Wednesday, March 18, 2015

We're In Arizona Now!

Yuma, Arizona

Cougar! We've stayed in two locations, both near Julian, CA, where there have been Mt. Lion warnings. So, the night we boondocked way out in the wilds, near Sunrise Highway, we fantasied about seeing a Cougar just outside Thistle's window.

It didn't happen, much to our disappointment. But, tonight, in a most unlikely camp, low down out of the mountains, beside a lake, we finally saw our cougar.

Just outside our window.

And, we also saw a vermilion flycatcher. Such a beauty! 

Yuma is too hot and too dry! We wanted to move on as quickly as possible. Despite our reaction of let's get out of here, we are a minority There are hundreds, no thousands, of RV'ers dry camping in the desert, and, to my way of thinking, in the most unpleasant looking locations. 

A fee of $150 annually is paid to the Bureau of Land Management for a parking space in the desert.

There are even more folks parked in fancy RV parks, such as this one, or even more fancy, complete with golf courses, tennis courts, clubs and swimming pools.

Migration of the snowbirds is definitely a big deal. Much bigger than I had ever imagined.

Although our map seemed to show no public campgrounds near Yuma, with a careful search I spotted two just north of Yuma. With day's end approaching, we needed to get off the road for the night so we headed for Squaw Lake. We found a pretty little lake with about 50 spots for RV's and another 50 for tent campers, managed by BLM. We were happy! Benton was ecstatic! Chasing sticks into cool water perked him right up after a long hot boring day in Thistle.

Getting here was almost surreal as we passed the Army Proving Grounds, with acres and acres of desert set aside for training.

Then, around the lake itself, the irrigation control apparatus was not too charming, so we didn't experience perfect. There are two lakes, and their water is pumped back and forth, depending on conditions. In the process the wetlands in this area have been seriously damaged. Nevertheless, we were happy to have a nice lake to camp beside for the night.

As we drive east, toward Tucson, the temperature cools and it begins to rain.

"Look closely at the present you are constructing. It should look like the future you dream of."

~ Alice Walker


  1. Too much ugly in that area, and not enough beauty. Now we know. At least there was water for dear Benton to frolic in.

  2. I've definitely decided I'm not a desert person. There are places I love, but overall, I need to find more trees and wet.

  3. Brad told me to read your post on seeing a cougar. I couldn't wait to read about you and Ed actually getting to see a cougar, so amazing. Ok, I'm still laughing...that's a mighty Cougar all right!
    Glad you are having a most wonderful adventure. Yay!

  4. Glad you liked our cougar, Rhonda. We're still hoping for the real thing!!!