Tuesday, March 8, 2011

THE Trip, Gift Day, Part One

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

One of the last days we were in the Yuma Arizona area we went for a ride, at the end of the day, I posted to Facebook:

"Start out for point A, determine point A is not gonna happen in our life time in Big Butt. Retreat, head to ???? where ever ???? Interesting day, VERDYYYYY interesting. A gift day!"

This is the story of the gift day.

We intended on driving to Picacho State Recreation Area. You will note the California State Parks page mentions the long drive in, 24 miles, only the first 6 or so of which is paved.  OK, dirt roads, not a problem, our stick built home is on a dirt road (gravel, dirt, NOT paved, eh?).  Big Butt can do dirt roads.  You will also note the Parks page states, a "dirt road that is passable for cars and vehicles with trailers and motorhomes".  OK, 18 miles is a hike, but, we have driven further than that with dirt roads and Big Butt.  Big Butt can do that.  One of the brochures/handouts we gathered during our stay in the Yuma area said, "rough road".  Rough, indeed, that is getting closer to the conditions we experienced.  Well, you know, from my Facebook post that Big Butt and these two humans did not make it.  The road conditions were worse than rough, they were, for us, impossible.  We drove 1 to 2 miles, took us well over 15 minutes. The "washboard" was the worst we can remember.  The ride was horrible, and we gave up any hope of doing another 18 miles.  The thought of trying to get a trailer or motorhome back there is ludicrous.

So, we turned around and went in search of other sights to see, new experiences to try.

First stop, a local date and orange farmer's store outlet.  Figs and blood oranges.  Neither of us are fig lovers, but, the blood oranges were outta this world.  Low acid, not overly sweet.  YUM.  Kicking ourselves for not purchasing more than we did.  They are called blood oranges because when you cut them they have some dark reddish areas, each orange is different when cut.  Pretty and delish - - - winner!

Back in Big Butt we followed 24 east and north, east and north.  We pulled over when we saw this sign, and initially were not going to go in, but the proprietor, Johnny Cloud, sweet talked us, and well over an hour later, we left, delighted we had stopped, and stayed.  What a fun place.

There is an unofficial web page here.  There are a lot of great photos, plus a map and a short history.  Here are some of my photos:

It's a Ford.
Panoramic, click on the image, the larger version is a bit better.
Panoramics are fun, but don't translate well to this format.
They are somewhere between 52 and 68 inches wide, if you
would print right out of the Sony. (As if!  LOL)
Johnny says all of his vehicles run, all were driven into the museum.
Just a few of the almost 400 spoked wheels Johnnie has.

Every where you look, more spoked wheels,
even looking out of the window of one of the buildings.

Johnny does the mechanical restoration, has the painting done in Mexico.
Johnny has collections that include household items, stoves, corn bread iron cookers, childrens riding toys, an old baby pram, old children's toys, old banks (remember the pig we filled with coins that would have to be broken if you wanted to cash out?), and some relics from our son's childhoods:

You could spend hours at Johnny Cloud's museum, he has treasures tucked in here and there.  I have saved a few photos of my favorite vehicles for future posts, wait till you see!

After leaving the Cloud Museum we drove along discovering, Imperial Dam, Yuma Proving Grounds, and watched lettuce and cabbage being harvested.  More on this part of our day in future posts.


Renate said...

I'm really enjoying the trip! Thanks for taking us along. :)


Michelle Goodrum said...

I love the photo of the spoked wheels. Then I got to the picture of the old cars in mint condition. Took my breath away.

You find the most bizarre, er, interesting places to stop!

Joan said...

Blood oranges and the Cloud Museum are much more fun than a washboardy ole rode. I was getting jostled just reading about it. Thanks