Monday, April 19, 2010

In Which I Send Greetings from Yuma

Hello from Yuma, the sunniest place on the planet (according to the Guinness Book of World Records). The sun reportedly shines here 90% of the time. The Nerdy Scientist is doing some field work of a most unusual nature for her, a collaboration with 16 others, mostly engineers, but two other scientists are present as well. Yuma was famous as the site of the Yuma Crossing, the shallow point where historically it was possible to cross the Colorado River. It later served as a honeymoon destination for Hollywood stars of the 1930s. Today it is largely inhabited by snowbirds, military, and a small permanent population. And for the next week, Gentle Reader, Mossy herself.

In fact, my hotel window looks out on the Yuma Quatermaster Depot State Historic Park, built at the site of the Army's Quartermaster Depot. This was the point where goods were unloaded from boats that could only navigate up this far on the Colorado, for transportation and dispersal throughout the Territory, but its importance was supplanted when the railroad finally arrived out West. I hope I have time to run over late one afternoon and check the old structure out. An old steam engine sits next to the hotel.

By the by, there is a possibility of some rain here tomorrow. The engineers are all concerned, but I've lived in the desert long enough to believe it when I feel it raining on my head. We shall see if we get to experience that other 10% of Yuma weather. That would be quite ironic and completely in line with the rocky start to the project this morning, but I won't bore you with that. Suffice it to say, engineers and government employees are not the best communicators.

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