Monday, February 09, 2009

Beatlick Travel Report #12: Yuma to Slab City

Date: Feb 9, 2009 10:46 AM

I want to say a few more disparaging words about Yuma. The bus system was impossible to comprehend, the buses ran 30 minutes late or didn't show at all. We walked six miles one day because I got frustrated just sitting at a stop waiting for the bus that never came. So I won't be passing by this way again, but I did get my revenge on Yuma. I managed to camp in the WalMart parking lot illegally for two days and didn't get caught. So Yuma, you're my worst nightmare. But I understand why they are like that, the enormous rigs that go through here are just unimaginable to Joe and I.

We finally learned after much prodding from the Visitor Center people that there are free places, beautiful places to park outside Yuma. We drove out Highway 95 north I think to 7E, took a left and went about 8 miles on a good road to a place called Mitry Lake. We stayed four days, camped by a beautiful big palm tree with two more little ones for accompaniment. Blue teal ducks kept us company all day plus a good sized white egret came in every morning and afternoon, plus on our last day there a huge blue heron was running off the egret when we woke up.

The fellow camper Jeff who told us all about Mexico had a small rig, but he was bragging about his 55 gallon water tank. He only got 7 miles to the gallon. No wonder. I just can't imagine hauling all that water around. The rigs all up and down Mitry Lake are so big, then folks have their vehicles towed along behind them. I even read in Jeff's book on camping Mexico that these rigs go to Mexico in caravans of 15-25 vehicles. How would you like to drive behind one of those caravans on a Mexican highway? Unbelievable.

We didn't leave until it rained. There was some great hiking as well. So this was payback for all that misery in Yuma.

Now we made it to the Slabs. I became intimidated thinking the slabs would look like those RV camps back in Yuma, but not at all. There was a good road out there and an enormous place, many square miles to camp, and lots of room to spread out. Lots of mountains in the background and mesquite bushes for shade, no palm trees out here. I think all those palm trees in Yuma were just a preponderance of imported palms from way back when, when they were trying to market the place to RVers.

But Yuma is a memory now. We met a guy at Mitry Lake that has just about convinced us to go straight on down to Mexico and forget San Diego. We're still considering a change. It would be a lot less complicated hanging out on the Pacific Ocean in Mexico than San Diego.

Right now it is raining on the slabs. I decided to look for a cheap hotel room for a few days so we can charge up all the batteries and clean up. My gas stove uses butane canisters. I paid $1.29 in Las Cruces, up from $.99 at the dollar store there. At Ace Hardware iun Yuma they cost $3.99! So I didn't buy any and I'm down to my last four. We are saving them to make coffee in the morning and are trying to cook outside with fire pits or charcoal. But that doesn't work if it's raining.

And it's cold again with all the rain. So we hope to find a cheap room today. We'll go back to the slabs in a day or two as I have to kill time because I got my mail forwarded and it won't get to Niland, where the slabs are, until Thursday.

Love to all, Happy Trails

Beatlick Pamela

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