brokeboater

Yuma

Moving day, with a twist.  Itís Friday, but we donít have any major cities to go through, and I want to get moving with my dental work in Mexico.  We, Buddy and I, take a nice sunrise walk in the desert.  We find a trail that goes to the big conveyor belt called I-10, and then a black pile of rocks sticking out from the desert floor.  Back to dump the tanks.  After dumping the tanks I go back and set back up in the site so I can replace the electric dump valve we chased all over Phoenix to replace.  We were the first up in the park, as usual, but with so many chores, we were the last to leave.

The trip to Yuma was supposed to be an uneventful 200-mile trek but we added another 50 miles by missing an obvious exit.  The desert temperatures were breaking 100 so I was checking on the cat about every 45 minutes.  Each time I checked on her she seemed intent on getting out the door.  Since Nipper was determined to get out, I decided to put her in the truck with us.  It was a decision I would regret later.

Yuma.  Weíd driven 2,500 miles to find the ultimate RV hell.  Yuma, on first impression, was like most US urban sprawl.  The same 20 national food chains repeated every 5 miles.  Ditto big box stores.  The space in-between was filled by RV lots for winter visitors.  Walled compounds consisting of a couple hundred 20íX 50í lots, each with itís own token plant, the rest either paved or graveled over.  Shade of any type was just not in the mix.

So we arrive Friday afternoon, trying to find our little 20í X 50í piece of heaven.  We were following a hand drawn map given to us by a good Samaritan in Picacho Peak.  In hind sight the map made perfect sense, in real time with pissed off commuters zipping around us, it didnít.  We pulled off the access road as much as possible to try and make sense out of the map and what we were seeing, and thatís when the cat decided to show her ass.  It appears she could crawl under the driverís seat and wedge herself under the pedals, but was just waiting for the right time to show us.  Now, apparently, was the right time.  I grabbed her by the first piece of fur my hand hit and deposited her into the passenger foot well for Donna to deal with.  Each RV park is completely walled in with one access drive open, somewhere in the four sides, you just have to figure out where.  We found ďourĒ RV park and just needed to figure out how to get in.  The cat was not happy and was drawing blood on Donna legs to make her point, but Donna held her ground.   We finally find the office and I roll out of the truck to check in, then I get a dose of what 103 degree temperatures feel like in a massive black top parking lot.  RV hell indeed.  But we were on a mission and this was just part of it.

We find our spot in the park and set up for the long haul.  My backing of the RV still sucks.  I donít think I need to include truck driver in my future employment options list.  My appointment at the dentist I chose was for Monday.  Somehow we need to figure out how to make it three days here.  Saturday was supposed to be cooler but it still hit 102.  Saturday consisted of a sunrise dog walk, hunker down in the RV until lunch, nap, hunker down in the RV until the sunset dog walk, dinner, bed.  Facing a week to ten days of this was a dismal proposition.  I limited my focus to making it until Monday.

Sunday was more of the same, but finally a bit cooler, high 90ís.  We threw in a trip to the American flea market to help waste the day. Itís probably been 15 years since my last flea market appearance, but I was looking forward to this diversion.   Anything to help burn a day was something worth doing.

Monday, finally.  A lone trip to Mexico.  One parks in an Indian reservation next to the border crossing into Los Algodones, Mexico.  We later leaned this translates into cotton field.  Fairly easy proposition, follow the herd.  At first the town seems confusing but one quickly learns everything happens within two blocks of the crossing.   If you reach deserted streets with closed up shops, youíve gone too far.  My dentist is at the edge of the fray, small, clean, polite.  I get a cleaning, exam, and an appointment for the next day to start the work.  Easy enough, so far.

Tuesday, 9:00 AM, the dentist starts on the fairly extensive list of cosmetic repairs we have scheduled.  Crowns are scheduled to take a week to make so I schedule another appointment.  Iím back on the streets with my temporaries by 1:00 PM.  When I get back to the RV, parked in hell, Donna tells me I look like some dog in a commercial with dentures.  Itís a vision I have to live with for another week now.  I alternate that vision with worrying about becoming a victim of botched Mexican dentistry. 

Now we had another week to burn in Yuma.  A few more trips to the flea market.  Weíd since found the Mexican flea market which added a bit of flavor to the mix.  The days became cooler.  The people in the park were very friendly and that helped.  It was interesting to watch the flow of snow birds.  Apparently we arrived right at the end of the season.  The park was probably 90% full when we arrived and 30% full by the time we left.  I canít help but think fuel prices will end this seasonal influx. 

We started making regular morning trips to Mexico for shopping.  My prescriptions were $200 for a three month supply as compared to $700 in the US.  One can only bring in a three month supply at a time so several trips were required.  A little booze, one liter per trip allowed.  Boots, hat, jewelry for Donna, plus whatever she bought and didnít tell me.  A new pair of glasses.  Donna suggested a hearing aid, but I didnít hear her.  One cool day we left the dog alone in the truck while we went in for shrimp tacos and a beer. 

All in all the Mexican experience was a good one.  Most of the people are very friendly.  There are a few overly aggressive vendors, but they are the exception.   

Tuesday finally arrives.  When I get to the dentist Iím informed that they want to fit the crowns first, then send them back to the lab for adjustments and will finish the job on Friday.  Iím not happy, but I donítí show it.  Anything is fine as long as the work is done right.  After a bit of fitting and grinding, the dentist informs me the adjustments were minor and the lab will have them back in a hour and a half, we get to finish today.  After some serious gum torture Iím back out on the streets by 1:00 PM.  I was told todayís procedure was going to be painless but painless it was not.  My gums were on fire, but I was finished and we were leaving Yuma in the morning.   Oh, and Iím exceedingly happy with the results. 

Photos: Yuma, dog walk, cowgirl, Los Algodones