The East has Southern Florida, the Mid-west has South Texas, and the West has Yuma. Whenever you watch a national weather forecast, you can be sure there will be a 'hot spot' around Yuma in the very southwest corner of Arizona. According to the visitors guide, Yuma is also recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the sunniest place on earth with 339 bright days a year. That's why we come here for the coldest winter months. The population is about 90,000, but that number probably triples in the winter with the influx of snowbirds.
The town only gets an average of 3.4 inches of rainfall but the Colorado River runs right through Old Town and there are several canals to irrigate the winter crops. Over 90% of the country's winter vegetable crops are grown in this area, with lettuce leading the way. The vivid green fields are a pretty sight in the middle of this dry land.
We're parked with a lot of WIN friends on a piece of BLM land located not too far from shopping, dancing, hiking, whatever. You can see the arid BLM land in the foreground, the line of salt cedar trees along the canal, and the irrigated fields in the background.
Pretty, huh? The only problem is that there is also a landing strip behind those trees which is used by the crop dusters all hours of the night. We're not sure why they only fly at night. We've been told it's because they can only spray when it's calm, but it's also not usually windy during the day. One theory is that there are workers in the field during the day, but I'm not totally sold on that either. Ron and I decided (based on no evidence or research) that it has something to do with dew at night or a problem with evaporation during the day. Sounds as good as anything.
There are a lot of WINs who have property here. Joyce (in the front) is one of them and was nice enough to invite a few friends for a party. I think she invited about five, but word spread among the WIN members. She insisted she was happy to see us all.
One evening we went to experience the Living Christmas Tree. The platforms reach 35 feet high and are covered with 22,500 lights and a choir. You can see the outline of 69 (by our count) singers. They did a nice job, but we felt the taped accompaniment was a bit overpowering. I'm sure it had nothing to do with the fact that we were in the front row.
If you think it doesn't get cold here at night, just look at Judy, JoAnne, Mary Lou, and Kathy.
Another night about 35 of us showed up at Famous Dave's Barbecue. I confess I wasn't expecting much, but the food was really good! Here's our table - Nancy, Ron, Me, Carol, and Andy.
I swear you can tell people who have blogs - we're used to posing. Just look how cute Ted and Mary Ellen look!
If you want to see the rest of the tables, check out Mary Ellen's pictures here.