Yuma, Arizona

January 27 – February 27, 2019

After heading south from near the Canadian border in Montana we now found ourselves near the Mexican border in the southwest corner Arizona.

Welcome to Yuma.

Yuma’s got a quaint historic downtown with a couple restaurants and shops. Of course we had to go to Prison Hill Brewery where they have Han Solo encased in carbonite behind the bar for some reason.

Prison Hill Brewery. See if you can find frozen Han Solo

We also made a stop at Red’s Bird Cage Saloon, an old school Western dive bar. Hello 1974!

Red’s Bird Cage Saloon

We had dinner at one of Yuma’s higher rated restaurants, Lute’s Casino. Which isn’t actually a casino, but an old bar decorated with all kinds of random stuff scavenged from the streets of Yuma. Tasty onion rings though.

Lute’s Casino

There’s a weekly farmers market downtown, more arts and crafts than produce but we did get to try some medjool dates which are grown in the area. We wound up going to a date farm and buying a couple pounds later.

Farmer’s Market

Yuma is about 90 miles from the Salton Sea in California, so we made a day trip there to check out Salvation Mountain and Slab City.

Salvation Mountain
Slab City Welcome Center

Slab City
Slab City

Coming to live off the grid in the middle of the desert is pretty cool, but I gotta say a lot of Slab City looks like an episode of Hoarders.

From Slab City it was about a 15 mile drive to Bombay Beach, a resort town in the 50’s and 60’s which was first flooded in the 70’s and then abandoned by the shrinking Salton Sea leaving behind a salt-encrusted mess. Surprisingly quite a few people still live there and art installations made from debris are scattered around the town.

Bombay Beach
What used to be a Bombay Beach vacation home
Salt encrusted pilings in what used to be the Bombay Beach Marina
Bomb Bay at Bombay Beach
Sea Serpent made from debris in Bombay Beach
Bombay Beach Drive-In

 

Yuma is home to the Yuma Territorial Prison, popularized in the movie “3:10 to Yuma.” Now a historic state park, you can wander around and enjoy the miserable conditions.

Jim decided he wanted to try his hand at gold prospecting but first we needed a shovel. Funny story here… we get to the checkout at the local Walmart to purchase said shovel and apparently Arizona doesn’t just sell shovels to anyone! An associate had to verify that Jim was of age (the ripe old age of 16) before selling us this lethal digging device.

There’s Gold spent ammo cases in them thar hills!

Other things to do in Yuma were a trip to a date farm

Date milkshakes at a date farm

Go to the Rodeo

Explore the ruins of gold mining town Tumco

Tumco, or what’s left of it

And visit the parks along the Colorado River

Inmate James Schaedig booked on allegedly attempting to purchase a shovel while under aged

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