Barbara Steinberg visited Yuma, Arizona and came back with a story featuring the Ys of Yuma. This seasoned travel writer notices the details, bringing readers a little closer to the strange, fascinating reality this Arizona desert town lives and breathes. Take the journey with her to Yuma, AZ, and be sure to check out these great goings on in Yuma:
Ocean to Ocean Bridge at Gateway Park – Built in 1915, was the first vehicle bridge across the Colorado River. Prior to the construction of the bridge, cars were ferried across the Colorado River to and from California. This was the last barrier for cars to drive from coast-to-coast – hence the Ocean to Ocean name.
Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park – An army supply depot built in the 1860s to help protect the river crossing is today part of the Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park. Original adobe buildings hold old maps, telegraph equipment and antique trucks, while a 1907 steam locomotive and passenger car sit outside. (Arizona Visitors Guide)
Roxaboxen Park – This unique Park memorializes the beloved and internationally known children’s story entitled “Roxaboxen” by author Alice McLerran (now published in 7 languages). This true story is based on the adventures of the author’s mother and fellow Roxaboxenites as they grew up in Yuma in the early part of the last century. These children created the make-believe town of “Roxaboxen” from rocks, boxes, and lots of imagination. Even today, you can find neighborhood children making little rock and box houses with imagination as their only mortar. (City of Yuma)
Endurance Flight – Yuma is said to have the Best Flying Weather as witnessed by the Endurance Flight of 1948. A 640-acre field was the site of the Yuma Army Air Base during World War II. Here pilots were trained on AT-6 single engines, T-17 multi-engines and the B-17 Flying Fortress. After the war ended the base was closed. In 1949, in an effort to persuade government officials to re-open the air base, Bob Woodhouse & Woody Jongeward set the world record Endurance Flight. The duo flew a 1948 Aeronca Sedan, named the City of Yuma, continuously for 1,124 hours from Aug. 24 to Oct. 10. The purpose of the record-setting flight was to draw attention to how good the flying weather is in Yuma, and to persuade government officials to reopen the air base. The base re-opened the base was reopened in 1950 as Yuma Air Base and later renamed Vincent Air Force Base in memory of Brig. Gen. Clinton D. Vincent. In 1959 it became the newly designated Marine Corps Auxiliary Air Station, as it remains today.
Midnight at the Oasis – Premier Classic Car Show and Nostalgia Festival, features 900 of the finest classic cars – everything from Model Ts to Muscle Cars, pre-1972. Lots of regional food, carnival rides, and parade of classic cars. March 6-8, 2009
Yuma Birding & Nature Festival – Celebrates the diversity of the Lower Colorado River with field trips and educational seminars. In 2009, explore the new East Wetlands restoration project. The festival will be held at the new Hilton Garden Inn Yuma & Riverfront Conference Center at Pivot Point a great location to take advantage of the West Wetlands and Gateway Park for crack-of-dawn birding. April 15-19, 2009