Since arriving in Arizona in December, we’ve spent a lot of time just maintaining, maintaining the RV my sister stays in, maintaining relationships with our friends and maintaining our sanity on occasion. Since we left Tucson for over a week in January, I thought I’d better catch you up on something other than the same old, same old.
The bus rally in Quartzsite was great and we spent time catching up with friends. However, we must not have thought it was worth taking pictures because when I looked back, there were none. Most of the appeal of Quartzsite for us, other than looking at buses and renewing friendships, is in the shopping but it involved too much walking for Florence Marie so she missed out on the bargains(??) there.
After the rally we headed to Yuma to visit our friend/cousin Brian Reeve. While the lot is the same, he has a new house since we were there last year. Fortunately, there was still room for Liberty.
We always like to make a trip to Las Algodones, Mexico while we are in the area for eye exams and glasses. This year LeRoy ended up with new glasses but I didn’t. On the way back to Brian’s house, we stopped at the Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park. We had been there before but it was the first time for Florence Marie, just not her first time in a prison. Let me explain that. She was involved in a ministry to prison inmates in the Hutchinson correctional facilities before she moved to Nebraska. However, we couldn’t resist finding out what she’d look like in a prison cell. We think she should probably be assigned to the bottom bunk, what do you think?
The grid in this next picture is in the dark cell where prisoners were placed for punishment. There originally was a metal cage surrounding the grid that was only about 5 feet tall so while Florence Marie might have been able to stand upright, most of the prisoners would not, even if they hadn’t been chained to the floor on the grid.
The prison was advanced enough to be the first one in the state to have a remotely operated gate closing system so that all the cell doors could be closed at the same time. When the prison closed in 1909, the system went to the new prison in Florence which had been recently constructed by none other than the prisoners themselves. Don’t you think they might have been tempted to build in a few escape mechanisms? Just this control is left from the closing system.
One interesting part of the prison is the guard tower, which is built on top of the water storage tank.
A year ago when Florence Marie came to visit, she was having back spasms and so many of the things we took her to see were just a blur. Pain does that to a person! As a result, we will be revisiting several of the sites again in the next month or so. We went to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum a week ago. We hadn’t showed her the aquarium part last year and I find it fascinating. We don’t usually associate an aquarium with desert but this one things that are native to the rivers of the Southwest following the flow of the Colorado River into the Sea of Cortez. The darkened atmosphere isn’t conducive to pictures, though. I tried last year and failed miserably. Our favorite thing at the Desert Museum is the Raptor Free Flight demonstrations each day and this one did not disappoint us.
We had a church dinner today with a mission emphasis and this afternoon we are going to share Super Bowl fun with Ron and Carol Young, along with LeRoy’s chili and crockpot enchiladas. We’ll need a wheelbarrow to roll ourselves home!