Boondocking or dispersed camping is the practice of setting up your RV in unmarked sites and unimproved areas usually BLM land. BLM is the largest landowner in the West and much of this federal land is desert. When boondocking there are a few RV neighbors usually at least 100 yards away. There are no hookups of any kind. It is a very quiet peaceful lifestyle for those of us who find places like Yuma in January to be far too crowded and frantic. And did we mention that it is absolutely FREE!
We stayed off Ogilby Rd North of I-8, 15 miles west of Yuma AZ. The site we picked was a short drive down Sidewinder Rd where we could park and watch trains on the Sunset Route of the Union Pacific RR. There was a grade crossing about a mile away so we were serenaded by train horns day and night. Not too loud, just comforting. A short drive from our site was the ghost town of Hedges or Tumco. It was a briefly succesfull town around the beginning of the 20th century. Today the remains of the town are protected by the BLM and a great place to hike.
A surprising aspect of staying near Yuma was the popularity of dentists and opticians in the border town of Algodones. For months we had heard of friends planning to take care of teeth cleaning and repairs at bargain prices in Mexico. Top quality work at Mexican economy prices. We thought, why not check it out! We were able to get our teeth cleaned for $25 each. While it was a quick cleaning and not of periodontal quality, it was good. Equivalent to a $75+ Florida cleaning. We then shopped sunglasses and bought a pair of transition aviator style glasses for $190. We also ran into friends we had worked with at amazon.com at a good inexpensive restaurant.
Yuma also offered a winter vegetable bonanza. Lettuces, kale, cabbage, peppers and tomatoes were abundant at the local farmers market in January. We also discovered Pappardelle Pasta which is awesome and available at many markets. We had a quesadilla and a date shake at a farm stand which reminded us so much of Homestead Florida.
After the initial shock of our arrival in Yuma, we adapted and had a very good experience.