We found this out about six years ago on our first adventure to Arizona. We ran into them in, of all places, the historic Yuma Territorial Prison. Trying to keep Debbie and Cindy quiet at that meeting was impossible.  We had visited Dan and Cindy about two years ago, and at that time tried to squeeze our motor home through a 10 foot wide gate, off a 20 foot wide road. Did not quite fit. This time I maneuvered through Dan's 18 foot gate and 30 foot wide road with ease.
Snuggled into the driveway
With electric and water, we were set for adventure.

While we were in Yuma we did lots of miscellaneous things, besides spending time visiting. A trip to Algodones, Mexico was one of the sites. 
One of the busy streets in Algodones
Dan and Cindy have been going here for years and know many of the shop owners. It is an interesting experience. But, with temptations like hammered silver earrings, and hand crafted Tequila, it can be an expensive outing. When we were here two years ago, a Driver's License was all that was required to cross the border back into the US. Now a Passport or enhanced Driver's License is required. This is the second time that Deb and I have been to Algodones. Both times with Dan and Cindy. Not much appeared to have changed. I felt more comfortable on this trip than in past trips. Probably because of the comfort level that Dan and Cindy have with visiting there. Algodones survives on the snowbirds. The number of Americans and Canadians that frequent the town is amazing. 

Restaurant Yuma in Algodones
For this reason there is a visible presence of Police and Military. Dental work, glasses, prescription (non-narcotic) medicine, along with the liquor and jewelry keep the town alive. One of the things that you have to get used to is the number of people trying to get you to buy their wares. You have to learn to just keep walking, and accept that they might follow you a block or so to try and convince you that you need what they have. And if you are sitting down eating at a restaurant, be prepared to have vendors come up to your table and try and sell you things. Negotiation is another skill that is helpful. Don't settle for the price stated the first time. And treat them with respect. Like anyone, they have goods or services you want so treat them the same as you would treat people north of the border. When you cross back into the US, there can be long lines waiting to get through. Like everything, the wait time can hinge on the number of Border Patrol/Customs Agents that are on duty and how long it takes for you to show your passport and display what you have purchased

Part of a day was spent exploring a couple of flea markets in Yuma. One had vendors of new merchandise of every shape and size. From kitchen utensils to just about any RV accessory you wanted. The other was termed the "Mexican" flea market. This had a combination of new and used items for sale. Some sections looked like a giant garage sale with used clothing, tools, electronics and what not. This was where I had my first Churros. Churros, also known as Mexican Crullers or Spanish Fritters are a mixture of flour, oil and water. The dough is extruded through a star shaped tip into hot oil and fried golden brown. It is then rolled in cinnamon & sugar mixture. Each "stick" is about 10 - 12 inches long, it is a wonderful treat. I would have sworn that it was made with cornmeal, but every recipe I found calls for regular white flour or Bisquick.
The one thing that did initially strike us as interesting was the amount of RV equipment and accessories that we saw. Then we realized that this was snowbird heaven and a large number of these snowbirds have an RV.
Exploring the country side was also on the list. Dan and his friend Bill took me to their playroom out in the middle of the desert, about 18 miles east of Yuma. 

Here, they, some friends and the property owner store their desert driving machines. A place that they helped the owner build. It even has restroom facilities and above all a refrigerator stocked with the essentials, beer and water. The owner has put a couple of RV electrical pedestals on the property should one of his friends want to stay there in an RV. From here, looking around you see - desert.

Desert, East of Yuma, around Wellton

I did get a chance to play some golf. Dan and Bill are members of a nice little course not far from their home. This is one of many golf courses in the Yuma area. On a golf course you can usually see any number of birds and wildlife like these long beaked birds.

Dan even told me what they are, but memories can be like golf balls - you might lose a few.
I know it is here somewhere
 But, this was a nice course, though I can't remember the name of the birds I did not lose any golf balls.

I even took a bike ride to one of the many snowbird villages in the Yuma area.
Dan coming back to check on my progress

The setting is very nice. Then there was this one
Park Model Homes in a community in Ligurta
located in Ligurta, about 10 miles east of Yuma. We also got to see a few sunsets like this one.
Sunset from Dan & Cindy's Driveway

After five nights in our friends driveway it was time to leave and head toward home. Until next time -

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