Louise Speaks: As part of our journey, you may have noticed that we are trying to visit all the county seats of Arizona. In Arizona there are 15 counties and as we travel through the state we make it a point to visit the county seats. This trip we just wanted to get away and spend some winter time someplace warm so we decided to head south to Yuma.
We are going to have to come back to this booming town to see the actual attractions like the Territorial Prison. This trip was to visit the county seat of Yuma County which just happens to be in the city of Yuma. Yuma is located in the southwestern corner of the state. It borders Mexico to the south and California to the West. The population of the city was 93,064 in 2010, up from 77,515 in 2000. More than 85,000 retirees make Yuma their winter residence. We are here in December, and I feel like that number is low because every license plate in the RV park is from a different state or Canada.
One of the reasons there are so many people here this time of the year is the weather. Yuma is noted for its weather extremes. Of any populated place in the United States, Yuma is the driest, the sunniest, and the least humid. It also has the lowest frequency of precipitation and has the highest number of days per year, 175, with a daily maximum temperature of 90 °F or higher. This makes for extremely hot summers and very warm winters. The sun is said to shine during about 90 % of the daylight hours, probably making Yuma the sunniest place in the US. On July 28, 1995, Yuma reached its all-time high of 124 °F…that’s why we are here in December.
Yuma County was one of four original Arizona Counties. The original county seat was the city of La Paz until 1871 when it was moved to Arizona City, later renamed Yuma in 1873 . Its original boundaries remained the same until 1982, when La Paz County was created from its northern half. When I went to school in Arizona, there were only 14 counties, so as we started this journey I was surprised to see that a new county had been added and didn’t even know where it was located until we started touring all the county seats.
Because we do not tow a car with the RV we stopped by the courthouse as we were leaving town. The good thing about Yuma is that all the main attractions of the city are all in the center of town. The bad thing is that in order to find them everyone is going the same way and Yuma is full of round a bouts. So after several turns around the center of town we reached the courthouse. It was a very quick stop and then we were on our merry way. Like I said earlier we will be back, but we wanted to at least complete something on our journey after spending a week just relaxing and enjoying the Yuma winter.