4 Days to Yuma

I had a crazy idea to wander around the desert for a few days to make this video. It’s been hot, but not as hot as a couple weeks ago, so I headed to the Salton Sea as my first stop.

I’ve been on the West side of the Salton Sea and didn’t find much so I tried the East side this time, much better. I started at this oasis near the North East side, across from the main entrance to the Salton Sea. It was a few miles with some dirt roads, but no problem for the Jeep. The problem was, the parking lot was about 1/4 mile from the actual oasis. With it being around 107 degrees, I wasn’t going to walk any closer so I left.

My next stop was the mud pots, there’s some thermal mud boiling near the South East side of the Salton Sea, the problem is, they now have No Trespassing signs posted so you can’t get close to them.

Strike 2, next stop was Salvation Mountain, but it was getting close to closing time. I hurried over and made it in time, looks like they close the gate at sunset. Interesting place, shot some video and made my way to East Jesus up the street. This place was also interesting, lots of strange art, you can just walk around or ring a bell for a free tour. They have a tip box so I left a couple bucks.

Now it was almost sunset, I was tired from all the heat, so I found a very cheap, and pretty scary, motel in Calexico, right by the Mexico border. It was only $50 with tax, very old, the lobby had a very strong smell of curry, which I was expecting from all of the Tripadvisor reviews I read about the place. It was ok, didn’t get killed, so it was worth the cheap price.

The next morning I found some tacos across the street, they were just ok, I was expecting way better for being almost in Mexico. I went back North a bit to Glamis, there’s some huge sand dunes there, with an overlook. I was the only one there so I flew the DJI Spark a little bit, but it was pretty windy so I couldn’t get it too far out there.

So from here, I didn’t know where to go. I finally decided to go to Yuma, what was there to see, nothing. I ended up going to Freddy’s for a malt while I searched the internet for something to see nearby. I finally decided to go to Los Algodones, across the border in Mexico. It’s also known as Molar City because of the huge number of dentists, there’s also a bunch of optometrists and pharmacies. Lots of American’s cross the border for much cheaper dental and eye work, with mixed reviews from what I read online.

So I first stopped at the Indian Casino near the border, used the restroom since who knows what they would be like in Mexico. Then parked by the border for $6 and walked through the metal turnstile gate into Mexico. First I double checked that I had my passport card and Global Entry cards with me.

I was now in Mexico, just walking around town, taking video, being hassled by every guy standing in front of the dental offices trying to get people to go inside. I took my microphone off the camera so it wouldn’t stand out as much, people were giving me strange looks. I found a good taco place, had some tacos, chips and salsa and a Cherry Fresca. It was now time to get back to the US so I walked back to the border, there was no line at all! From researching online there’s usually a 15 to 90 minute wait depending on the time of day and day of the week.

So now I really had no clue where to go, I was thinking of going to the Organ Pipe Cactus Monument which was almost 3 hours East, but then I’d have a much longer drive home. So I decided to head North for Oatman. I was so tired driving and made it to Kingman for the night.

That night I texted my friend Steve Huff, www.stevehuffphoto.com, and we planned to meet up the next morning at his house near Phoenix. It was a 2.5 hour drive from Kingman, made it there around 10am and we caught up on things, flew the Spark and Mavic, went to a cool lunch spot and got some Boba.

I was so tired and needed to figure out where to go next, so I used my Starwood points and stayed in Phoenix at the Four Points Sheraton. It was close and I could sleep, and it was the nicest hotel since the last 9 nights on this and my Oregon road trip earlier this month. Staying at a nice hotel was so relaxing, no bugs, bad beds, old decor, serial killers, etc.

The next morning I drove to Oatman to find the wild burros, got a root beer float, then left for Barstow. I still wasn’t sure where to go, didn’t want to stay in Needles or Laughlin, not much scenic around there. So I continued to Barstow, got stuck in horrible traffic since a bridge on the East bound 40fwy got washed out so both ways got cut down to 1 lane.

Finally made it to Barstow, got my Del Taco, which doesn’t sound good, but in Barstow the Del Tacos are actually really good. Get the Barstow Taco and Bun Taco, they pack them with meat and cheese, unlike most other Del Tacos in the world.

I then made my way to the Rainbow Basin, but the dirt road had a no trespassing / road closed sign. I turned around and stopped by the Barstow Railroad Museum since it was on the way back, it was closed but you can climb on the trains by the parking lot, there was a family there taking photos of their kids on the trains. So I decided to head home, nothing else to really see in the area. My house isn’t that far away, around two hours, and I waited long enough to miss the Vegas Sunday traffic.

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