Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Aliens on the 3:10 to Yuma

We arrived in Yuma from Kingman AZ on November 9. Kingman is a destination for many Grand Canyon visitors; it’s also the site of many historical spots on the old Route 66. Molly ran and ran at the local dog park and we got a good tip for a breakfast spot. Our single sightseeing stop on the drive to Yuma was in Lake Havasu to see the London Bridge – yes the REAL London Bridge built in the 1800’s, was purchased by some guy – I’ve forgotten his name -- and he rebuilt it in AZ in the 1970’s (at a cost of about 8 million dollars.) Today, it’s the second most visited spot in the state. I thought it fairly unremarkable and rather silly; clearly I just didn’t get it. Lake Havasu seemed tacky.

On to Yuma. After miles of desert, we saw acres of salad growing along the highway. I don’t know if this is big agribusiness or what but why are they spending money to irrigate all this land?

We’re in Yuma to pick up our internet satellite dish and get trained in setting it up, and our “lessons” take all day Saturday. It’s very technical and complicated, but very cool too – our very own spot on satellite T7. See how BIG it is? Now we don’t need to search out wireless hot spots or pay for wireless access at campgrounds or wherever else we stay – we’re always connected. We’re staying with the people we bought the satellite from – Barb and Joe who own a business called RV Networking and specialize in getting mobile people connected with Starband or HugesNet. Nice people and good instructors. They have an extra hookup on their lot. This is an unusual neighborhood because RV lots and homes are all mixed together – a landscaped adobe might be next to a gravel lot with RV hookups. That’s an extreme example – actually many of the RV lots are landscaped too with garages and rooftop patios. But I love the southwest look; the adobe and stonework, iron detail and adornments, the cactus and cottonwood trees, the bright flowers.

We stopped at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area for a picnic and a short walk. The cutest chipmunk conned us into giving him some seeds from our bread, and we saw our first Gambel's Quail, recognized by their curled headpiece. We were searched before crossing Hoover Dam -- border patrol searched the inside of the RV which caused Molly a lot of concern. The dam is magnificent and amazing and deserves a place on the modern engineering wonders list. Click here for more info. The winged figures, the star map, the art deco styling, the pride of such an accomplishment.

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