Thirsty Thursday: Exploring Yuma

Rambler: Beth
Drink at Hand: Dolce Vita Prosecco (no idea, I walk in the door and the hubby hands me a glass...not complaining!)

Hello friends - it's Thirsty Thursday! Time to pour something yummy and make those weekend plans. A few weeks back I found myself in Yuma, AZ with a little time to kill. And the desert didn't disappoint!

The back story to these images in a little entertaining. I had to fly down to Yuma for a business trip. Remember when LA had all that damage from the Santa Ana winds? Yeah, I was flying into LAX during all that windiness. My drink wouldn't even stay on my tray table. So I finally get to Yuma that evening and go to get my rental car, only to have the rental car counter girl tell me they don't have any cars left so I get a Suburban. Uh, okay. So I roll myself out the the rental car space and there it was, an all-black Suburban with shiny wheels. I felt like gangsta-g in the Secret Service...or something.

Fast forward to the next afternoon. I'd spent the day driving all over creation in Yuma looking at lettuce fields, broccoli fields, cauliflower fields, romaine fields, spinach fields, Cabbage Patch Kids fields (okay, maybe not those), but you get the idea. Late in the afternoon, after I'd finally seen every last acre of growing green produce in the Yuma Valley, I went to the local coffee shop to catch up on email. The clouds were trying to spit rain outside, but there weren't enough. The sun kept peaking through. Golden light, dark clouds, nearby mountains. Finally at 3:52 I decided I was done with the checking of the email. I ran to my Secret Service-mobile, brought up the map on my phone and headed out of Yuma into the desert.

Since I'd seen the entire valley during my tour earlier in the day, I remembered seeing a couple of cool landscapes and headed that general direction. I thought I'd found the money road...but it turned to gravel and then ended. Back I went. Sunset was at 5:12 and I had to be back in Yuma to catch a flight at 6:30. Time was of the essence. I referenced my iPhone map. I found a different road. It was the perfect road to take me exactly where I wanted to go. Except that it ended at the gate to the Yuma Proving Grounds. Crap. Now its 4:40ish.

I found another road. It turned to gravel. Then to rough rock. It cut through a chunk of the Yuma Proving Ground too. There were government "Do Not Enter" signs all along the road, but the road was public access. So I sped along in my Secret Service Suburban, far exceeding the speed limit on some random back road in some military shooting range. The light was fading, I was about to give up. Finally I found an acceptable spot. I jammed the SSS in park and hopped out. It was 5:02. There was a random blimp tethered nearby, its white body and incessantly annoying buzzing motor floating a few hundred feet above the ground. It was all a little weird--strange military training site in the middle of nowhere Arizona, fading light, buzzing blimp, me in my black Suburban--but I didn't have time to dwell on the weird. After driving for over an hour, I literally had minutes to get something decent and then bolt back to Yuma. Here's what I got...

Cactus Clouds

The gusty winds and local mountains made for some lovely orographic clouds.

More Ocatillo

And then suddenly the sun had enough and called it a day. The light was gone. Time to head back to town to catch my flight.


Ironically, after well over an hour of hurtling down back roads in the black SSS, the drive back to town only took 35 minutes of very pedestrian driving on a nice highway. If only I'd known!

So that's it. Another Thirsty Thursday down. Go out and get yourself lost on some random back roads this weekend! And have a Happy New Year while you're at it!