American Girl Mines Again

January 31, 2020

Bill, Sue, Steve and I left Fortuna D’Oro at 11:28 am. heading to American Girl Mines on Interstate 8, west of Yuma in Winterhaven, California. This drive takes us about half an hour. We are hooking back up with our Xcaper friends Pam and Ray, they have been here at AGM for the past week. Pam met us on the road in her ATV so we could follow her to our sites. We set up with Bill and Sue beside us. A nice little spot near the road but with views of the mountain. We saw some Military helicopters flying over. We were told this has been a daily occurrence.

Bill, Sue and our trailer, the sky is beautiful!!

February 1 – 4, 2020

On Saturday we headed to El Centro, Costco and Walmart to do some grocery shopping. Bill and Sue joined us. El Centro is about 45 minutes west of us and is a large city with lots of amenities. We are back in time to have happy hour with the gang.

Sunday is Super Bowl Sunday and we all plan on watching the game at Chris and Shannon’s Super C. Pam is our social director and I bring a chili to our pot luck. There is also a football pool that we all participate in. Part of this is a multiple choice questionnaire that you answer to the best of your knowledge. When it comes to football, I have no knowledge at all but do my best. As it turns out I win that part of the pool and $51.00 which is fantastic!!! It was a fun afternoon with lots of food!! Helen and Jeff brought their popcorn machine and made us all bags of popcorn!! Pam and Ray had set up their clam and we all sat around the campfire in the clam in the evening.

Jeff in middle picture making us all popcorn!!

The next few days are overcast very windy days and we hung out in the trailer. Bill and Sue left to head East to San Antonio, Texas because their son and daughter in law are going to hook up with them for a weeks vacation!! We had a few tears and with our good byes!! I am missing them already!!

February 5, 2020

We woke early this morning to another windy, cool day, only 48 degrees. Today we are going into Los Algodones, Mexico to get our teeth cleaned again. We are going to see Shannon and Chris’s dentist. Our appointment is for 9:00 am. Arizona time. Even though we are only 15 minutes from Arizona, we are on California time so we have to remember that. We are taking Mark Alexander with us, he is a fellow Xscaper and has never been into Mexico before. He is a divorcee who is new to full time RVing. He is on his own with his Australian Shepherd mix, Otis. Our cleaning was fantastic and the dentist did a great job this time so we felt we got our moneys worth. Pam and Ray had been to this dentist the day before and I think he was afraid to anything but his best for us. The three of us had a fantastic breakfast of chorizo, potatoes and refried beans at a local Mexican restaurant called El Rancharita’s. It also included a salad and homemade tortillas all for $5.00, it was fantastic.

We arrived back at camp by 11:30 California time. Pam had arranged for us to have an Asian potluck but we put it off until tomorrow because of windy weather. We did have a campfire in the clam after dinner where everyone literally got “clam baked”!! Fun evening!!

February 6, 2020

Today was sunny, mid 70’s and no wind!!! The girls, Pam, Shannon, Helen and I went for a 3 mile walk with the dogs. This has been a daily occurrence for us after coffee hour. Later in the day, Steve, Shannon, Chris and I went for a 7 mile walk to the American Girl Mine. It was a long and great hike. The mine was right through the mountain and you could walk partway down the shaft which was warm and humid. Steve went further than me down the shaft as he is way more adventurous than I am!! Shannon and Chris ventured in as well.

When we got back to camp we got ready for our Asian Potluck. Ray was making his famous Chinese rice and I contributed egg rolls bought at Costco. There was 12 of us and we had a great variety of dishes.

Ray making his famous Chinese Rice, he is also famous for his Mexican breakfast of Chorizo and eggs with homefries and warm tortillas!! We line up for his breakfasts!!

February 7, 2020

Today was another beautiful day. The plan had been for everyone to go into Mexico for breakfast and supplies. We decided not to go and as it turned out Helen and Jeff had left earlier to go into town for supplies but had broken down just outside of camp. Chris and Shannon towed them back to camp as their alternator had broke down. Steve, Dan and Chris helped Jeff remove the alternator which he was replacing the next day. We went into Fry’s for supplies and later had quite a booze up for happy hour. After dinner everyone gathered in the clam and shared funny stories from their lives. We were all feeling pretty good and had a great laugh.

Happy Hour

February 8, 2020

This morning Ray made us his famous breakfast of chorizo, eggs and home fries. It was fantastic. I supplied the home fries which I had cooked in my instant pot.

Steve went for a 3 mile hike from our site to the mountain. He usually hikes the area daily to put steps on his watch. On this hike Steve made a inukshuk.

For dinner we had a potluck steak dinner. Lisa, Dan, Jeff and Mark went for a jeep ride to the mountain of names. While they were gone, we prepped for dinner and we cooked the steaks in my sous vide because their was so many of us. Most of the group hadn’t even seen one before. Ray built a tripod barbecue with real coals for us to do the final cook on our steaks. It smelled fantastic. I made a caesar salad, Pam made grilled vegetables, Shannon made scalloped potatoes. Lisa and Dan and the group came back late but didn’t want to use the sous vide to cook their steak, they preferred to use the grill that Ray had made. There was a mix up in the communication between Pam and Lisa about cooking the steak and Lisa and Dan chose not to eat with us. After dinner we had a huge bomb fire after dinner!! What another great day!!!

February 9, 2020

Pam and Ray are leaving today to get their trailer fixed and Chris and Shannon are moving to the spot that Bill and Sue vacated. It is a little less dusty on our side of the road. Helen did reflexology on my feet today which was relaxing and painful at the same time. She said I grind my teeth and carry lots of stress in my feet. Not surprising!! Steve, Chris, Shannon, Mark and myself went for a 10 mile bike ride to Tumco which is an old gold mining ghost town north of us. There is a gravel road from our trailer that we can ride to get there.


Twenty-five miles from Yuma, Arizona, north of highway 80, is the ghost town of Tumco, California. A track walker whose last name was Hedges, made a find in the early 80s that created some excitement that eventually lured as many as 3000 persons to the site. The town was named Hedges, probably for the reason nobody cared what it was called given the torturous desert summer heat. Water was piped in from the Colorado River. Hedges had all the makings of a boomtown except a hotel. Everyone lived in cabins of wood or stone. When Hedges felt he had made enough money, he sold his holdings to Borden, the condensed milk baron. The new owner operated under the name of The United Mining Company. He renamed the town, taking the initials of the company and coined TUMCO. Borden ceased operations in 1909, thus creating a true ghost town. The most sorrowful scene is that of the cemetery. Over populated for a small town, every grave is unmarked which only adds to the feeling of complete desolation. Submitted by Henry Chenowith.

On Ogilby Road at the West end of American Girl Mine BLM land is a historic marker showing the site of the early plank road. The Old Plank Road as it has been named, is a plank road in Imperial County. It was built in 1915 as an east–west route over the Algodones Dunes. It connected the extreme lower section of South California to Yuma, Arizona and provided the last link in a commercial route between San Diego and Yuma.

February 10, 2020

The girls went for their daily 3 mile walk with the dogs. Pam and Ray left early for Yuma to get their trailer painted. The rain that had been predicted, came in early and stayed all day. We had a lazy day and both Steve and I read. I also crocheted. I am making a Yorkie puppy for my mother for Mother’s Day.

My cute little Yorkie named Corkie!!

February 11, 2020

Today we woke up to high winds again and I did my morning hula hoop in the trailer. The sun was shining so we didn’t have to use the generator like we did yesterday. Chris suggested we go into Yuma for pizza and beer as we all were in the trailer the day before. We went to Da Boyz Pizza and Pasta in Old Downtown Yuma. Chris and Shannon drive because Shannon doesn’t drink and we would have a designated driver. There was going to be 10 of us as Pam and Ray were going to meet us there too. Lisa, Dan, Helen and Jeff met us there as well. Steve and I ordered a 12″ Da Works which was awesome with fried ravioli as an appetiser. I had $2.00 Stella’s and Steve, double and triple IPA’s. We spent most of the afternoon there. On the way back to the trailer, Shannon drove and I sat in the passenger seat with the guys in the back. Shannon was stopping at the exit prior to our turnoff at the Chevron Station to fill up with water. We both had a big laugh when the guys thought we were going the wrong way and started yelling at her to get back on the interstate. In their beer hazed stupor, they forgot she was stopping for water!! We had a good laugh over that!! I hosted a movie night in our trailer to watch Rocket Man and made homemade salsa and guacamole for our appetiser. There was 8 of us in trailer and we had a blast!!

Lunch at Da Boyz Pizza and Pasta, Yuma, Arizona

February 12, 2020

We woke up to a beautiful, calm, sunny morning. No wind and 68 degrees but it feels warmer. Steve and I went for a 2 mile walk with Shannon and Chris. It was a down day and Steve let Helen do reflexology on his feet. Helen and I played Rumikube which she had in her Rig.

February 13, 2020

I was another beautiful, sunny, warm day. Steve, myself, Chris and Shannon took the trailer up to Gold Rush RV Park, which is 5 miles north of us on Ogilby Road to dump and fill our tanks with fresh water. It is a pretty sketchy and rustic park and you can stay the night for $20 which includes all hook ups. There also was a laundry on the site so I got us caught up on laundry. The dryers didn’t work so Steve set me up a drying area at the back of the trailer. The RV Park did have a cool museum with lots of historic items from Tumco and the gold rush days. Lots of rocks too. When we got back to our site, Jeff and Helen had set up their add a room which was nice and big. We had a Mexican pot luck to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary. I made chili nacho’s with homemade salsa and guacamole. After we had a fire with their propane tank. We had lots of laughs!!!

Gold Rush RV Park

Celebrating with a Mexican potluck, Helen and Jeff’s 10th Wedding Anniversary!!

February 14, 2020 Happy Valentines Day!!

For Valentines Day I got Steve a card and Mikes Ikes. He wrote me a beautiful poem. It was a wonderful day and the warm weather was an added bonus. Steve, myself, Chris and Shannon headed into El Centro to stock up on supplies. Chris drove. When we returned to the RV was went for a walk and had a movie night in the evening. Jeff and Helen set up the movie for us and we watched Rocky Horror. Steve and I were the only one’s who had seen it before. At the beginning of March there is a convergence in Casa Grande. We are not going but the group we are presently with are and one of the featured nights is a Rocky Horror night where you dress up. I would love to go but Steve and I are heading further west into the Palm Springs area. We also watched Game Night which was a fun movie. There was 10 of us in the add a room. Shannon made us all chocolate covered strawberries which were delicious and Jeff made popcorn. What a wonderful Valentines and evening!!

February 15, 2020

Another beautiful sunny warm day. We went for a 2 1/2 mile walk with Chris and Shannon. This has been a daily occurrence for us and we are loving it. We saw our first snake, it was small, brown and not a rattler. That was very disappointing to me as my thinking is if I don’t see them, they don’t exist!! Today we just hung around and had another down day. I made bloody caesar’s for happy hour. After dinner we all met in Helen and Jeff’s room for another movie night. We watched Mama Mia which I love!!! We also watched Across the World which is done to Beatles music. It was over the top and very bizarre!! I wouldn’t ever watch it again. There was 10 of us with chips and popcorn.

February 16, 2020

Today is another beautiful day in paradise!!! I worked out with Helen which the two of us have been doing daily!! After lunch, Steve, myself, Shannon and Chris took a drive to the Imperial Sand Dunes in Glamis. This is a holiday weekend and due to the fantastic weather there was lots of ATV’s driving on the sand dunes. It was incredibly busy!!! Lot’s of RV’s and honestly “redneck” people. Chris and Shannon had never been here before so we explored the area and took a walk through their festival.

We we returned to our site we had dinner and got ready for our movie night. Tonight we are watching Ford VS Ferrari. It was a really good movie. Steve made us soft pretzels as an appetiser and they were awesome!!!

February 17, 2020

Another warm and beautiful day at AGM. We went for a walk, exercised and stayed around camp. Steve went for a hike and got some incredible pictures and great views.

February 18, 2020

This morning we decided to head into Los Algodones with Chris and Shannon for breakfast. It was fairly busy in Mexico but we got in and out with small lines and fairly quick. We walked through the markets where the Mexican’s try very hard to sell you something. Shannon was looking for a sweater for her grandchildren. When we returned we had a lazy day. Went for our daily walk with the dogs and after dinner had a campfire at our place.

February 19 – 20, 2020

Great weather with down days. Lots of talk about heading out and our future plans. The group is heading to Casa Grande, Arizona for the convergence and Steve and I are heading to Sam’s in Desert Hot Springs. The plan is we will all hook up again at the beginning of April to go to the Bishop Convergence. We went into Yuma for supplies and gas as it is cheaper in Arizona. After we all had happy hour together and a campfire after dinner at Mitch and Lori’s discussing our plans. It has been a daily occurrence to see Military helicopters fly over our heads which is pretty cool. Incredible sunsets as well!! We are going to miss this area, this group of people as we have got really close and AGM. We have had an incredible month!!!

Thank you American Girl Mines!!! Looking forward to seeing you next year!!!!

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