Paraiso en Algodones y Maricopa

We have spent a very enjoyable week after leaving Mesa AZ for points south and west. Our first day we drove a short distance south to Maricopa, a small community of 44,000 people, an hour south of Mesa. We stayed with friends, the Cahalls. We became friends on the Alaska Caravan this past summer and looked forward to visiting them.

Casa Grande

Casa Grande was a big surprise for us — this huge almost 700 year old adobe structure is something we knew nothing about. More surprising is the archaeologists seem to know almost nothing about it. They cannot attribute a purpose or use to the building. It doesn’t fit any templates they have and there is no history, so far to describe this four-story building in the desert. Pretty cool, really.

a great Mexican lunch in Coolidge

We spent a few hours in the guided tour, walking about, watching a movie and viewing the museum at Casa Grande. Then we toured nearby Coolidge, hoping for a fun restaurant. There weren’t a lot of choices and we weren’t sure what we were doing, but we were lucky. We scored well! You can check some reviews at the link below.
Tag's Restaurant on Urbanspoon
We stumbled upon Tags Cafe, a family owned and operated cafe since 1955. The place is like an old Rt 66 cafe, seems like it must have looked this same way a long long time. Food was very good, service was friendly, and we all enjoyed dining at Tag’s.

After two days in Maricopa we landed in the Escapees Kofa Co-Op RV park south of Yuma. We dry-camped two days there (no water, electric, or drains) for only $5/night. A very short trip brought us to the US-Mexico border for our visit to Algodones MX.

inside Paraiso restaurant plaza in Algodones

The high point of the day was lunch (food again, right?) at El Paraiso, a fun open-air plaza with bar, restaurant, live music, and fun atmosphere. Our weather was perfect, high 60s and sunny. We also shopped for new bifocals, a pretty good deal at $75/pair for progressive lenses with frames and eye exam included.

We also enjoyed an afternoon stop at the Yuma Territorial Prison — that’s a story for another day. Check back tomorrow or the next day, we’ll probably have it by then.

Next up we head for Capistrano Beach California. Unfortunately, we also are headed for cooler weather but, apparently, we’ll not avoid the cool weather wherever we drive this weekend. S’okay, we have layers and heaters. See you at the beach!

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4 responses to “Paraiso en Algodones y Maricopa

  1. Happy travels…sorry we will miss you in Mesa…we leave for AZ next week. Maybe our paths will cross some place this winter. We will stay tuned. Be safe. Carol & Frank

    • Hi you two — we are in Dana Point enjoying gorgeous, if chilly, days. Arrived yesterday afternoon, have scarcely found our way around yet. Sorry we won’t see you in Mesa — we’re heading to Quartzsite for El Camino Real unit rally in a week or so, and a hamfest also in Quartzsite. Then eastward to Orlando by the 10th Feb.

  2. Hi Jim and Deb. Just checking in from TR in FL. When we visited Casa Grande I think we decided it was a mid-rise condo way ahead of its time.

  3. Really enjoy reading about your travels. You two are really enjoying life. Have a fantastic trip. See you down the road. Les

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