Imperial Dam BLM LTVA
Since our LTVA pass was still good, we decided to stay in the Imperial Dam area. Certainly not the prettiest area, but it didn't cost us anything and we still had access to dump station and water. Very barren and susceptible to high winds (more on this later).
|Our home for the week.|
For this week though, we turned east off I-95 onto Imperial Dam Rd. You quickly come across the US Army's Proving Grounds. At the intersection there are some interesting cannons. A little bit further and they have a nice rest area with lots of old tanks and guns and cannons you can look at.
Once in the LTV area, we first emptied our tanks and filled our water. Then it was time to find a spot to call home for the week. We finally chose a spot up on the higher ground as we got a much better signal there for Steve. Great Verizon and ATT. We would've preferred to stay in the Kripple Creek area but there is absolutely NO cell service. Much prettier, very small area. It was snug, but we were able to maneuver our 40 rig back there and turn around. We ended up in the Boot Hill area off Senator Wash.
Interesting camper, but then you are in BLM area where anything goes!
Our reason for being down in Yuma, besides checking out the area, was to attend our first Geocaching Mega Event. (if you don't know what geochaching is, it's sort of like treasure hunting with a gps device or cellphone app. Here's a link to the site to learn more Geocaching.com) More on this later in the post. Our friends Doug and Dotty would be staying with us and we had several things planned. First up was a Date Festival in town. We walked around and sampled different types of dates that were grown in the area. It was your typical small town festival. Food, vendors, music, etc. A highlight was to try the famous date shakes we've heard about. I didn't care for them. Too sweet for me but Steve loved it.
Medjool dates Festival Crowd
On July 1, 1876, the first seven inmates entered the Territorial Prison at Yuma and were locked into the new cells they had built themselves. Thus began the legend of the Yuma Territorial Prison. A total of 3,069 prisoners, including 29 women, lived within the walls during the prison's 33 years of operation.
|The original guard tower.|
These bats hanging out in the Dark Cell was the highlight for me.
The deluxe accommodations I think.
|Outside holding pen exposed to the weather.|
When I saw this picture inside the museum I almost fell over. My Italian Grandmother had the same picture in her home. As small kids we all thought it was creepy as the eyes would follow you around and sometimes they would appear open, other times closed. It was interesting to read about it though.
Another day we spent some time at a free outdoor shooting range. It was right off I-95 and free.
Our big event for our time in Yuma was attending our first ever Annual Geocache Mega Event. I thought it might be a little corny, but it was actually a lot of fun.
|Steve and Dotty pointing out each of our Geocaching Names.|
|There was a huge crowd. It was a very popular event with some people from|
all over the world attending. Quite impressive for Yuma.
|Some of the Trackables were large and heavy like this shield.|
It was also Doug's birthday, so we had cake of course to celebrate.
|Everyone just chillin', including Hurley laying on Dotty.|
Some of the days were nice with almost no wind.
Wild burros walk through the camp area.
Big on my list was doing the Palm Canyon Hike. It's a short little hike back into a canyon.
Easy enough if that's all you want to do as you can see the palms in the far distance. I had read on other blogs that you can hike up into the canyon and hike into the palms if you're up for a challenge. It involves some scrambling and rockclimbing in a tight slot canyon.
Heading up towards the canyon.
There are the palms in the very middle. That's as close as you get unless you want to climb up the canyon. Hard to see, right?
Here's a zoom in.
Here's Steve going up a portion. Some areas are as tight as 2 feet.
You had to push yourself up some of the most narrow steep parts.
And we all made it! The palms are beautiful to see up close.
We tried to climb up to the very top, but these boulders stopped the climb at this point.
I like the effect of the light on this picture.
Goofin' off at the top and having a lunch break. Actually were copying a picture that Jim and Barb of Jim and Barbs Adventure posted when they hiked it a few days before us. He teased that we wouldn't be able to make it.
We made it!
Another site I wanted to see which was on the same road as the one that takes you to the canyon, is called the Circle of Life. It's somewhat visible from the road but very difficult to see. It took us a bit of time to find. I had read about it on Pam's blog, Oh The Places They Go.
We did some geocaching. This was our 300th find. We also did some smaller hikes like the one below that had a flag placed at the very top with a great view.
We always seem to have some crazy adventure when the four of us camp together. We've had freak snowstorms, got the rig stuck in the mud, had some wild hikes and now we can add a wind storm. This area is normally windy, but one night while we were watching Martian with Matt Damon, a wind storm came through with sustained winds over 50mph. It was the windiest we've been in with the 5th wheel. It was so bad the slides were actually jerking up and down. We decided to put all our slides in and continue with the movie. This is where it gets funny. If you haven't seen a 5th wheel with the slides in, it is VERY compact. So the tv is normally about 10 feet from the sofa. With the slides in it is about 2 ft. It meant that all four of us had to sit on the very small sofa which normally holds 3 at most. It was a snug fit for sure. But we just laughed it off and enjoyed the real-seeming effects of the movie during the wind scenes.
All was good until we realized the wind was continuing to get even worse. There was no way to keep the slides open. This meant the sofa that normally turns into a queen bed was not to be. Dotty and I slept upstairs in our comfy bed, Doug slept on the tiny sofa and Steve slept on the small area in front of the door on what he could blow up in the air mattress. It was not much and it was like he was sleeping in a taco bed. We all survived but with little actual sleep!
Next up, Ajo!