Friday, February 26, 2016

On the Road: Laughlin, NV, to Yum, AZ

We’re at Sunset Palms RV Park in Yuma, Arizona. It’s almost 200 miles from our previous location in Laughlin.


We left Laughlin KOA early yesterday morning and crossed the Colorado River into Arizona. We took Arizona 95 south to Needles, California, where we crossed the Colorado River once again. So, within about 20 minutes of leaving, we had been in 3 different states: Nevada, Arizona, and California.


We drove through Needles on old Route 66, where we then took US 95 south. This is a busy highway with numerous commercial trucks and RVs. It is only 2 lanes with no shoulders, and there are no businesses along the way. The scenery is almost identical to what we’ve been experiencing for our entire stay in the Southwest. For the entire 50 miles, there were no passing lanes, and the speed limit is 55 for trucks and RVs while it is 65 for other traffic. For the first 20 miles or so, we had a slow and gradual climb up a slope. After reaching the summit, it is then a gradual slope 30 miles down to Vidal Junction, which is a 4 way stop sign, an inspection station, and 1 or 2 businesses.

We turned east on California 62 for 17 miles where we once again crossed the Colorado River, putting us back into Arizona at Parker. Parker is a busy community which is popular with snow birds and other RVers. It’s a good place to stop for gasoline, food, or other supplies.


But we continued south, now on Arizona 95, another 2 lane highway. It is 37 miles from Parker to Quartzsite, and there are 2 passing lanes on this stretch. Once again, this is a busy highway. As we neared Quartzsite, we began seeing a few saguaro cacti scattered about. Quartzsite is an interesting town. Fewer than 4,000 people live there, but the town is a magnet for RVers. I’m not sure what attracts them, though I’m sure the mild winter climate is a major reason. The town is pretty isolated from metropolitan centers, but that doesn’t seem to matter. RV parks line Arizona 95 on the north. We stopped for gas here, then crossed Interstate 10 and picked up US 95. As we left Quartzsite, we saw RVs parked all in the dessert along the highway on the south side of town.


From Quartzsite, it is 73 miles to where we turned off on the east side of Yuma. Once again we found ourselves on a busy 2 lane road, and we saw only 1 passing lane along this stretch. Much of the time, there is no shoulder on the highway. Nearing Yuma, the Yuma Proving Ground appears on the west side of the road. Gradually, crops appear on both sides of the highway, and then we crossed the Gila River.


There were few places to stop along our 200 mile route, other than the towns indicated above. Also, we did not see a single roadside park even though more than half our route was along a US highway. Much of the route is hilly making passing difficult, so when driving an RV traffic will undoubtedly pile up behind you. But the road surface for almost the entire route is good quality, so the ride is smooth. Also, I've tried ro be clear labeling the highways. There are 2 highways using the same number. One is Arizona 95, which is contained entirely in Arizona. The other is US 95, which passes through California and Arizona. 

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