Saturday, December 1, 2012

Wellton, AZ

Yesterday was a “let’s drive and see what we find” day.  

We decided to go to Wellton, a small town east of Yuma and about 40 miles from where we're staying at the Yuma Proving Ground.  We’d read that it has a lot of RV communities and Jim had researched nearby hiking routes.  So we just wanted to take a look.

About 1800 people live in Wellton year round but the population doubles when the winter snowbirds show up.  The town’s amenities are very basic:  a small grocery store, a Circle K, a school, a thrift store. 
The main event for us was a hiking trail in the nearby Muggins Mountains.  We weren’t prepared to hike -- I was carrying my pink purse (Jim says I have to get a different one; he doesn't think it makes me look I’m prepared for anything except Nordstrom) and wearing my canvas Toms.  And we didn’t have any water.  But we just wanted to find it for “next time.”  

We drove on roads that took us through all sorts of lettuce, broccoli, and other vegetable fields where harvest was in full force. After the paved road we took a rough, hilly, dirt road to the trail head.  Jim was driving;  he watched the road for potholes and cliffs, while I looked ahead in case another vehicle was headed our way on the very narrow road.  I didn't see any cars, but I did see a man walking with hand weights like he was on his daily exercise walk.

Turns out he was a local vegetable farmer (my dad was a farmer, too, but I can’t visualize him walking the back 40 carrying dumb bells - what do you think, Mom?) who had lived in Yuma all his life  Anyway, we walked with Mr. Farmer toward the trail head and got a short history lesson plus some hiking trail tips

Holiday decorations in downtown Wellton, AZ.
Bev on the trail.  Jim made me hide my purse for the photo.
Jim taking a photo of what Mr. Farmer called  Coronation  Peak. He said the conquistadors named it that because it looked like Queen Isabella's crown.  Per Mr. Farmer, the explorers sent the queen a drawing of the peak that is still in possession of Spanish royalty.
Coronation peak as it looks from the lettuce fields.  
I snapped this shot of harvesting equipment as we drove back from the trail head.  
Christmas decorations at the Moore Farm.
The irrigation here continues to fascinate me.  You can see the deep trenches between rows (or in this case between about three rows) that are sometimes completely filled with water. We think this crop might be cotton.

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