We travelled to Tucson on November 28th and stayed at Western Way RV Park for 7 nights. This is a small park with a great pool, and we had a nice view of the mountains from the RV.
We visited the Pima Air and Space Museum on the 30th. It's dog-friendly, so Myah tagged along too. We spent a few hours touring this massive facility that houses over 400 historic aircraft from all over the world. They tout themselves as being one of the largest non-government funded aviation and space museum in the world.
Scroll to see more pics of the museum
We drove to Mount Lemmon on December 1st. The mountain has a summit elevation of 9159'. The temperature dropped about 30 degrees as drove the 27-mile Scenic Byway through the Santa Catalina Mountains. It can snow at the top, and there is a ski resort called Sky Valley. They also offers a 30 minute Sky Ride during non-snowy times of the year to take you up the slopes.
We hiked a trail at the summit to discover some beautiful views and later enjoyed a huge cookie, hot out of the oven, at the Cookie Cabin in the town of Summerhaven.
On December 3rd, we made a quick stop at the San Xavier Del Bec Mission about 9 miles south of downtown Tucson. According to their website, it is the oldest intact European structure in Arizona. The construction of the mission was completed in 1797 and is still an active Catholic church. It was undergoing some renovations during our time there.
We left Tucson on December 5th and drove 3.5 hours to Araby Acres RV Resort in Yuma for a 14-night stay. We were assigned a site adjacent to the pool and hot tub. The weather was great during our stay, and we took advantage of having the pool and hot tub right outside our door!
One of the top attractions in Yuma is the Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park. We toured this living museum with hundreds of interesting artifacts from the inmates, guards, and the wardens who were incarcerated or ran the prison throughout the years. We found it very interesting and a little unnerving to see that each small cell held a total of 6 inmates. The really bad inmates were sent to the "Dark Cell". As the name implies, it is merely a cave-like hole with the only light coming from a small pipe in the ceiling.
Hike in the Fortuna Foothills
Another popular attraction in Yuma is a visit to a date farm. Apparently, Yuma provides the perfect weather and soil conditions to grow dates. We signed up for a tour at Martha's Gardens where we learned everything you need to know about how dates are grown, including how the date palm trees originally came to Yuma from Morocco. They described the labor-intensive pollination process as well as the harvesting and packaging of these prized Medjool dates which, according to their website, have been referred to as "the most famous date in the world".
Day Trip to Mexico
Los Algodones is a Mexican border town 21 miles from the RV resort. This town is well-known for inexpensive, but high quality dental, medical, and optical services as well as cheap access to pharmaceuticals. It is also known as "Molar City" because there are over 350 dentists practicing in Los Algodones today, and all within ten minutes walking distance from the border. The prices of common dental procedures are 70-75% less here than in the U.S.
After doing research and talking to people who have gone there for dental work, we decided to take a trip to Los Algodones to get our teeth cleaned. I made an appointment at a clinic that seemed reputable; however, after crossing the border, we were barraged by several dental clinic "representatives" who offered to help us with our dental needs. I wasn't able to use my phone right away and was having difficulty locating the clinic. When someone offered to "help", he explained he could offer a better price on a cleaning and we could get in right away. So, instead of paying $30 for a cleaning, we only paid $15. Who knew you could haggle for dental care? Pat and I both felt as if we had a thorough cleaning in a clean, safe environment.
Going over the border and back to the U.S. was such a breeze and so close to the RV park, we went back to Los Algodones another time for an authentic Mexican lunch at Molcas Taco. They don't have a website or even a menu (food choices are listed on the walls). It was a tasty meal and for only $18, we had our fill, including 2 beers for Pat!
We really enjoyed our month and a half stay in Arizona. From the blue skies, bright sunshine, mountainous views, and endless hiking trails, we will miss the "Grand Canyon State" until the next time we roll through this beautiful area.