The Imperial Sand Dunes and Felicity, the center of the World, are located just west of Yuma. Having some time this Sunday, we headed out to see what they are all about. As we arrived in Felicity, we were taken back as to how sparse this area was, but also fascinating. It is the “Official center of the World”. There is this attractive pyramid that you step into and stand on a bronze plaque that marks the precise Center of the World. Also available at the “Official” location, are the granite walls of the World commemorative Center. Included among other commemorative, the “Histoire de I’Aeronautique Francaise” (History of French Aviation) which we found very interesting.
Now we head to the dunes. As the dunes came into view at Buttercup Valley, so did the motor homes, travel trailers, cars, trucks, and flatbed trailers carrying all modes of 4 wheel off-road vehicles. The dunes were like looking onto a ski hill, those little specks on the hill running (skiing) from one side to the other and eventually making it to the bottom. After finding a parking spot in the soft sand (tough to do with everyone roping off these large camping areas for their clubs), we joined the crowd of about 100,000 in the big sandbox. As we walked the base of the dunes, we were awestruck with the variety of sand machines and those that drove them. We watched little girls and boys from 3 to teen throwing sand high into the air as they hit the throttle, and then it was the adult that took the big engine sand buggy screaming up the dunes at unbelievable speeds, throwing sand high into the air. It was like the big unlimited hydros leaving the rooster tail in their wake. From what I’ve heard, “Duners” are a really big thing for Yuma’s economy spending about $30 million annually in the area…not too bad for the economy here in the desert.