Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Farewell to Yuma

Our final complimentary breakfast at the Ramada Inn was no sooner done than we bid a fond farewell to Yuma. The sky was bright and sunny as we took one last picture, of an orange tree not far from our hotel, and headed for the freeway. It was quite cool and would not warm up until Friday so we thought we would check out Palm Springs.
It was a nice change driving with the sun at our backs. The Imperial Sand Dunes looked fantastic in the early morning light. A few of the Star Wars movies were shot here, and I can see why. It is Sahara Desert-like for many miles. We headed north-west to the Salton sea, a very large body of salt water that is 230 ft. below sea level. It is very barren there and we decided to drive on the east side of the lake to have better access to the 'beaches'. There is a very large bird refuge there and we saw many huge Pelicans, much larger and whiter than the ones we so love on Banderas Bay in Mexico.
Heading further west, we were again impressed with all the agriculture. We saw cauliflower fields as big as all of Sumas Prairie! There were snowy white Egrets in the fields, everywhere, foraging for whatever it is that Egrets eat.
We had to stop in Thermal. There are date groves everywhere. We toured a date facility and saw and learned a lot about the different varieties of dates. And of course we bought a package of Mahjools (sp?) and a whack of pistachio nuts.
Our plan was to meet our friends from back home, at their time share in Palm Springs. We had phone numbers and an address, but search as we might, we could not connect. They simply were not at the condos they told us they would be staying at. We were disappointed so instead of staying in Palm Springs for night, we drove on, as it was only 2pm. It was warm there and we made a mistake not staying. It was so wonderful driving through the Coachella Valley again, such a good reminder of 2 years ago. We love Palm Springs.
So, it was up through the San Bernardino Mountains, where we had snow at the side of the road, and now we are at Victorville for night where it is 32F. Brrrrr!
We went to Marie Calendar's for dinner and met a wonderful couple who live locally. Visited with them for almost an hour and became good friends! What a fascinating story they had. They even invited us to stay the night at their home (if we didn't mind the dog sleeping on our faces) but we turned them down because we had already checked into a hotel. Get this. He is the senior guy at one of the largest power transfer stations in California and he and his wife are bucking technology by not having a home PC. Lis and her are going to communicate the old fashioned way. (How was that again .... oh yeah, pen, paper, envelopes and stamps.)
We hope to report from somewhere around the Napa Valley tomorrow as we make our way back to the coast.


Rachel said...

I love how you pick up new friends where ever you go. That is so cool!

carla said...

Oh Terry! If it would have been one week ago we could have met up with you! We drove that same stretch last week! Hope you stopped in at the Route 66 Museum in Victorville! If not, there's another one in Barstow, if you are going the Northern route. We turned off and went west from there. Looks like you'll be hitting cold weather from here on in. See ya soon!