Monday, December 27, 2010


Boomers at Christmas potluck

Christmas was a day perfect for travel – sunny, 60+ degrees, no wind and no traffic.  We left Sands RV Park earlier than usual for us (8:45 am) and we pulled into our current site in Yuma at 1:30 pm – even though we lost an hour when we crossed the California/Arizona state line.  We set up quickly, hopped into the Jeep, and took off to the super-secret (ha, ha!) boondocking location of the Boomer Christmas gathering.  We pulled in just 10 minutes after the potluck dinner was scheduled to begin and were shocked to find that dinner had not yet begun!  Oh, my gosh – we Boomers must be aging; in the past, 10 minutes late meant digging the scraps out of the corner of the casserole dish.

It was a great way to spend Christmas afternoon: sunshine, shirtsleeves, and the camaraderie of long-time friends.  Thanks to Jan Moore, I was able to pull this photo off Facebook – our happy group, post repast.

Jan 2I have very mixed feelings about Yuma.  Snowbirds come to Yuma in winter for the sunshine, the usual lack of precipitation, and the fairly low cost of living.  Mostly aging RV parks of every size cater to snowbirds with reasonable monthly rates and a full schedule of planned activities.  In the eight years we have been passing through Yuma, a big new mall has been built, with movie theaters, restaurants, and most of the stores you expect to find in a urban area.  I’ve read that Yuma is one of the fastest growing town in the country.

Since we’ve been fulltimers, we have spent six of our eight New Year’s in the area, boondocking with  Boomers either north or west of Yuma.  We always have a good time with our friends, but the town impresses me as ugly and dull (the mall was a BIG improvement).  Though the weather is usually sunny and reasonably warm, wind frequently plays a prominent role.  I took the above photo on January 2nd, 2007, when I had unintentionally left a window ever so slightly cracked open – yes, that dust is on the INSIDE of the motorhome!

Foothills scene 1Since we don’t appreciate the amenities offered by what we view as overcrowded RV parks, we’ve had a tough time appreciating a stay in Yuma if we don’t want to boondock.  In the past, our choice has been a small, no-frills park on the east side of Yuma in an area called The Foothills, but over the years the cost of a stay at our park of choice has become way to steep for the (no) amenities offered.  For this stay, thanks to a lead from friends, we were able to land a short-term site on a private lot in the Foothills, still no-frills (fine with us!) and much more reasonably priced. 

“The Foothills” is one of the most unusual and RV-friendly developments we have seen in our travels (click here to read more information on our campground review blog).  A huge area, the Foothills consists of several square miles developed as small deeded lots – owned, not leased – separated by low stone walls on wide streets.  Residents can build a home, live in an RV, or anything in between.  The smallest (single) lots can have hookups for two RV’s; a double lot can have four hookups.  All four sites on our lot are rented to long-term residents (January-March) beginning next week, so we need to be out – which works perfectly for us. 

Christmas sunset in YumaWe’ve been exploring the area on foot and by car, enjoying the views of the arid mountains to the east and the fascinating mix of “living units” on each street.  Some lots hold appealing, southwestern style, site-built homes with gorgeous, drought tolerant landscaping, selling for well over $200,000.  Next door, four large RV’s have settled into spacious graveled sites for the winter  – just FHU’s and trash provided.   Across the street, a lot owner lives in a park model during the winter while her Class C motorhome awaits her departure when the temperatures hit double digits in April.  So interesting!

We’re off shortly to visit the Post Office – tracking shows that my new-to-me phone should be waiting at General Delivery.  Bright sunshine outside, 60 degrees, slight breeze… if this keeps up, I might end up LIKING Yuma!


  1. I would have to agree with you about Yuma. Not terribly interesting and very sandy. But the weather can be nice, if the wind cooperates. We usually find ourselves passing through there at some point. Last year we were there for a couple days, during Superbowl time. This year, who knows, but I'm sure we'll be going through there sometime in January.

    Good luck with your "new to you" phone.

    Beautiful sunset picture on Christmas.

    Safe Travels!


  2. We love the 'eclectic-ness' of the Foothills. You captured the essence; different styles of dwellings, quiet, friendly, wide paved streets, desert mts. & gorgeous sunsets quite well with your writing! It sure is one of our favorites!

  3. What a great-looking bunch of folks, Laurie! So glad you got in on Christmas dinner with good friends. Thanks for the heads-up about Yuma, as well, I would imagine we will eventually get there when we head south in February.

  4. I agree with your summation of Yuma. That's why we chose a lot in Benson instead. We would love the camaraderie of so many more Boomers who seem to like Yuma a lot more than we do, but I just can't get past the downsides, things you mentioned plus the traffic, LOTS of older (than us) folks who probably should have hung up the keys a long time ago, and there's always wind and dust.

    Still, I hope you enjoy your stay. And please give Jan and Chuck a hug from us.

  5. Since we've started RVing I've been curious about Yuma. I'm a bit less curious now, as it seems as though I'd prefer some good government land to Yuma.

  6. Sounds great to me... GREAT post! I have been gone from the blogging world for a while & I am trying very hard to get back on the bloggin track... I have missed my blogland friends! Have a Very Happy New Year!!!

  7. We've grown quite fond of Yuma for the winter -- joined a 4x4 club for Jeeping in the desert, plenty of room on our half of a lot in the Foothills. For the last 4 years, it's been consistently warmer than other "winter locations" such as Florida or Texas.

    It also allows us the downtime and ability to do any "projects" we want -- installing solar panels, building cabinets -- which we wouldn't be able to do if we stayed in an RV park.

    You definitely have to like the desert, though! It's even more desert-y than when we lived in New Mexico!