What will I miss?

I don’t have the answer, but I know I will miss something.

Saturday we will travel to Yuma, Arizona. I’m interested in why people originally settled there and why people continue to live there.

I’m interested in the real stories, not just statistics. I’ll only be there for a few hours, and the area is full of history beginning in 1542 when Spanish Jesuits endeavored to educate the savages. There is too much history to uncover in such a short time.

When I told my friend, Dave, I was going to Yuma…he related the following story.

“Way back in the 1930’s, my Grandmother was interested in, large property, in or near, Yuma.

 Loaded up, the Buick and made the trip to Yuma.  Had ‘some,’ paved roadway. Drove on the Wooded, Stagecoach, road over the sand dunes, west of Yuma. (Trip took several days).

 When they arrived, in Yuma, youngest Uncle, jumped out of the car, bare foot. Pavement burned his feet, causing blisters.

Consensus (?) was, Yuma, is way too hot.

Next day, started the multi-day trip to LA…

Nearly, had a family history, in Yuma.”


That did it! When I read,


 “Had ‘some,’ paved roadway. Drove on the Wooded, Stagecoach, road over the sand dunes, west of Yuma. (Trip took several days).”

I was hooked.

Dave was talking about a wooden plank road that was built in 1915. Before that time, anyone wanting to travel from San Diego to Phoenix, Arizona had to drive a long northern route.

The most direct route went through the Imperial Sand Dunes. It’s miles of undulating sand dunes waves that rose over 300 feet.

sand dunes300

Ed Fletcher was San Diego’s first road commissioner. He was known as Mr. San Diego. He loved Phoenix and San Diego. When challenged by folks in Los Angeles to see who could drive to Phoenix faster, he quickly accepted.

Ed had a six-and-a-half-mile narrow wood plank road built.

view of road300   It took him nineteen hours to drive from San Diego to Phoenix, Arizona.

That was 100 years ago. The rages of time continue to deteriorate the plank road.

 Imperial plank road300 rotted wood300 Today about 1500 feet remain.

Zipping along at seventy-five miles per hour on Interstate Eight, it is easy to miss.

What will I miss traveling to Yuma tomorrow?

2 thoughts on “What will I miss?

  1. Marilyn Granger

    I read several stories on the plank highway. It seems to me that Desert USA did an article some time back…..maybe a long time back?

    Sent from my iPad



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