On the 27th of Feb we drove down to Yuma to surprise my folks on
the 28th (their 50th anniversary). Followed rain most of the
way to San Diego. East of SD we were in rain and fog until
we hit the rock piles (reminds me of a range of moraines).
At that point we encountered 90 mph winds and it was dry as a bone. Sand storms
were visible in the distance. Once we got down to
the flats the tail wind pretty much pushed us the rest of the
way to Yuma. The shadows of a few clouds passed us
easily on the highway. According to the GPS we were 100
feet below sea level.
Then we got to the sand dunes. Sand was blowing everywhere.
Surprisingly, there were people scattered hither and yon in
their motor homes. I guess they just find a place to park
during the winter and they don't care what it's like just as long
as they are somewhere that doesn't get cold. I was told there
are trucks kind of like the roach coaches that drive out there
selling water and groceries. Cheap way to live I guess.
I guess they don't worry about being so close to the Mexican
border. The land is pretty desolated and unforgiving and I
would imagine it's not a good place to try to cross until one
was willing to die trying. Then again, are those lone campers
in with the Coyotes? Or maybe they are there as part of the
Minutemen? Who knows. I wouldn't want to live out there.
Luckily we had hotel reservations. This time of year it
is damn near impossible to get a room in Yuma. A lot of
people stay in Yuma and then go into Algodones Mexico for
their medical and dental care. At least that is what I
We had a great time with the folks and it was a really big
surprise. It was a lot of fun even though there was wind,
it was cool and so dry that your skin looks like it is getting
sunburned. Lots of family and friends of theirs from all
over North America.
On the last day we were having breakfast at the
hotel. We first met a couple from Canada. They were there
for the winter. Then a lady from San Fran joined us.
According to her card she plans parties and events for the
stars and big wigs. She looked pretty much Hollywood.
She was down there for some dental work. Going to Mexico
was going to save her 5 or 6 grand.
Then we went out to see Teddy Roosevelt's Colorado
River water diversion project. A lot of water going every
where in the middle of a desert. It is used to water the
date farm we visited and many other agricultural oasis that
have sprung up. The last trickles of water from the
Colorado River end up in the Salton Sea or go to Mexico.
And that isn't enough to sustain either. (Kind of scary to think
about. After all, we need water more than we need oil. Henry Kaiser
and Teddy Roosevelt foresaw that need more than 50 years ago. And
we've done nothing since. Now we are running out of it and nothing
has been done since.)
West of El Centro the Blue Angels were practicing at the
Navel Reserve Reservation. Pulled over at a rest stop and
watched them for a while. Hey, free show. (A week later,
the Blue Angels lost a plane and its pilot in an airshow mishap.)
On the way back, the area we were getting rained on the
way there, still had snow on the ground. We must've just
The wind mills at Tecate Ridge are awesome. Each tower is as tall as a 20 story building.
Each bladed is 136 feet. Their upward reach is over 300 feet. There are 25 of them but I could only
get around 20 or 21 in the pic.
North of San Diego the drive was uneventful. Then we
got to Point Dume and cut over to Laguna Beach to catch the
sunset over Catalina.
It was dark after that so we just followed Pacific Cost Highway
back to the South Bay where we were just glad to be home.