Saturday, November 19, 2016

Traveling Across Arizona: Yuma

Leaving out of San Diego on Interstate 8 East, we experienced a most interesting and unique drive with ever-changing landscapes.  The Interstate makes a 4000 foot climb and then traverses land so rocky that it appeared to look like the moon.

Soon the land changed to look desert-like with sand, more rocks and various types of cactus.

As we approached the city of Yuma, the landscape changed one again.  We saw fields and fields of spinach and other leafy greens sprawling out in all directions.

We only spent 2 days in Yuma but we did manage to get to one unusual place..
Lutes Casino Restaurant.  We stopped at the door, not sure what this place was all about and wondered whether we should enter.  A nice lady came up to us and politely said " Just remember, when you go in, you have to be in a Lutes-state-of-mind."  Well now..what else can we do, why we must go in to experience the Lutes Casino.

The restaurant was filled with all kinds of eclectic wall decor, something unusual and weird at every turn.  We're not sure why it's called a casino, we never saw any slot machines or poker tables. We ordered those famous hamburgers too.

Afterward, we drove over to the Yuma Territorial Prison.  Built in 1876 by the prison inmates themselves, it had some of the more modern conveniences such as electric lights, a ventilation system for the cell blocks and a "public" library for the inmates.
This guard lookout tower was reconstructed on the original prison water supply.

Each cell held 6 people, they slept on 2 triple layered bunk beds.

 The museum on site was very interesting, telling the story of the hard time the 3,069 prisoners spent here. The last prisoners left in 1909 and the structures were almost lost to disrepair and vandalism.  Through community efforts and fundraising, the town of Yuma has restored portions of the property for future generations to understand the historical importance of this prison. There were a few movies also filmed on this site.

After a couple of days in Yuma, we eased on down the road to Tuscan, Arizona.

1 comment:

  1. Must be warm there, ron is wearing shorts. Here it is 63 degrees and breezy, a nice change from all of the heat. I am drinking a cup of spiced hot cider while writing this and looking forward to seeing all of you. Have a safe travel in Arizona and all the way to North Carolina for the holidays.