Yuma, AZ with the Sampsons

Pam and I drove down to Yuma Arizona to visit with Mark and Robin Sampson.

Lunch at Mark’s favorite Mexican Restaurant: La Fonda Mexican Food. Lots of character and good food. Not as spicy as Texas, but very good.

We then visited St. Thomas Mission Church. It is a Catholic mission in Winterhaven, California. It was dedicated in 1923, and its design replicates the Mission Puerto de Purísima Concepción, which once stood on the site.

Next up, the Old Plank Road in the Imperial Dunes (California). A wood plank road built on top of the sand dunes. Amid great fanfare, the first planks were laid on February 14, 1915. For the next two months, a combination of volunteers and paid workers hauled lumber and laid down two parallel plank tracks, each 25″ wide, spiked to wooden cross pieces underneath. The wheel path floated across 6 1/2 miles of shifting sand east of Gray’s Well. Work ended on April 4, 1915. A week later, the ‘Glad Hand Excursion,’ consisting of 25 cars loaded with over 100 riders, gaily traveled the Plank Road and declared it a success.

We finished our mini-tour of Yuma with refreshments at Lutes Casino. The décor is early eclectic, what might be called interesting junk. And it is everywhere. The 12-foot-high walls are plasters with posters, paintings, murals and decals of every description. Over there is a poster of Laurel and Hardy. And there’s Humphrey Bogart. The “Babe” rests his famous bat on his shoulder in another. Suspended from the ceiling is a full-size Signal Gas sign, and another for Western Union. The eye cannot travel one foot without coming to rest on some unique piece of memorabilia. A glance up will reveal the best of all- a raggedy foot crashing through the ceiling. Back on the floor, the patrons are an odd mixture of tourists drink beer and walk around looking at the walls and the regulars.

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  1. mark sampson

    it was a fun day for sure.

    as good a description of lutes as i ever read.


    • Kelly

      Thanks. I stole the description from their website.

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