Sunday, March 6, 2011

Back to Arizona again

Well, it's been some time since the rains and cold of southern California. Now that spring is upon us in the Sonoran desert, it's easy to see why we needed to get out some and travel to our "places of the heart" again. In our many years traveling we've coined this term to note as special some of the places we've been and connected, with the people, the land or the activity. As we've begin to slow and limit our trajectory, we try to maintain these special visits and hope to maintain them as long as we can...and still find time and energy for discovering new friends and places. Even though we've landed in a wonderful place like Glen Eden, we still love this RVing life and the opportunities it affords us. Seems, too, whenever we encounter settled folks, it's hard to avoid becoming territorial and getting involved in the daily politics of living. This lifestyle affords us a better balance.

We missed the annual RV gatherings at Quartzsite again this year due to illness...ours. The crud we contracted from Las Vegas came back again with a vengeance. We did get to Yuma for a few weeks of desert peace and quiet and warmer temps. We also managed our annual dental checkups in Los Algodones, Baja CA, Mexico...and we're happy to report that the teeth are holding up better than the rest of us. We met up with old RVing friends (and they are getting older, too:) and enjoyed catching up on life over the past year, our travels and trials, along with the requisite visit to favorite restaurants, flea markets and sights around the Yuma area. Great place to spend the winter as many snow birds in their RVs from Canada and the US have found. I believe there are over 50 RV parks just in the Yuma area alone. All types of new services and traffic have been added, along with the regular agricultural schedule. Yuma this time of year is the lettuce bowl for much of the country, and also grows broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. All kinds of citrus and dates are grown in the area, as well. And you can't beat a date milk shake...alas, I must limit myself to only 1 per season, as I could easily get out of control.

We've since moved on to another favorite area in the Sonoran desert near the former copper mining town of Ajo, on the road from Phoenix to Puerto Penasco, Mexico and the Gulf of California. We're actually less than 20 miles from the border here, just north of Organ Pipe National Monument, and just south of the Barry Goldwater live fire gunnery range! It's a quiet place of saguaro cactus, creosote bushes and wide open skies. We've been coming here for years and never seem to tire of it's calmness and beauty. That, in spite of the active border crossing and smuggling route this continues to be, but we've been fortunate to not have any adverse consequences in all our time here. Homeland Security in the form of US Border Service is very visible in town and on the many dirt roads in this wide open area. Since the closure of the open pit copper mine here in the 1980s Ajo has had a hard row to hoe, but renewed interest in "national security" along with continuation of the war on drugs, the low cost housing which has encouraged new migrants from the north in the form of "Q" tips (senior citizens) and artists to take up residence. A more recent boon to the area is a 4.5megawatt solar electric generating array located on mining property on the southside of town. This grid enhancement will provide power to over 1000 homes throughout the region, and a few more jobs in Ajo. "Where", according to the latest promotional brochure for the area, the "summer spends the winter".

Looking to move along to the Desert Rain Cafe in Sells, AZ for a lunch of homemade TohonoO'Odam (Pima) treats and on to Tucson and southeast Arizona... Happy trails...