We had our morning planned to watch the hot air balloons take off from the West Wetlands Park in Yuma with our friends Debbie & Art. It was an early wake up call for a Saturday morning and we were out the door around 7am. Upon arriving at the park many vehicles were going the opposite direction...what the heck, are we that late? It ended up that the winds were too high for them to fly, thankfully they flew over our complex the day before and Craig got some pics.
Up, up and away
So what do you do at 7:30am on a Saturday morning? Well you head west into California, Picacho State Park to be exact. It's a beautiful park where 18 miles of the 24 mile road is dirt and it offers a diverse landscape from towering mountains to desert. It also has wild burros and big horn sheep, both of which we did not see, most likely due to the fact that the temperatures were hitting around 82'f.
Our first stop was the Valley of Names, a vast area of the park where people write their names, names of loved ones and of the deceased with rock that it local to the area. It's a very cool spot to walk and to read all of the names and dates, Debbie said the earliest she ever saw was from the 1970s.
The Valley of Names
Just a small portion of the valley
Here's Art and Craig - you can see how large the area is
From there we headed over to the camp ground and the picnic area where the mighty Colorado River goes through. Compared to the area further north, the Colorado is calm in this area and it was very low. No activity on the water except for a couple of ducks.
Park patrol boats
Exposed sand dunes on the water
Here's another one which was much larger.
Off we went to find some burros, there was a lot of evidence of them but unfortunately we did not see any. We parked near the end of the park, I think near lookout point and walked the remaining way as the road was becoming too narrow to be able to turn around. The scenery was magnificent with the Colorado River in the far background.
This was the end of the road for us, from here the
road became too narrow to turn around.
A larger canyon where water washed out some of the earth
Amazing scenery with the Colorado River in the background
A bit of a closer look
From there we headed back to Yuma and stopped at a few places along the way to take more pics. It was a great day spent with friends. We had planned to see the hot air balloons last night also and as our luck we were too late, a look on the bright side, we watched some fireworks from our place.
We saw a couple of cactus that had a bloom or two on them.
Debbie told us we need to come back in March to see the desert blooms.
Old fireplace still standing on the foundation of a small cabin
Love the red earth of the desert
Some interesting rock formations - just to your left it
looks like two eyes protruding from the rock
This one looks like a boney hand coming out of the rock
Sunset over a farmer's field in Yuma