Friday, February 22, 2013

Fortuna Pond BLM–Yuma AZ

We headed south on Highway 95 to Yuma from the Casita rally site at Dome Rock, west of Quartzsite. We only missed one turn getting to Fortuna Pond, north of town. It’s a fairly popular place, both for RVers & local fisherman. Most everyone parks parallel to the shore as a road goes all the way around the water. Since BLM cleared away the shoreline overgrowth, everyone must park away from the fragile shoreline, plus allowing open access for locals to fish.

We parked at the west (small) end of the pond, backed up against a bunch of trees & underbrush for late afternoon shade. Well, that worked too well as our solar panels sitting on top of the Casita (resting against the back of the awning housing) were shaded also in late afternoon. But we realized at Quartzsite that we can hook up the pickup to the trailer batteries to charge them up since 1) it’s faster & quieter than running our generator, & 2) we haven’t run our generator in a couple of years. But we have a good satellite TV signal & life has been quite pleasant, although it’s pretty much sand everywhere here. I liked Q’s gravel base much better.



Jeff couldn’t resist getting a $47 out-of-state AZ 5-day fishing license (since the water is right outside the door), but he didn’t have much luck catching a fish worth keeping. Guess there’s a good reason it’s called fishing — not catching! But he really enjoyed the chase.

There was also a resident Osprey seen often watching from this tree to our east.


I used the GasBuddy app on my Droid cell fon to find gas for $2.46/gallon instead of the $2.67-$2.69/gallon seen most everywhere else in town. This little place also sells propane for $1.67 — much better than at Quartzsite.

So while we were on the west side of Yuma, we visited the old Yuma Territorial Prison. It’s a beautiful location on a bluff above the Colorado River (close to I-8). It was a prison for 33 years, housing a total of 29 women also during that time (never more than 6 at a time tho). After it closed, it was used as a high school, hospital, & Depression era housing for hobos.




Another day we visited Castle Dome City north of Yuma off Hwy 95 (at the 55 mile marker) — a very well restored, old 33-building mining town. The workkampers staying there running things put on little skits (in period clothing) about some of the more colorful previous residents. I was thinking the mines were dug into the mountain, but no — they were basically just big holes in the ground — albeit some were very deep holes. Lots of silver was dug up there, but lead was specifically mined during WWII.











On the road to Castle Dome, we passed the Eye In The Sky, flown by Immigration to view the valley floor, looking for people walking in the desert. The upcoming government cuts will take this equipment out of commission since it’s maintenance is supposedly very expensive. Newer, more effective methods will be used to patrol the border.


We stopped by the Heritage Museum at the Yuma Proving Grounds that showed how the facility has changed thru the years & all the various types of equipment they’ve tested. Didn’t find anything to photograph tho.

Along Highway 95 returning to Yuma, in the middle of a huge field, is this tiny little church — open to the public (with 6 little 2-person pews inside).


Just around the curve is the Bridge to Nowhere but I couldn’t get much closer to it.


We had a few nice sunrises, but there were too many trees to ever see a sunset.


After a week at Fortuna Pond, we packed up & boogied east to Ajo to see why it’s so popular. Along I-8, we stopped at Dateland AZ & I had my first (& probably last) date shake. I think I’d have like banana better.


  1. Beautiful photos, I feel like I just had a mini-vacation. And folks think living in an RV is tough. Boy, just looking at those prison doors and the inside of the miners' cabins would change your mind.

  2. Thanks for the picts of Castle Dome. I always drive by and have never stopped. Hope you have a good time in Ajo.

  3. Looks like my kind of territory. May have to make another trip to Arizona to cover it. Good pics.

  4. Hey Glenda, great pictures and adventures. You and Jeff have given me some great ideas on places to visit. Safe travels.


  5. You are missing a second snow storm back home. I ran south to get away.

  6. Nice pix.

    Gas was really TWO something??

    Enjoy Ajo!

  7. Some of the photos are missing! I would love to view them.


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