Yuma, Arizona is about as far south and west as you can go and not be in California or Mexico. There are mountains, lush green farmlands in the valleys, and miles and miles of desert trails. Every year, these trails bring visitors of all ages to this area to explore. They explore by Jeep or off-road vehicles.
Mike’s parents, Landon and Marcella Skinnell, have been coming to this area for 20+ years for this interesting hobby. While here, we’ve been able to see what draws so many people to the Yuma County desert.
In December, we accompanied them and their friends (all over 70 years old) on early Sunday morning Jeep runs. Here’s a little of those adventures.
This is a short video so you can get a feel of what it’s like. We’d already gone up this pass, and I got out of the jeep to take this video. I wish I’d thought to video us going, because we literally ended up leaning to the right at about a 30 degree angle.
We were able to drive on the north side of Yuma and into California. Two things stuck with me – how far you could see at the top of the mountain, and how much farming goes on here.
The next weekend, we went to the south side of Yuma and to the border wall being built. We learned that this wall was costing $23 million/mile to construct. We were happy to also learn that there was an environmentalist on site to make sure the land and environment were disturbed as little as possible. Whether you are for or against this endeavor, it was still interesting to see. (Note: we were there in December while construction was still going on. The group went back in February and construction on this portion was completed. However, there was no evidence of the wall being removed in this area.)
In order to get to the wall, we had to enter the Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range (BMGR) which is used for air-to-ground bombing practice by United States Air Force pilots. This was no surprise as we experienced numerous military jets flying over our 5th wheel on practice runs. Prior to our trip, we were required to watch a safety video that warned against handling unexploded ordnance, leave no trace when venturing into the area, and the requirement that every person entering the BMGR check-in (online) prior to entry.
If you ever get the chance to hitch a ride in a jeep or 4-wheeler and ride around the deserts of Yuma, you have to experience it at least once.
Jennifer Skinnell is the author of the Hope Springs Romance Series available on Amazon. Click here to read about each book in the series and and see her quilt gallery. Click here to check out her Amazon Author Page.