Thursday, March 15, 2012

Yuma’s Riverside Parks

034(Jan) Yuma has done a marvelous job of creating several parks and wetlands areas downtown along the Colorado River. We took the opportunity to ride our bikes along the bike trail from the Eastern Wetlands area, through Gateway, Yuma Crossings and the West Wetlands over to Joe Henry Memorial Park. This is a very nice, paved walking/bike trail though some beautiful riverside areas. 043Day one took us out along the canal to the Joe Henry Memorial Park where we remembered having a Moore family picnic some 10 years earlier with Gale & Joanne and Jackie & Butch. We road back through the West Wetlands area where the Colorado River Crossing hot air Balloon launch is held each November. This extensive park included an exhibit on the Army of the West, a Hummingbird Garden, a Solar Garden, Frisbee Golf area and a huge Castle Playground for children.

055Chuck at the bridge leading into the Army of the West display. The Army unit, known as the Mormon Battalion, crossed the Colorado River near here. 036The Army of the West paved the way for future generations when they blazed a 2,000 mile trail in 1847 from Council Bluffs, Iowa to San Diego, California. The march to secure the western border during the Mexican American War is the longest sustained march in US military history. 048
082We stopped at a small lake to watch people fishing and sailing an remote controlled sail boat. 066Above is the Solar Garden and the Hummingbird Garden is at the right. 076

114108Day two found us exploring the Gateway area near the Ocean-to Ocean highway and railroad bridges, the sleek construction of Interstate 8 and on to the Yuma Crossing State Historic Park. Built in 1915, the Ocean to Ocean bridge, pictured below, was the first and only vehicular bridge over the Colorado River for 1200 miles for decades.

112 106Interstate 8 looking west at left and east at right. The Ocean to Ocean Hwy and Rail bridges above with Saint Thomas Indian Mission in the background. 092
136A $700,000 Cotton Picker, above and a Historic Steam engine, right 148The area near the Hilton Hotel downtown with storyboards of Yuma’s early history. 142

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Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park, site of the Yuma Quartermaster Depot, was used by the US Army to store and distribute supplies for all the military posts in Arizona, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and Texas. A six month supply of clothing, food, ammunition, and other goods was kept at the depot at all times. The supplies were brought from California by ocean vessels traveling around the Baja Peninsula to Port Isabel near the mouth of the Colorado River. There, cargos were transferred to river steamers and brought upstream to Yuma. Today at the park you can visit the Officer’s Quarters & Kitchen, Storehouse, Corral House and the Office of the Depot Quartermaster.

We had just missed the city’s annual Lettuce Festival so some of the remaining Ag Equipment Displays were still on the grounds including a huge new Case IH Cotton Picker. We’ll get that event on our calendar for next year!

1 comment:

Diane said...

Great blog....never did those trails but are now on our list for next season. Travel safe, my friends, and hope to see you then. Lots of hugs, Diane and Andy

 
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