Writing Prompts

Surprises Await in the Desert

You won’t believe what we found hidden in the desert mountains north of the Yuma Proving Grounds!

Dave posing in front of this tank at the open-air museum.

But first, we stopped by the Yuma Open-air Museum near the Army base and proving grounds. This is where we keep hearing the booms coming from at all hours of the day and night.

Me in front of a different tank.

Now let’s get to the real surprise. It almost took my breath away when I saw the color of the water in this beautiful lake.

Look how clear the water is!

We stopped for a very windy selfie with the lake as a backdrop.

The color looks pretty but our photos didn’t capture how blue-green it really was.

I literally had to hold onto my hat as I walked out on the sides of the boat launch to take pictures. We had the dogs and the further out we went, the more unstable the platform was, so we turned back. We drove around the dam and took multiple pictures, but I can’t find the gallery block anymore, so that’s why I’m adding the pics separately. The wind blew dust so badly it made brown clouds in the sky. From the lake we drove up to the Senators Wash and the Quail hill BLM Camping Spot. It only costs $80 a month to stay here, and it’s actually right on the border of Yuma and California. Rocks covered every surface, and in the summer, there would be dangerous animals and insects to watch out for, but there’s a certain allure to camping in a spot like this. Freedom to roam wherever you please (and can access), picking up rocks as you please, traversing the rugged mountains and enjoying those beautiful blue-green waters of the nearby lakes, make this area one to consider for a month or so next year.

The lake surrounded by beautiful and rugged mountains.

Ducks wading, sunlight glimmering on the clear water. There’s the platform we walked out on.
Another RV park is lakeside.
Palm trees, mountains, water, what’s not to like?
The water is a deeper blue-green as you view it from the top of the hill.
My phone finally captured the true color of the water in this pic. Dave took the other, more aqua looking photos.
The mountains take on a different look out here, reds, rusts, and browns in layers and formations that look more like dunes in spots.
A rock hound’s dream as far as the eyes can see. I needed an hour, just an hour, but another time.
See all the campers on the horizon with the mountains in the background?
Getting closer to the entrance of the camping spot as we return from exploring the area a little bit.

It would take days, maybe weeks to explore this entire area. There are plenty of hiking trails all through the mountains, and fun for people with side-by-sides and Jeeps to traverse the mountains, but rocky and steep in spots.

We let the dogs out for a drink and a quick walk around. Not too far though, there was some broken glass scattered among the rocks in a few places. Rude people! 😡
Another surprise is to see the fields and fields of lettuce and celery growing farms just outside the rocky, arid place we just left. I’m not sure what other greens are grown here, but I’m sure we saw some cauliflower fields too. Believe it or not, these crops are still harvested by hand! There is a tractor that they follow behind, separating the lettuce and tossing it in to workers that load it into boxes.

We saw this in action and then the huge trucks packed with filled and wrapped boxes ready to ship to market. It’s all fascinating to me, as are the mountains, rocks, cactus and wildlife of the desert. I find it beautiful, but a man we talked to said this is nothing compared to what we will see in Sedona! I can’t wait to get there next month!

On the way back to Wellton, the windy day had resulted in skies so dusty you literally could not see the mountains in front of you! I snapped the picture too soon, had i waited, you’d have seen the proof. I think I still have dust in my mouth. Now I know why the cowboys of old wore those bandanas over their noses and mouths. Can I make it a month in this harsh environment? I guess you’ll have to stay tuned to see if we come back next year to camp in that rocky spot. ☺️

I really enjoyed finding the oasis in the desert. I hear there are many more, I hope we get to see them!