We came to Yuma because it’s supposed to have the most sunny days of anywhere in the US and things were getting chilly. Turns out they do get lots of sun. Even on the days we wake up and it looks cloudy, the clouds are replaced by sun later in the day. But it’s also pretty windy here and with all the fields and sandy soil that means it is dusty. I guess I shouldn’t complain though when we’re getting temps in the 60s and 70s in January and I’m back to wearing flip flops every day!
Yuma is full of snowbirds. In fact the population doubles in winter. Driving in on I-8 we saw RV park after RV park lining the freeway and they were packed. Luckily the KOFA Escapees park where we stayed is about 8 miles south of town among the citrus groves. At first it seemed liked an inconvenient spot, but we soon realized it was peaceful and the 20 minute drive to town was not bad.
This place reminded us of the park Chuck’s parents used to winter at in Florida, only smaller. About half the spaces in the park have “park models” on them, basically a tiny 10 x 40 mobile home, but the rest are large, gravel sites with full hook-ups that owner’s rent out when they’re not here. They are some of the nicest sites we’ve found in an RV park.
The park has an active community of retirees. They feature daily activities in the clubhouse like line dancing, crafts, bingo and billiards. They also have an outdoor pool, hot tub, shuffle board and horseshoes. Plus there are groups that go bike riding and walking and of course a bunch of potlucks sprinkled in. For the most part we were reluctant to join in (perhaps we felt a little too young), but everyone was super nice and friendly. Mostly it’s just really peaceful and laid back here and we both seemed to have slowed way down.
I think this might be a good thing since there is not much to do in Yuma. We skipped visiting the big attractions, the Yuma Territorial Prison and the Quartermaster Depot from the late 1800s. Instead we walked the historic downtown which had some interesting buildings. Sadly only a handful of shops have managed to survive although the restaurants were busy. With most major stores here we did some shopping, stocked up our fridge, and visited the farmer’s market. You would think we could get really good produce since Yuma claims to be the winter vegetable capital growing 90% of the lettuce, cauliflower and other veggies for the US this time of year and we are surrounded by citrus groves, but only one of the ten booths was a local farmer and they didn’t have much. I did like the booth selling Girl Scout cookies though!
Our big reason for hanging out here in Yuma for a week was to wait for the big RV show in Quartzite and with all the sunshine it turned out to be a great place to chill before heading that way.