Skip to main content

Running Out of Gravity

There is something a little bit funny about the Yuma desert outside my door.  It has a desert pavement, but it is soft and thin.  (My little dog loves running on it, though.)  Nah, it is something else.

Where are the arroyos?  There are only gentle swales a couple feet deep.  And yet bushes and dwarf trees line up along these swales.  Although there is nothing visually entertaining about this, it is fun to consider that this part of the Colorado River system has run out of 'gravity.'  There is only a few feet of altitude between my campsite and the Colorado River.  After that, it loses only a couple feet per mile before it oozes into the Gulf of California. 

A person can camp over so much of the West and spend all of their time in the high-altitude drainages of the Colorado or the Columbia/Snake.  You could say that Yuma is the sister city of Astoria OR or even New Orleans.  Over most of the West, there is plenty of 'gravity.'  But not in Yuma.