Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Not All Who Wander Are Lost
June, 2019 - Mount Denali, Alaska

Sunday, February 27, 2011

I’ve Become Spoiled

First, I’d like to welcome new followers PB & J Adventures.

We’ve had cool and rainy weather two weekends in a row.  I’m sure many of you are crying for me right about now :)  Last night was pretty windy.  It’s been a while since wind has been an issue for me.  But last night it was blowing at the back side of us causing the bedroom slide topper to make noise.  Luckily, once the rains started, the winds died down somewhat.  We had about 1/2 inch of rain overnight.

Today it’s cold!  The high is only supposed to get to 53 degrees.  Brrrr!  Scottsdale even had a dusting of snow.  We just got rain.  Okay, so I’m being a bit sarcastic.  I know our Wisconsin readers would love to see 50 degree temps in February.  I am glad to see that the forecast is calling for high 70s by the end of the week.  Now that’s what I call baseball weather.

The clouds yesterday did help in creating a gorgeous sunrise.


Here’s our site at Leaf Verde RV Resort in Buckeye, Arizona.  This is another typical desert campground.  Basically, a large gravel lot with hookups.  But, that’s how most of them are.  There are some trees between the sites. 


We do like the price at this park.  The cost is $350 a month plus electric.  They only charge 9 cents per KW hour which they said is what the electric company charges them.  That’s almost half of what we were charged for electricity in Yuma.  We have a full hookup site with free wi-fi.  The park has a pool, rec hall, shuffleboard courts, a basketball court and laundry.  They also have some organized activities, but not too many. 

This is not a “senior” park so there are families with children.  It’s kind of nice to see kids again.  The sites are closer together than we would consider ideal, but acceptable.  Our main reason for coming to the Phoenix area was to see some Spring Training games.  This park is about 30 minutes from the Brewers facility.

On Friday we drove to Marysvale Park where the Brewers play to buy some tickets.  As we walked up to the entrance, we saw a small crowd of people.  They were waiting for the players to come back to the clubhouse from the practice fields so they could get autographs.  I was quite surprised by the number of older adults seeking autographs.  Many of them had binders with baseball cards in them.  I didn’t recognize any of the players.  Kevin said they were all minor leaguers hoping to make the big league squad this year.


The lady at the top left of the picture was getting her picture taken with any player that would cooperate.  Too funny! 


The only player I recognized was Dale Sveum and he’s no longer a player, but a coach.  I guess I’m getting old.  I had thought about getting a job with the Brewers during Spring Training in Arizona and then hopefully working for them in Milwaukee as well.  I made numerous calls to them this winter, but no one ever called me back.  The young man who sold us our tickets gave me the name of the person to talk to.  He said they usually hire a year in advance.  I’ll see if I can talk to him while we’re here.  The same guy hires in Milwaukee, so maybe I’ll get lucky.  I think it would be fun to work at the ballpark.

We bought tickets for Monday’s home opener.  Our friends Paul and Ann from Wisconsin are supposed to be coming to Phoenix for some games.  We look forward to seeing them!

The Nascar race is in Phoenix today.  Kevin enjoys watching the races, so I thought we should try to get tickets.  He didn’t think it was worth spending the money.  It’s probably a good thing since it won’t be very warm today.

We got the movie Red from Redbox yesterday.  It’s about a group of retired CIA operatives who come out of retirement.  It stars Bruce Willis and Morgan Freeman.  We both really enjoyed it.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Tire Mishap

Yesterday was not one of our better days.  We left Casa Grande at about 11:00 am to travel the short distance of 90 miles to Buckeye, Arizona.  We’re staying at Leaf Verde RV Resort for a month with plans to attend several Brewers Spring Training games.

The trip appeared to go smoothly.  When we arrived at Leaf Verde, Kevin was shocked to see that there was a dent in the side of the trailer and the tread of one of the tires was completely gone.  Amazingly, the tire was still full of air.  Neither one of us noticed or heard a thing as we were driving.  Here’s what we discovered.


And here’s the tire.  You can see the steal belt!


The tread is completely stripped off.  We’re thinking it must have been flapping for a while to cause the damage.  We’re really surprised no one was honking or waving at us.

Two of the trim pieces on the side of the trailer are also cracked. 


That tire was only a little over 2 years old with less than 10,000 miles on it.  There is no way the tread should have pealed away like that!

Kevin went to the Goodyear store in Goodyear, Arizona.  By the way, he found out the town is named after the company.  It appears that tires used to be made with cotton, and the cotton was grown here in Arizona.  Who would have guessed.

The manager filed a claim with Goodyear.  We’re asking for the tire to be replaced and the damage to the trailer to be covered.  We’ll see how that goes.

We totally know that this could have been so much worse.  The fact that the tire didn’t go flat is beyond amazing.  All in all, we’re lucky we didn’t have an accident.  BUT, we’re pretty sick of stuff like this happening.  It seems to us we’ve had more than our share of bad luck with this trailer.  Hopefully, the rule of averages will kick in, and we’ll have some smooth sailing ahead :)

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

More Ruins

First, I’d like to welcome new followers Kate and Mike and Gina.  I started this blog almost exactly a year ago.  My original intent was to have a method of keeping family and friends informed of what we were up to.  I also was hoping to share some information for other “wanna be” fulltimers.  I found so many blogs to be invaluable while we were planning.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think that a year later I would have 47 followers and over 10,000 page views.  Or that we would actually have had 3 face to face meetings with wonderful people we’ve met through the blog.  This has become a travel journal for me, and I truly enjoy writing it.  Hopefully, those of you gracious enough to read it have found it at least somewhat interesting  :)

On Sunday we visited the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument.  It’s approximately 30 minutes from where we’re staying.  Sharon, our tour guide, did an awesome job of explaining the site and the history of the native people who lived there.

The main “attraction” at this site is the Great House which was 4 stories tall and 40 x 60 feet in size.  Wow!  In 1932 the National Park Service build the concrete and steel canopy to protect it.


A thousand years ago the Hohokam people lived in this area.  They built miles of canals from the Gila River so they could grow crops of corn, squash, beans and cotton.  They built numerous villages throughout the area.  They traded with other people from as far away as Mexico, the Midwest Plains and the Pacific Ocean.  I’m just fascinated by how resourceful and innovative Native Americans were.


The small circle on the upper left aligns with the summer equinox.  The small square on the upper right aligns with a lunar event that only happens every 18 years.  Wow! 

Another thing I can’t help thinking about is what kinds of “ruins” will people be looking at 1,000 years from now.  Will our civilization be long gone?  Will they be wondering what a McDonald’s or Wal-Mart was?  Will they find computer parts and wonder what they were used for?  History is just so amazing!

Kevin has seen enough ruins and rocks.  I think I’ve overloaded him since we left Wisconsin in September.  At least he humors me and comes along.

Late every afternoon we feel like we’re in the Alfred Hitchcock movie “The Birds”.  Hundreds of black birds line up on the power lines and in the trees behind our neighbor’s site.  They serenade us for a while and then they disappear into a row of Oleander bushes in another part of the park.  Fascinating!



Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Monday, February 21, 2011

*Real Estate Outlook*

I found this interesting article regarding the real estate market in the San Diego area, specifically La Jolla which is several miles north of downtown San Diego. 

We actually drove through La Jolla when we were in the area in December.  It’s a beautiful place, with homes in the hills overlooking the ocean.  I find it interesting that even they were not immune to the housing crash with million dollar homes ending up in foreclosure.

How great that we can enjoy the area and weather of the area in our home on wheels.  Someday, I’d like to go back and stay at the Carlsbad State Beach campground right on the ocean.

This got me thinking about how the housing market is in Phoenix where we are headed next week.  It seems the housing market is very flat there as well.  I was also surprised to see Phoenix is the 5th largest city in the United States!

All of this makes me so glad that we sold our house when we did.  We didn’t get as much money as we would have 5 years earlier, but at least it sold.  I think if we would have waited, we would have gotten even less.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Los Colinas RV Resort

Yesterday we arrived at Los Colinas RV Resort in Eloy, Arizona which is just outside of Casa Grande.  Our first impression of this park is great.

It’s a smaller resort with about 150 sites and a mix of park models and RVs.  All of the roads are paved, and the sites are a reddish gravel.  Our camper was completely level once Kevin had it parked.  That rarely happens.

We have full hook-ups with 50 amp service and a concrete patio.  I would say the site is larger than the norm.  We’re in the back in the shorter term parking.  There is a truck stop a little ways behind us, but we haven’t been bothered by any noise.

As you can see from the picture, there are some huge cactus plants here.  There is also a nice mixture of trees, bushes and other types of cactus plants.


They have a nice clubhouse with a pool, hot tub, shuffleboard, and horseshoes.  There is a full calendar of activities available including cards, games, bingo, quilting, painting, etc. 

We’re paying $198 for the week including electricity.  Wi-Fi is extra and there is no cable.  This is definitely a place we would consider staying again.

The reason we stopped here for a week is to visit with Kevin’s Uncle Jack and Aunt Norrine from St. Louis.  When our kids were little we used to go spend a few days in St. Louis at their house every summer.  We have some wonderful memories of those times.  It sure is nice to see them again.

We were blessed with a fantastic sunset our last night in Yuma.  We’ve actually seen some clouds, and tomorrow is supposed to bring rain and cooler temps for a few days.  We haven’t had any rain since we’ve been in Arizona.  Don’t worry, though.  Next week we’ll be back in the 70s.  Don’t you just love it!


Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Agriculture in the Desert

We discovered something rather amazing in Yuma.  This area is a major supplier of produce.  Who would have guessed the desert would be loaded with fields and fields of vegetables.

There are miles and miles of crops just like this field of lettuce.


Here’s a field of cauliflower.


It turns out that years ago some very smart farmers built a series of canals for irrigation.  This region has the most sunny days of anywhere else in the country.  The farmers can plant several crops a year on the same land.  The key is the irrigation.  There is only about 2 inches of rainfall a year, but the farmers found a way around it with the canals.  It’s amazing to see.  They grow lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and celery just to name a few.  There are also many citrus groves.

A few weeks ago we saw migrant workers harvesting this field.  Now you can see the new crop is already coming up.


Joan and Al left yesterday to make their way back to Wisconsin and then head to Pennsylvania for the birth of their second grandchild.  Best wishes to everyone!

My cold is still hanging on so we’ve been laying low.  Some walks, some bike rides, some shuffleboard, some card playing and some relaxing.

I’ve also been doing some more work on oDesk.  Last summer I mentioned that I had been hired by a woman in Australia to do some transcription work.  I finished that job, but have since picked up a few more jobs.  I’m diligently working on this to build it to the point where I’ll have some steady income.  We’ll see how it goes.

Tomorrow we move on to Eloy, Arizona to spend a week visiting with Kevin’s Uncle Jack and Aunt Norrine at Los Colinos RV Park.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Saturday, February 12, 2011


I’ve really been feeling lousy the last few days, so we’ve been laying low.  We did manage to do some hiking in the last few days.

On Thursday we went back to downtown Yuma with Joan and Al to walk along the Colorado River Trail.  It’s a 2 mile biking and hiking trail along the banks of the Colorado River.  There are a few parks along the route, and it’s a very nice walk.


There were a number of these birds along the trail near the river.  I tried to identify them, but have had no luck.  They’re black, with a yellow beak, red eyes and yellowish feet. 


The bridge over the Colorado River is called the “Ocean to Ocean Highway Bridge”.  It was the last section built of the first highway that went from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.


After the hike, we went back to the Paradise Casino for the Thursday 50+ free $10 slot play.  There were signs all over the casino saying they were discontinuing the promotion.  I’m not surprised.  I think the senior citizens have been “cashing out” in droves.  We did manage to win $15 so it was a good run while it lasted :)

Today Al, Joan, Kevin and I went back to the area we hiked a few weeks ago to see if we could find the mine.  Joan has this Yuma hiking booklet, and we were sure we’d find it this time.  We hiked for a total of 3 hours, and never found it.  We sure did get a good workout on another gorgeous day!

I read somewhere that the desert would start blooming around Valentine’s Day.  Today we saw some cactus with flowers.  Cool!


P1010616 I like this shot with the moon out during the day.









I was completely drained by the time we were done.  This darn cold has just knocked me for a loop.  Hopefully, it won’t last too much longer.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Stretch of Luck!

I told you about our winnings at the casino on Monday.  Monday night Kevin went to play Euchre at the clubhouse.  He ended up winning $2.50.

I didn’t want to play cards so I watched the movie “The Social Network” instead.  It was a very interesting movie.  I’m not sure how factual it is, but I think it portrayed the founder of Facebook as a rather pathetic, angry, and socially inept young man.  He certainly is a rich young man now.  That’s for sure!

Yesterday we played cribbage.  I’m not usually a very lucky card player, but I just kept getting these amazing hands dealt to me.  I finished in first place with a prize of $2.00.  Kevin also won 75 cents.

We played some games with the Hansen's in the afternoon and shared a great steak dinner.  They like to play Bingo, and I joked with Joan that it was their turn to win.

Joan was all excited this morning to tell me she won $70 at bingo.  They’ve been playing every week since they got here, and this is the first time they won.  Good thing, as it was the last time they’d be able to play before leaving next Tuesday.

We’re not bingo fans, so we went home and watched TV last night.  Quite a few people in the park have had colds, and I think I caught another one.  I’ve had a sore throat and feel a bit congested, so I’m just going to lay low for a while.  I’m feeling rather zapped of energy.  Oh well, at least the weather is nice, and we won a few bucks!

The key to success is having dreams. The mark of success is living them. ~ Unknown

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

*Where Will We End Up*

There are many people living the fulltime lifestyle, but have you ever wondered where you will end up some day?  Chances are there will come a time when we stop traveling.  Is there a special place we want to live at that time?

Maybe we’ll live on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.  I’d love to live in a tropical paradise, but I don’t think we’d be able to afford real estate in Hawaii.  Also, it would be too far from family.

I really liked it in Carlsbad, California.  But, after looking at some of the home prices, it’s highly unlikely we could afford settling down in California.  If the housing trend in Las Vegas continues, maybe we would be able to get a great deal on a house there. 

For now, we’re very happy living in our RV and traveling the country.  Who knows what the future will bring.  Maybe we’ll just continue to drive off into the sunset forever :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Another Winning Day at the Casino

Yesterday sure was an exciting day.  We’re so happy the Packers won the Super Bowl.  My mom tells me things in Wisconsin are pretty crazy!

Joan wanted to go to the Moody Demonstration Garden today.  Funny how it’s not too far from the Paradise Casino where those over 50 get $10 free slot play on Mondays and Thursdays.  Well, the garden wasn’t much to get excited about.  It was a small area next to the county municipal buildings with some walking paths and plants with signs in front of them. 

There was, however, this cool sculpture.


After spending a few minutes at the gardens, we drove over to the casino.  We stood in line for about 30 minutes to get the $10 credit on the player’s card, only to find out that it had already been added to the card.  Apparently, they do it automatically.  The guy said it doesn’t always work, so he suggested putting your card in a machine when you get there before waiting in line.  Chances are the money will already be there.  Cool!  Now we’ll have to go back again to see if it works :)

Kevin and I played using up our $10 each.  At the end, we were up $23.75.  I sure like this free money!

And tonight we get to watch a free movie.  The first Monday of each month, Redbox sends out a text message with a code for a free movie rental.  It’s only good that day.  All you have to do is sign up for it when you create your Redbox account.  We picked The Social Network for tonight’s feature.  Too bad we don’t have any codes for free groceries and camping :)  

I found out today that my first blog post for Blogvertise was accepted and I should get paid in 30 days.  I posted another ad today.  I get paid for the ad, not how many times people click on it.  I’ll try a few more and see if the payments actually show up in my Paypal account.  So far, it looks like a good way to create some extra revenue without bothering my readers too much.

I hope all of our Wisconsin friends are enjoying the Packer excitement.  It would be fun to be a part of it, but I’m not willing to give up our sunny 70 degree days :) 

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

*A New Shopping Website*

I have come across a new shopping website called

I did a bit searching on the site, and found it to be very user friendly.  What I really liked is that you could search for prices of an item, and also research the same item just by clicking on either the shop or research button.

You can find some very unusual items including a 1 gallon gas tank or galant projector headlamps or lancer ralliart fenders.

On the home page there are a number of categories you can shop in including Top 10 Lists, Editor’s Choice and Hot Products.  I clicked on the Cuisinart CSB-76BC SmartStick 200-Watt Immersion Hand Blender just for fun.  It gave me prices for stores like Kohl's and Sears, but also Amazon.  It also gave me similar products to check out and customer reviews.

So, next time you are shopping online, you might want to check out

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Bowl Champions




Another Hike

Joan and Al have a booklet describing several hikes in the Yuma area.  Yesterday we decided to try a hike at the Senator Wash Reservoir.  We followed the directions to the Squaw Lake BLM Campground where we paid the day use fee to park.

As we walked up the road to the start of the trail, we passed 3 people carrying the same booklet Joan has.  They told us it was a nice hike, but they knew they had taken a different route than the book indicated.

The first part of the trail was easy enough to follow.  It was a gravel road and earthen dam along the reservoir.  There were several fishing boats out on the water.  It’s always so amazing to find water and palm trees out in the middle of the desert.


I caught this egret in flight.  Cool!



A sign stated there were wild burro in the area.  We didn’t see any, but we certainly saw plenty of evidence on the ground that they exist :)  We hiked along the reservoir and into the desert trying to follow the directions.

We didn’t have a compass with us, so we were guessing on which way to go based on the sun’s position.  There were no marked trails, just some ATV trails and washes.  The directions were supposed to take us to a lookout where we could see the Colorado River.  After about an hour, we gave up trying to find it and headed back.

So, we’re now 0 for 2 in following the hike directions in the booklet.  Next time we’re taking a compass.  We still had a great 2 hour hike, and saw some beautiful sites.  So, I’d say it was a great day!


On the way home, we stopped at a roadside stand to try a date shake.  Kevin likes dates, but I’m not a fan.  I tasted it, and didn’t really care for it.  Kevin said it was good, but nothing special.  Behind the stand, is the “bridge to nowhere”.


This suspension bridge was built in 1929 to cross over the Gila River on Route 95.  When the road was moved, the bridge was no longer needed.  The route of the Gila River has changed course, so now there isn’t even water under the bridge anymore.  It has sat unused for many years, but due to the desert climate, is still in very good condition.  Another strange site in the middle of the desert.

Today we prepare for the BIG GAME!  Joan and Al are coming over this afternoon to watch the game with us. 



Thursday, February 3, 2011

Los Algodones, Mexico

On Tuesday we made the 30 minute trip to cross the border into Los Algodones, Mexico.  Kevin and I have only been to Mexico a few times.  We spent a few hours in Tijuana on our honeymoon over 33 years ago, and we’ve been to the Cozumel area twice while on cruises.

The main purpose for the trip was for me to have my teeth cleaned.  So many people we’ve met have praised the dentists in Mexico, so I was willing to give it a try.  Kevin wouldn’t do it.  He’ll stick with our dentist in Wisconsin. 

Mexico and US Border Flags Joan and Al had forgotten their passports in Wisconsin so we drove in separate vehicles.  Their plan was to ask if they could get back in with just their licenses.  Joan spoke to a US Customs official at the border, and he told her it would be fine so the 4 of us crossed over.  We parked in this parking lot on the US side and walked across.  Do you see the two flags?

Los Algodones is probably about 4 or 5 square blocks, not very big at all.  I’ve never seen so many dentists, pharmacies, and eye clinics in one spot.  A young man outside of Mary’s Dental Clinic asked if he could help me.  I told him I wanted my teeth cleaned.  He said it would be $25.  The guy across the street was motioning to me that it would be only $10 at his place.  My guy said that was for an “express clean”.  I had to laugh.  Mary’s looked like a decent and clean place, so I signed up. 

Main Street Los AlgodonesMexico Los Algodones Main Street

After waiting about 20 minutes, Dr. Liliana called me in.  That’s right, the dentist did the cleaning.  She did everything they do at home, including telling me about my receding gum lines.  It took about 20 minutes, and I felt she did a good job.  She maybe didn’t scrape quite as long with the pick, but it’s hard to say.  It was a good job for less than 1/4 the cost of our dentist in Wisconsin.  I would do it again in a heartbeat.

We found these awesome painted rocks at a street stand.  Since the Packers are going to the Super Bowl, there was not much bargaining.  The cost was $10, but the best we could do was 3 for $25.  We got these two and Joan and Al got a Packer rock.


It was getting to be lunch time so we stopped at an outdoor restaurant for nachos and margaritas.  These jumbo drinks were $4 each.  We each had a drink and shared a large plate of nachos.  Total bill, $23.

Mexico Margaritas

Next, we stopped at a pharmacy.  I got a Z pack of antibiotics for $4 and picked up glucosamine/chondroitin tablets for my arthritis at less than half the cost of Wal-Mart for the same amount of milligrams.

We found some inexpensive tequila and vanilla at the liquor store.  Joan and I also bought some cute light jackets for $15 each.  I’d say it was a successful shopping venture.

The town was quite clean and I felt very safe.  We saw several groups of policemen standing around and 2 soldiers with machine guns.  The line to get through customs was quite long, and it took us about an hour to get to the front.  I was amazed at the amount of people. 

P1010591 Yesterday we found these cute plastic margarita glasses.  Perfect to sample the tequila we bought.







There has been a great deal of weather news all over the country including Yuma.  We’ve had 2 nights of hard freeze warnings which is almost unheard of in this area.  It was in the low 30s both nights and yesterday’s high was 48 and very windy.  The winds died down today and the high was 50.  Don’t worry.  It’s supposed to be 79 on Sunday.  Sure beats the 2 feet of snow they got in Wisconsin.  Can’t say that I miss it :)

I had a few questions about my Blogvertise entry.  After signing up and being approved, they send you emails with links to internet sites they want you to review.  You write the review, publish it, submit it to them, and wait to see if it was approved.  I’m still waiting to see if they approved my entry.  I already have 2 more emails for more reviews, but I’m waiting to see if they approve me first entry before I do anymore. 

As a reviewer, you can be positive or negative depending on what you think of the site.   I appreciate the opportunity to earn some money through my blog.  I also like that each ad is a separate entry, and the entire blog is not full of ads I haven’t approved.  That’s just my opinion, and we’ll see how it goes.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Making Money on the Road

Last week I discovered a blog called Live and Travel on Minimum Wage.  Craig and Karin started this blog to share information they have about making money while living the full time lifestyle.

One way many bloggers make a little money is to have Google ads on their blogs.  So far, I’ve chosen not to put ads in my blog.  However, Craig and Karin mentioned an advertiser in their blog that intrigued me.  I signed up for Blogsvertise and was accepted.  Once accepted, they send you information about sites that might appeal to your readers. 

You review the site.  If your review is accepted, you get paid.  It’s pretty easy.  So, here’s my first attempt.

Today’s site is called RepairPal.  It’s a free site.  You can enter your zip code and find auto repair facilities in your area.  One of the best features of the site is that you can get estimates for what different types of repairs should cost. 

You can also enter a make and model of car and find out what kinds of experiences others have had with that type of car.  For example, here’s what owners of a 2004 Ford Expedition have to say.

There is also an auto repair encyclopedia where you can get definitions of different types of repairs such as a timing belt replacement or a water pump replacement.

I think this is a pretty useful site.  At the very least, you should be able to keep from being charged too much for specific repairs.

Like I said, this is my first attempt at this type of advertising.  Hopefully, they’ll accept my review.  I’ll let you know what happens.

Let me know what you think.  I’ll post later today about our trip to Mexico.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Yuma Territorial Prison

On Monday we visited Yuma Territorial Prison State Park.  This area has an interesting and diverse history.  The prison was built in 1876 and operated as a prison until 1909 when it was closed due to overcrowding.  It housed a total of 3,069 prisoners including 29 women.

This is part of the main cell block area.  Originally, the hospital was built above these cell blocks.


P1010575 Six prisoners shared each cell.  They slept on two sets of bunk beds.  They shared one small chamber pot.   If one of them caused trouble, all six were chained to the ring in the floor.

The majority of them were between 20 and 30 years old and single.  Most common crimes were burglary, assault, forgery, murder, liquor to Indians, robbery, rape and adultery.  Over 100 prisoners died, mostly from disease or suicide.

Townspeople called the prison the Country Club on the Colorado because the prison had electricity, a ventilation system, flush toilets, a hospital and a library.  Prisoners called it hell.  I guess it’s all a matter of perspective.

In 1910 the Yuma High School burned down.  For the next four years, the former prison hospital, library and warden’s house were used as a school.  The high school teams became known as “The Criminals”, and the name stuck.  The Yuma High School teams today are still called “The Criminals” or “The Crims”.  What an interesting history.

During the Great Depression, many homeless people camped out in the exercise yard of the prison.  The entire area is surrounded by a wall and protected from the wind.  The area has been restored, but the wall on the right is original.  These cells were used for the solitary confinement prisoners.


Prisoners were not locked in their cells during the day.  Instead they all had jobs working in places like the rock quarry, kitchen, garden, sewing shop, adobe yard or wood yard.  On Sundays they had time for reading, arts and crafts, education and relaxing.  Prisoners were taught to read and write and many learned a trade.   There was even a prison band.

P1010580 This is the main gate built in 1875.






The prison was built along the Colorado River.  The grey bridge is part of the “Ocean to Ocean Highway” and was completed in 1915.  It was the last link connecting the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean.  It is still only a one lane bridge with stop lights on each end.  Across the other side is California.  The black bridge in front is for trains.


P1010584We left the prison and crossed the bridge into California to spend a little more time at The Paradise Casino.  Mondays is 50+ day with $10 in free slot play for anyone over 50.  It was very crowded.  We got our free play and won $12.50 between the two of us.  That covered our $10 admission to the prison.  I think I’m liking this free casino money :)

My thoughts are with our Wisconsin family and friends who are expecting a blizzard today and tomorrow.  Seems like the whole country is experiencing cold or snow.  Our weather is supposed to be cooler for the next few days with highs in the high 50s and lows near freezing.  I know none of you are feeling sorry for us.

Today is our oldest son’s birthday.  So Happy 30th Birthday to Eric.  I remember being in high school and thinking that 30 was really old.  Now I’m the mom of a 30 year old.  Where did the time go?  Eric, we hope you have a great day, snow and all.  We love you and are proud of the man you’ve become!

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!