Our Snowbird RV Tour – Day 25 – Imperial Dam

Sunset at Senators Wash Reservoir, Colorado River Valley
Sunset at Senators Wash Reservoir, Colorado River Valley
Day 24
After Mike and I attempted an unsuccessful fishing excursion to Squaw Lake, rain began to fall. We not only did not catch any fish we had to row the entire time because my small motor would not start.
Once back at camp I checked out the motor, the trouble appeared to be a clogged fuel filter. With rain falling it was a good opportunity for a trip to town to pick up parts for the outboard, refuel the trucks and refill propane tanks. Yuma propane ranges from $2.20 to $2.70 per gal.
Because of the bad weather, the day ended with indoor games and TV in our trailer. I’m not much for reading so satellite TV comes in handy on long winter nights.
Boondocking in the desert complete with TV Satellite dish.
Boondocking in the desert complete with TV Satellite dish.


Day 25
The day’s plan was a trip to Algodones, Mexico, an hour drive from Senators Wash. Visiting Mexico is always fun, checking out the fascinating products. Mexicans are able to make something attractive out of nothing. Although the quality is sometimes suspect.
 Most people visiting Algodones, Mexico use the large parking lot just north of the border. A short walk and you’re in downtown Mexico. The parking lot is on an Indian Reservation and appears to be managed by the Indians, the cost is $5 per vehicle.
If you plan to take your vehicle into Mexico extra insurance is required.
Thankfully the weather improved to sun and clouds and warmer temperatures. We crossed the border into Algodones late morning, browsed the side streets and stopped for lunch at a place that seemed like the town center.
Lunch was okay, but not the great flavors Lynda and I have come to expect when visiting Mexico. Some of the group were not impressed as well.
After lunch, we decided to head back across the border, pick up the truck and drive through Yuma back to camp.  As we made our way through town to the border we were surprised to see a quarter mile lineup waiting to go through US Customs.


Lunch in Algodones, Mexico
Lunch in Algodones, Mexico
Of course, the Mexicans use this slow moving line as another opportunity to flog their wares. Our group, as well as others in the line, were moved by the young mothers selling trinkets while packing babies and toddlers. Nothing like the sad eyes of a young mother begging for a sale to open one’s wallet.
We crossed back into the US with no issues. Some of the group brought back alcohol and prescription drugs, much cheaper in Mexico.
Dental work is also cheaper, about one-third the cost of US and Canada. Lynda and I have had our dental work done in Algodones for years, but beware of frauds. Make sure you do not wander into a Dental office without some recommendations from a reliable source.
There are many horror stories told about Mexican dentists.
We arrived back at camp in time for a warm campfire and happy hour. The evening cooled off quickly, it will probably take another day or so for the evening air to warm up after the storm.
Day 26
The morning brought more sunshine, but still cool, although sitting in the sun enjoying morning coffee was pleasant.
Our stay at Senators Wash has come to an end, we will begin packing up today. Preparing for an early start the next morning, probably around 8 or 9 am. Even though we have only a 4-hour drive an early departure allows time for stops of interest.
After most of the packing was completed the guys and I decided to take an ATV ride to Ferguson Lake, about 20 miles north on the western side of the Colorado River.
The road to Ferguson Lake winds through sandy colored hills contrasting with deep green vegetation. The effects of the wet spring were obvious bringing lushness to the desert.
Ralph and Mike with Ferguson Lake in the background.
Ralph and Mike with Ferguson Lake in the background.
Despite the recent rains, my followers still endured clouds of dust kicked up by the ATVs.
Ferguson Lake is actually part of the Colorado River as is Martinez Lake on the eastern side of the valley. The gentle sloping valley and the numerous dams produce many lakes and widening of the river.
The Colorado River Valley is a great place for boating, fishing or just enjoying the waterfowl that inhabit this artery of life.
Ralph and Mike with Ferguson Lake in the background.
Ralph and Mike with Ferguson Lake in the background.
The road ends at Ferguson Lake, almost no signs of life in this area except for one house and a deserted rod and gun club lodge. The grasslands and palm trees on the shores of the lake provided a park-like setting for our stop.
The wind picked up as we made our way back to camp.
We spent the rest of the afternoon making final preparations for the morning departure. The only chores left were retracting the trailer slides, raising the stabilizers and hooking up our trailers to our pickups.
We spent happy hour discussing tomorrow’s new adventure and checking our route on the maps. We will head north on highway 95 with Lake Havasu as our destination and a stop in Quartzsite.
Quartzsite is said to host the largest flea market in the world because we are driving through it I suggested a stop to check it out and perhaps spend the night if the town looks interesting.
If we do spend the night there are many free dry camping areas such as Dome Rock within a few minutes drive.
Day 27 Another Adventure
Thursday morning brought more sunshine, cool temperatures, and more wind. The group was up early and ready to leave ahead of schedule.
We pulled our rigs up the hill from the reservoir to the dump station next to the Imperial Dam road. There was no line up so we were able to refill our fresh water tanks, dump and hit the road in short order.
We headed east over the Colorado River, which is more like a large creek because of the demands of irrigation, into Arizona and past the Yuma Proving Grounds. A short drive brought us to highway 95, where we turned north.


Yuma Proving Grounds
Yuma Proving Grounds
The hour drive to Quartzsite was pleasant with light traffic and beautiful sunshine. There are many advantages of traveling in a group, the obvious ones are safety, more fun, but one of the not so obvious advantages is on the road.
For example, when I lead the group my copilot, Lynda, uses the walkie-talkie to notify the group of points of interest, such as wildlife, scenery, or road hazards. We also help each other maneuver through heavy traffic, the couple in the rear can block a lane so the others can move into the lane.
Quartzsite was a bit of a disappointment a virtual ghost town. It appears the first week in March is too late to visit, most of the attractions have long since moved on.  A dozen or so vendors were all that remained most planning to leave soon.
We wandered around for an hour picking up a few trinkets and RV items that caught our eye. Lynda scored, picking up a pair of telescopic wiener sticks for $2 perfect for the RV.
The group met back at the rigs for lunch, needless to say, we decided against staying in Quartzsite for the night, earmark it for a future southern spring trip.
Desert Sunset
Desert Sunset
Check back for my next article ‘boondocking at Lake Havasu’.
If you would like to read about our Snowbird RV Tour from the beginning click this link.

Thanks for visiting.

Gord B.


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