Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Reflections on Yuma, Arizona

Blue skies over Yuma
So we’ve been in Yuma a week now, and what do I think of the place. Jon loves it and would like to settle here, but the jury is still out for me.

Yuma is sprawled out all over the place. The RV park we’re at is way out in the middle of somewhere, not too far from the Fortuna Road exit off Interstate 8. 32nd Street is the closest major street for us. Flat fields growing veggies or citrus trees are interspersed with snowbird RV parks and strip malls. While downtown Yuma is probably about 10 miles away, there’s a Walmart superstore within two miles. Going a mile in the other direction is one of the best supermarkets I’ve been in in a long time. There also are some chain stores, banks and chain restaurants.

Food is expensive here. A gallon of milk costs about 40 cents more than we paid at Winco in Kennewick; whole grain breads that we like are about $5 a loaf. A package of frozen chicken breasts costs $3 a bag more than in Kennewick for the same brand. Even the fresh veggies are more expensive.

There are dollar stores all over the place, but a couple of them (Family Dollar and Dollar General) charge more than a dollar for many items. Only a true Dollar Store and a 99-cent store keep everything to that price, though the 99-cent store does charge more for a gallon of milk, but is still cheaper than the supermarket.

I am having problems finding my way around Yuma due to their weird street naming practice. Numbered streets are both streets and avenues; 32nd street becomes South Frontage Road just south of Walmart. Plus north and south Frontage roads are not just one street. Oh, no! They intersect each other.

Yuma is not a good city to ride motor scooters in. Traffic moves too fast for me, though I can keep up with the traffic if I go 55 mph, which I don’t mind doing for short stretches, just not for miles at a time. We really haven’t seen that many other scooter riders, and I’m wondering if this is why. The traffic doesn’t seem to bother Jon, who rides his scooter a lot more than I do mine.

Air pollution is minimal, which is very nice. Skies are really blue and you can see the mountains surrounding this big valley that Yuma sits in.

We originally intended to stay here a month, but may be staying a lot longer, due to unforeseen circumstances. Maybe I will learn to like it better, though my preference is still for a place that has green trees (forests are more like it) and lots of water, like in oceans.






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