Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Beatlick Travel Report #10, #11: Alamo Canyon to Yuma, AZ

We spent five days camped in Alamo Canyon in the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument near Why and Ayo AZ. The Sonoran Desert is so much different from the Chihuahuan Desert we are so familiar with in Las Cruces and environs.

The Saguaro cacti were so numerous, huge, and endearing. They stand tall as two and three story buildings. Their outstretched arms are so expressive. They plead, beguile, admonish, point, pray all with their expressive arms. I walked ten miles in the desert yesterday, six in the morning sun and four more at night watching the stars emerge.

I couldn't believe the campground would be so full on Superbowl weekend but their must have been at least 20 plus people within the four sites at the campground. Peaceful, beautiful, and we got to get our tent out and attach it to the van.

It works beautifully, held tight through the night time wind storms. And that will go even better when we get some stakes to hold down the tent. We had to line it with rocks.

Caught the Superbowl at Netto's Bar in Giila Bend, AZ. Got an insult on the way out the door when we didn't tip the rude bartender. Guess she was having a bad day.

Happy Trails
Beatlick Pamela

Yuma - 15 minutes to write a report and get it sent out!

We overnighted in Gila Bend at the Love Truck Stop hoping to set out for a campsite on the Gila River, exit 102 off of Interstate 8. We did take in the petroglyphs nearby but camping wasn't really an option and everything has been closed off from the river, I assume by "Homeland Security." I don't know but all this land used to be accessible to people and now it is not. Shut down.

So the road was the road was more inviting and we made it all the way to Yuma on the interstate. Once you get the big incline into the mountains near Dome Valley there is a big descent into the Yuma Territory.

Twenty miles out of town we started passing RV park suburbs. I have never seen anything like it, my and Joe's jaws dropped open. There is a vast population of mobil "Snow Birds" in the enormous RVs EVERYWHERE. I can't imagine what the population would be if all the temporary homes moved out. It would drop by half I'm sure.

Worst of all, traffic, and the Loves Truck Stop was like swirling bacteria in a Petri dish. Three was no place to park, we hardly got back out, at least 200 trucks there. So off we go stuck in the afternoon traffic. Finally Wal-Mart. And it's the worst of situations - no overnight camping - city ordinance.

But we managed to find a spot and no one hassled us last night. We spent the whole day on the bus trying to find a good post office to forward our mail. Another failure. This town is so spread out, so full of traffic, so different from our gentle experience in Tucson, we are just throwing in the towel and leaving. The Beatlicks can't operate in Yuma.

So we are close to Slab City and we're just going to head on out to the big adventure: Into the Wild of Slab City, California here we come.

Happy Trails
Beatlick Pamela

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