Last weekend we traveled to Yuma Arizona for the Traveling Dancers Festival sponsored by the Yuma Square and Round Dance Association. Since we don’t know how long we will be living in Arizona, we are taking advantage of square dance weekends to visit areas of the region that we’ve not been to yet, and Yuma was one of those areas.
We took I-10 north of Tucson to the I-8 junction and then I-8 west to Yuma. Along the way we stopped at a rest stop where there were thousands of volcanic rocks scattered everywhere.
I’m always amazed at how quickly the landscape in Arizona changes from desert to alpine to grasslands to irrigated productive land. The drive on I-8 illustrated this perfectly. We went from saguaro to scrub to these rocks and back to scrub and then, voila! An irrigated valley full of alfalfa and thousands of dairy cows.
The above picture illustrates it beautifully. You can see the desert scrub and barrenness and in the distance, dairy barns. By the time you get to the barns, there’s acre after acre of irrigated alfalfa.
There were several dairies in this valley around Gila Bend. And then mile after mile of desert again until we were much closer to Yuma. Then we could see green off to the right in the distance where the Gila River flowed. Little did we know that Saturday we would spend much of the morning driving around that green area, which we learned was called Dome Valley.
But first, we arrived in Yuma late afternoon, checked in at the motel, found some supper and then got ready to go dancing! The dance was held at the Yuma Civic Center. The callers were great, the dancing floor even better, and we settled in to enjoy a night of plus level dancing. After the second tip, while we were working our way off the floor, I see someone waving and pointing. That’s nothing strange, but they are not usually waving and pointing at us, as we don’t know many Arizona area dancers yet. But they were waving and pointing at us! It was Ed & Helen Raynor, friends from our club back in Alabama, Brindlee Mountain Promenaders. They are now RVing full time and they didn’t know we were in Arizona. It was great reconnected with them and also great to be able to dance with them the rest of the evening, since they are great dancers.
Before the night was done, we had made arrangements to meet for breakfast the next day. And since Ed & Helen had been in Yuma for about a month, they volunteered to show us the local sights. So, watch for tomorrow’s post to hear more about all the fun things we did on Saturday!