El Centro probably existed when I grew up in San Diego, but I’m sure it wasn’t until the major east-west freeway out of it was named after the town that San Diegans became aware of it. Heading east for Phoenix, we topped off the gas at the first Native American truck stop, and headed to El Centro. Up through ridgeline wind turbines towering over boulder piles scattered along the highway. In one stretch, Imperial and San Diego counties traded border signs six times, and we kept an eye out for what could make each of them care for this arid and isolated area. Something must be happening here, for we saw three new sleek helicopters dangling skyhooks or perched on rock platforms ready for service.
Yuma is 33 miles ahead, and I must have missed seeing the exit to El Centro. I have a feeing that someone from CalTrans probably named the freeway to honor the only thing out here. A few miles further, the road comes to within a half-mile of the U.S. Mexico border, crossing the Rio Grande east of Sand Dunes State Park. Wethe mny who have made the journey across these sands.
We drove all day today, and arrived at Camp Verde, Arizona about 5pm. It's in the middle of the state between Phoenix and Flagstaff. The Distant Drums RV Resort is homebase to a huge collection of enormous RVs, and their owners have been very welcoming. The sunset from the pool deck, as we drank beer and chatted, was spectacular. Would have been better if I'd remembered to bring my camera from the car, but I did find a photo online to show you what it looked like. We were pleased the temperature had dropped to the mid 70's this evening.
Tomorrow, we're aiming to get to somewhere east of Albuquerque. We're hoping the next night we'll be in Arkansas.