"Yuma? What's in Yuma?"
That was the question we were asked. Over.and.over.
That was 23 years ago when we lived in Phoenix. The words that came next were pure irony: "It's hot down there!"
For those uninitiated to our little corner of the country, it is hot here. But it averages something like 2 degrees warmer than Phoenix year around. Oh, and Phoenix is slightly more humid than we are. Oh, and we get more wind because we are in the Colorado River Valley. Oh, and we don't spend hours every week stuck in traffic.
Besides, as one sage former resident told me, "After two years your brain fries and you don't know any better!" Therefore, take the rest of this article with a grain of salt. Or just toast me with a glass of Gatorade.
This desert place has its own beauty. (My brother's wife thinks the trip across the desert from the metropolis of Gila Bend, Arizona is the longest stretch of highway in the world!) You have to love brown to appreciate it, but the desert in bloom is a sight to see. The desert mountains are rugged and grand, even though they are small compared to, say, the Rockies.
Ask anyone who has seen a Big Horn Sheep in the wild or spent a sunset lazily floating along the Colorado in the shade of red sandstone -- this place is beautiful. Put that together with friendly people, beautiful fields of produce and uncrowded streets -- you've got a winning combination that I love to call home.
Someone came from Phoenix not long ago and called Yuma the best-kept secret in Arizona.
Shhhh. Don't tell anybody!