A to Z April Challenge

During the month of April I will be doing a different spin on my memoir posts. It starts with a song. Each song will be followed by a brief essay that is evoked or inspired by that song. You might want to click on the YouTube link to hear the song as you read the piece I've written. Or you can listen to the song lyrics first and then read. Whichever way you choose, I mostly hope you'll read and leave a comment with your thoughts about my post. Thank you for visiting and please follow the blog if you are not doing so already.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Yuma, Arizona

Downtown Yuma, Arizona (2)Downtown Yuma, Arizona (2) (Photo credit: Ken Lund)

            The day we played Lake Havasu City, Arizona it was hot--one of the hottest days I'd ever experienced. But it was a dry heat as they say.  I don't care what they say, 120 degrees in mid-afternoon is more than I can comfortably deal with when I have to be out in it.

             It was was mid-August and the Magical Land of Oz tour of the World of Fantasy Players was making it's downward swoop of the western states before hitting a few dates in New Mexico and then a month of shows in Texas.  We would be heading to Yuma after our evening show at the Lake Havasu City high school.  In these climes I tried to schedule our travel time at night when it was a bit cooler.

            We killed time in the afternoon checking out the London Bridge.  The bridge had been moved stone by stone from London and reassembled here in Lake Havasu.  We looked at it but it was so hot that was about all we cared to do.  Instead we went to Hussong's Mexican restaurant to eat a leisurely lunch.  The main thing we cared about was the air-conditioning.

           Thankfully the Performing Arts Center at the high school was air-conditioned.  It's a modern facility with an easy load in and a high tech stage and auditorium.   We were there ready to go when they opened the stage door at 3 PM so we could get our equipment unloaded and retreat into the coolness of the auditorium.

            After the show, when darkness had set in, it was cooler than it had been, but still in the low 90s.  The show truck was undoubtedly uncomfortable to ride in, but my van was air-conditioned so that the 150 mile drive to Yuma was not too bad.  Not being a freeway it was a somewhat slow drive on parts of route 95, but the last stretch ran through desolate desert and was unencumbered by traffic.  We arrived in Yuma around 1 AM.   The temperature had cooled down to somewhere in the eighties.

            The next day in Yuma it was hot.  Not as hot as it had been the day before, but it still got up to about 113 degrees Fahrenheit.  When we went out the city was mostly quiet.  I guess people stayed in the air conditioning and came out only when they had to.  I thought about those stories of people cooking eggs on sidewalks.  I wondered if anyone ever ate those eggs.

             Yuma doesn't seem like a place I'd want to live.  Especially in the summertime.  I don't like extreme heat and I have no craving for sidewalk cuisine.   There's nothing calling out to me in Yuma.

            Yet every winter thousands of people descend upon the city in their travel trailers and motor homes.  Snowbirds they're called.  They come from Canada and states up North.  They fill up the vast treeless encampments that were empty stretches of concrete pads baking in the sun when I saw them.  It's not my kind of life but I guess those people like it.

             Passing through Yuma on my way to someplace else like Phoenix or San Diego is okay.  A short stop in Yuma might even be okay.  But I have no desire to be in Yuma under a searing sun, perhaps cooking an egg on a concrete trailer pad where some snowbird will be parking his motor home come December.  That's not something I want to do.

            I wonder if you can cook bacon on those trailer pads?


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welcome to my world of poetry said...

Wonderful write about Yuma, only one more to go.


Sally said...

I agree, Yuma would be far too uncomfortable for me.

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

"I have no craving for sidewalk cuisine." oh, c'mon, it could have been the new entertainment in town! :-))

Good post, interesting to me since I am reading "Yuma Gold" by Steven Law, and my curiosity about Yuma has increased :-)


Lynn Proctor said...

you made me want to cross it off my list!

alisonamazed said...

Whoa! 120 in the shade is scorching!

Wendy said...

I see you're not worried about a bunch of backlash from all your readers who happen to live in Yuma. HA -- another fun/ny little post.

Cheryl Klarich said...

Makes me want to take the first train out of there!

Angela said...

There must be something nice about it for the snowbirds to go there in winter, but summer would be too uncomfortable for me. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Arlee Bird said...

Yvonne - Thank you!

Sally -- I'm not sure which is worse--extreme heat or extreme cold.

Doris -- I'd be willing to give Yuma another chance. I'm sure there would be some interesting things--maybe in the time of year when it's cooler.

Lynn -- All those snowbirds must find something appealing about Yuma.

Alison - Gotta have AC in those temps.

Wendy -- I hope I didn't offend my one reader from Yuma--if that many.

Cheryl -- I wonder if any trains go there anymore?

Angela -- I'm sure I haven't been fair with the city. Maybe I'll return some January or sometime like that.


Susanne Drazic said...

Hi Arlee! Interesting post about Yuma. It is really something when a person can consider the 80 and 90 degree temps as cooler. That is still too hot to me. Thank goodness for air-conditioning!


thespotts said...

Thoroughly enjoyed this post on Yuma. Though I now live in Phoenix, I have not been that far south. Unfortunately, I don't need to go there to experience the searing temps, as Phoenix is as bad as it gets here. Last summer the highest temp I recorded (via car gauge) was 125 degrees. Thankfully that was a peak, and the avg temp that day was only around 115. Good times!

Pam said...

I prefer Sedona, Arizona to Yuma. It is very interesting how one state can have such extremes in temps and topography.

Arlee Bird said...

Susanne -- I like it to stay in the 70s. That's what I like about Los Angeles. Even on the really hot days at least it usually cools down in the evenings. It gets kind of cold sometimes in the winter--50s maybe--yeah, right--real cold. I remember living in Northern Indiana. That could get cold.

Spotts -- 115 degrees? Oh yeah, that's better. I used to go visit my sister in Phoenix and sometimes it would be so darn hot. She finally moved back to Tennessee last fall. Now she'll have to deal with the humidity in summer.

Pam -- I much prefer Sedona for many reasons besides temperature. Sedona is a beautiful place. Though on the positive side for Yuma--they're closer to San Diego for whatever that's worth.


Jessica L. Foster said...

Great post. I agree that dry heat means nothing. Hot is hot. Thanks for sharing.

M. J. Joachim said...

I'm from the Phoenix area, and you're right, it's hot in the desert in the summer! No offense taken, as dry heat or not, oven heat cooks everything, including people.

I remember one of my first summer's here...(I'm a San Fran Bay Area native), knew it was hot, but had no idea it would melt everything in the car...including the CD in the radio. Needless to say, it never worked again, and that abstract art it left behind was completely unappreciated!