July 26, 2012

Don’t let outside opinions determine your situation

Cpl. Jolene Bopp
Desert Warrior Staff

If you have ever told someone you are stationed in Yuma, the common response might have been, “Oh wow, that stinks.” Or something along those lines. Most Marines would probably agree, but let me provide some food for thought.

As a daughter of a former master sergeant and air-winger, my dad always told me, “Every location is what you make of it. It is ultimately your choice to be miserable or not.” Yuma is actually filled with many things for many personalities. The station’s Marine Corps Community Services provide many events and activities for singles and families, these can be found in the Desert Warrior MCCS section or on the MCCS webpage.

I do not know how many times I have heard how boring or uneventful Yuma is. The fact is Yuma is only as boring as your imagination and desire for the unknown. Staying in the dark, uninviting barracks would drive anyone insane, even if introverted.

Luckily for you, I have taken the time to provide some options for outdoorsy types, craft-a-holics, artists, athletes and food enthusiasts.

Outdoors: Telegraph Pass and Picacho Peak are two Marine favorites whether going with your shop or friends and family. These hiking adventures will not disappoint. There are also trails in the Wetlands Park. There is also a scuba diving class August 1- 29, ages 16 and up, on Prison Hill Road near Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park. For more information, contact City of Yuma Parks and Recreation at 928-373-5243. Looking to cool down? There is always Gateway Bridge over the Colorado River. Enjoy the river and maybe even barbeque with friends and family. Tubing is also an option.

Arts/Crafts: One location, great for family or just getting out on the town is Wild Imagination Pottery Studio located on Yuma Palms Parkway by JCPennys. Art festivals are also an annual occurrence in the cooler months. These festivals promote small businesses from across Arizona. You will find hand crafted jewelry, clothing, wood carving, crafted metal and even food.

Film: Yuma is hosting a Film Festival next April. The film submission deadline is April 1, 2013. Check out for more information. If you’re not a film maker but enjoy watching movies, Yuma has three movie theaters that I know of: Harkins in Yuma Palms, Main Street Cinema located on Main Street in downtown Yuma (who would of thought), and the stations very own theater, which has 3D. Station theater movies and times can be found in the Desert Warrior for your convenience. Seeing a movie is a great way to beat the heat in the summer time.

Sports: The station has multiple sports groups, intramural and varsity. For more information, contact Semper Fit at 928-269-2383. City of Yuma Parks and Recreation also has team sports opportunities such as softball and volleyball.

Food: Yuma provides an assortment of dining options. Just try going out on 4th Avenue or around Main Street and you can find anything from mom and pop food joints to fine dining. A personal favorite is Lutes Casino on Main Street in downtown Yuma and Julieanna’s Patio Café on West 25th Street between Avenue B and 24th Street.

In the end, there is something for everyone in the local area if you are willing to look. If you can’t find it here, then it is only three hours to Phoenix or San Diego. Now get off the Internet or put down the paper after you’ve finished reading our other stories and go do something new and exciting.

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