Home Is Where We Park It: Rancho Rialto RV Resort, Yuma
January 3, 2020
Temperature 71 Degrees
We were told we would get bored if we went to Yuma. We were told there was absolutely nothing to do in Yuma. We were told there was maybe one attraction worth visiting. Where they ever wrong.
After today I have enough material for a good weeks worth of blogs. In time I promise to share everything we’ve discovered to date with you. I wish I could do it all as we go along but it takes so much time to sort through all the pictures and digest all that we’ve discovered.
It was another beautiful day with another absolutely stunning sunrise. Breakfast was cheese potatoes, orange juice and a couple of cups of coffee. Just my kind of breakfast and just the king I’m going to have to start cutting back on next week. Till then. . .
Time to get going. Today we were off to yet another state. We would go first through Winterhaven, then to Bard.
I jokingly said to Barbara Let’s find a rest stop and take a nap, then we can put another state sticker on our map. She just laughed. Suffice to say I didn’t get to put California on our state map.
On our way to our destination in Bard we
passed acres and acres of all kinds of lettuce and other leafy vegetables. In the beginning it was only iceberg lettuce that was grown. Now it is a 50/50 mix of iceberg and Romaine. Crops grow in north-south rows to ensure that the amount of sun each row receives is equal. Fields are laser leveled, and satellite and GPS systems are used to lay out the rows.
Throughout the area there are about 30 to 40 thousand workers in the fields daily. Many come from Mexico on a daily basis.
All of this is made possible
by a complex irrigation system that provides water to the fields. The 7 farm operated irrigation districts have the oldest water rights on the Colorado river. Water, however, is becoming scarce leaving a lot of questions about the future of farming in this area.
We also passed numerous
date farms. Though you can’t see it in this picture, each pod of dates on each tree is surrounded by a mesh net. The net keeps the birds from stealing the dates and also prevents them from falling to the ground when they are ripe where they could also be stolen. Medjool dates are one of the most popular – known for their large size, soft texture and rich flavor. Dates have become popular in this area because it has a large amount of sunshine year round and stable, descending air and high pressure – perfect conditions for growing dates.
A few more twists and turns, a few more bumpy roads and
we were at our days’s destination.
Items at the museum are the personal collection of
Johnny Cloud. A long time Bard, California resident who began the collection in 1989. The collection includes cars, trucks, tractors, power tools, hand tools, household equipment, boat engines, wheels, items from local businesses including the old Bard Post Office, plus many more items too numerous to mention. He told me he calls his Museum The Poor Man’s Museum. Indeed, there is nothing fancy about it. However, now having been there I can tell you first hand that the collection is vast, overwhelming, well organized, and incredibly impressive.
As you enter through the front gate
a shrill whistle goes off and Johnny himself comes rumbling up on his ATV.
Once inside you are confronted with this rather interesting sign.
Past the sign you see the yard and you begin to try and comprehend the size of this place.
You also begin to realize that this could quite possibly be the largest collect of Model T trucks. And we’re not even to the back lots or buildings. We came intending to spend a quick 30, maybe 60 minutes here. Yea! I believe we wandered around for a good 2 hours.
Here’s some of the more unusual items I discovered.
This was at one time a runner and was actually someone’s home on wheels.
With that propane tank out in front I definitely would not want to run into the back of anything.
Time to go inside. There’s the refrigerator. Easy enough to grab a cold drink from the front seat.
Only one seat, the drivers. If you wanted to come along as a passenger you brought your own seat from home.
Looking from the front to the bunk room in the back.
There was a kitchen of sorts with a propane stove and oven.
A kitchen sink with running water.
The water closet. I would not want to be sleeping in the bottom bunk with my head at this end!
A second sink across from the toilet.
I do believe it would need a bit of work before someone could move in.
Need to move some mulch or dirt or maybe even snow around your place?
A 1926 truck that cost around $500 new.
I really wonder how much weight this could really haul?
Forget modern hydraulics – you want to dump a load in the bed? Grab that handle and crank it on up.
Need that motorhome towed? Well, maybe not with this. Perhaps a Model T or A.
Now we know its town and state of origin. A little digging on the internet revealed that this is probably a 1920s-30s, Manley antique wrecker tow truck 3 1/2 ton boom crane, made in York Pa. for an old tow truck. The idea it seems for a tow truck originated when a local mechanic named Holes was asked to pull a customers crashed Model T Touring car from a creek. It took him a day and a half using a block and tackle hanging from a tree to get it out.
Afterward, so the story goes, he started thinking about this experience plus other calls he’d had to fix cars with broken axles on the side of the road. Broken axles were common and working on the roadside was dangerous, but necessary. After all, the cars couldn’t be easily moved to a repair shop with their axles snapped.
The story goes that Holmes, who had 13 years’ experience as an auto mechanic, decided he could design and build a machine to make it easier to handle disabled autos. He made a working drawing to get a patent, then took the drawing to local foundries and machine shops to get his “auto crane” built.
The first Holmes wrecker was assembled in the fall of 1917. These machines were essentially small cranes that could be attached to motor vehicles. In 1917, Holmes rigged one up on the chassis of a heavy auto and used it quite successfully around Chattanooga.
See that large handle? It was said that if you let it get away from you and kick back it would break your arm.
One more for tonight from Building One.
That’s it for tonight. More to come in the days ahead. There are so many wonderful, unusual and interesting trucks, cars, tools, bikes and just about everything else here. It is well worth a visit.
Our day on The Road of Retirement is now coming to a close. Once again we had an absolutely fabulous day. Nothing to do around here? Posh! One needs only to open their eyes to all the history, the museums, and everything else that is in this area and they will never be bored.
Thanks again for joining us for our day of adventure. We’re glad you came along. Feel free to leave a comment or two if you want. Catch you tomorrow.
These are the voyages of Graybeard and it’s two intrepid travelers. Our continuing mission: to explore as many new states as possible, to seek out new acquaintances and make new friends, to boldly go where we have never been before
See you on down the road!