Saturday, April 10, 2010

Yuma, YPG and life in the desert: part three

My sister and brother-out-law scouted a few things to visit before we came and all made for a fun day. A trip through the desert to a silver mining ghost town was made even nicer with blooming wildflowers along the way. That and the air conditioning on the dusty road. The weather was just beautiful and my sister offered to sit with our doggy outside in a sheltered picnic area so we could tour the ghost town. We'd packed our lunch for later and when done poking around the town enjoyed a pleasant picnic.

The Castle Dome Ghost town was an odd collection of weathered original buildings brought together to make appear as a town. The collection of items found in these building was worth the trip. Old everyday items become museum pieces after they've been in the elements and walking through this town gave you quite a good idea of life of a miner in this harsh climate. It wasn't even hot, only in the low 80s, and it seemed unbearable. I can only imaging trying to exist in 125 degree days. The perfect thing about this museum was the ability to handle everything. Paging through a cookbook in one of the houses was charming.

It might be unnecessary to say they lived simply but there was a completeness about what was left behind. The buildings housed a variety of different business opportunities; a bar or three, a mercantile, where you could buy almost everything from dynamite to dresses, hotel, and a few eating establishments, there was even a church and a dressmaker. An information plaque made it known that women had more than one job in this mining town.

On one of our drives we did come upon quite a site; military training for paratroopers. Nothing like young men falling from the sky to brighten your day. Past there was a dingy little town that supports a small lake on the Colorado. Calling it a lake is generous since I think I could swim the length. Oddly, not far from the lake were about seven beautiful mansions. Some on the water but most not. These huge houses and compounds were not old at all, most likely built in the last few years, but it strikes you as out of place to find them here. You are literally miles from anything else and Yuma, more than an hour away down a filling jarring dirt road, where you'd likely have any civilization such as a doctor, would be the closest town. I so wanted to knock on the door and ask them what made them decide this was the place to plunk down a mil or two on a house.

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