I don’t know about Mary but the highlight of my yesterday was getting to see the M016 at Yuma Proving Ground. This dinosaur from the 1960s was tested at the proving ground but never actually used by the Army. What you see in the above photo is merely the tractor. It towed up to ten trailers of similar size through rough terrain at a top speed of 5 mph. One proposal was to power it with a nuclear reactor, thus giving it a theoretically infinite range. The model that was actually tested was diesel powered and got something like .01 MPG which meant that its effective range was greatly reduced by the need to carry all that fuel. The complete unit reminded me of the twenty-mule-team borax wagons in Death Valley.

Where else but Yuma can you see one of these signs?

We’re going on five days in the desert outside of Yuma. There is quite a sizable community of RVers here – in the thousands but they’re spread out so we don’t feel crowded. We have a nice little hilltop all to ourselves. We’ve talked to several of our neighbors and many of them have been coming here for years and years. They arrive in November and don’t leave until April. We haven’t been able to figure out what they do with themselves all winter; apparently nothing. Mary and I need a little more on our plates than nothing. Perhaps it’s our age – we’re youngsters around here. Most of our neighbors are in their seventies.

We are looking forward to the Yuma Air Show at the Marine Corps Air Station this Saturday so we’ll be staying at least until then.



Solar may not be ready for prime time in mainstream America but it is ubiquitous and practical in RV land. This guy powers his trailer, heats his water and bakes his brownies using the sun. It only makes sense if you’re going to spend the entire winter here, year after year. For transients like us, however, it is questionable. It would cost about $2000 to go completely solar-electric and you can power our Honda generator for many, many hours for that kind of money (and it works on cloudy days.)