Warning, this is long, with a lot of pictures!
Saturday morning Ed & Helen picked us up and we had breakfast at Cracker Barrel. Everyone had eggs and bacon and biscuits and grits and hearty southern breakfast food, except for me. I had a fruit and yogurt and granola parfait and a blueberry muffin! There has to be one in every crowd, right?
Our tour guides offered to take us wherever we might want to go and I wanted to go to California! I’ve never been to California! And we wanted to see green growing things. So, first stop was the Imperial Date Gardens in Bard, California, where they grow Medjool dates, which is the only variety of date that can be picked fresh and eaten fresh. We had a date shake, which are very popular in the area. It was very tasty, but I’m not sure if it was due to the dates or just due to the fact that I have avoided milkshakes entirely since discovering that I was lactose intolerant. Thanks to lactase enzyme supplements, I am now enjoying more dairy treats.
Dates are grown on palm trees, did you know that? The palm groves were beautiful.
Here’s a date palm that appeared to be growing wild along the roadside, although as valuable as the date palms are, perhaps it wasn’t a date palm but some other variety.
An historical marker along the way:
Yuma is home to the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation. This sign was right below a small dam, which you can see in the following picture.
After leaving the dam area, we entered back into Dome Valley, Arizona. The Yuma area is where the Colorado River meets the Gila River. Before the building of dams on the Colorado River in the early 1900s, the river often overflowed and flooded the river bottom area, which left nutrient rich soil behind. That is the reason that Yuma County Arizona is the third largest producer of winter crops in the nation, with 100% of those crops grown on irrigated land. While traveling through Dome Valley, we saw head lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, leaf lettuce, cabbage, olive trees and many other crops growing.
The same olive trees with mountains in the background.
An irrigation canal across the road from the olive trees.
A field of green lettuce with the mountains as a backdrop. Somehow the green makes the brown mountains seem quite lovely!
Bill trying to decide what make of tractor was on display. I think he decided it was a Fordson.
Up close and in black and white in an effort to dispel the shadows and get a better view of the tractor itself.
Irrigated field next to the tractor in the previous pictures.
A field of head lettuce. I love the contrast of the green and the mountains in the background.
Head lettuce close up. The heads are just beginning to form.
The same field of head lettuce. You can see where the water flows when they irrigate it by the cracks in the dirt where the mud dried.
Helen and Bill resting at Ed & Helen’s RV while we waited for Ed to walk their dog.
Helen & Ed in front of their RV.
After spending several hours touring around, Ed & Helen dropped us off at our motel and we rested up to get ready for an evening of dancing. Three couples from our Sierra Vista Thunder Mountain Twirlers club showed up for Saturday night dancing, so we tried to dance with them as much as possible along with Ed & Helen. Of course, with a huge floor of dancers, it isn’t always possible to get into the square you want before it is filled up by other dancers, but that’s the fun of a big dance. You get to meet new people and sometimes you are pleasantly surprised to meet up with old friends!