|14 miles northeast of Yuma stands the cutest 'tiny' church. We saw it the first time on our day trip to Castle Dome. I've yet to post on that trip as I have over 500 pics to sort through and just haven't taken the time to do it. But soon, I promise.
In the meantime, I'd like to share a few pics of 'the tiny church'. Leaving Tacna we took I-8 to exit 12, then went north on Fortuna Rd for two miles, then north on US 95 for a little over five miles. And there it was! Just north of the Bridge to Nowhere, in the middle of a crop field. This diminutive chapel was built in 1995 by farmer Loren Pratt on the edge of his fields along the road in honor of his deceased wife Lois. A sign on the dirt road that leads to the church reads: "Pause, Rest, Worship."
In September 2011, a freak microburst storm flung it 60 ft., crushing the steeple and losing a wall. The Pratt family have since reconstructed to the same dimensions, 8 ft. X 12 ft. With it's six tiny pews seating twelve worshipers the church has hosted numerous weddings and funerals and annual sunrise services each Easter officiated by Cecil Pratt, pastor of the Mohawk Valley Presbyterian Church and associate pastor of First Southern Baptist Church of Wellton.
A wooden cross adorns the wall and a small wooden pulpit. Yuman Marvin Cooper recently installed six lovely stained-glass windows at the chapel, including a nativity scene. Joyce, Sara and I all signed the guest book and listed our place of residence along with any comments we wanted to share. It was interesting to see how many states and countries have visited this enchanting place of worship. After a short prayer for the rest of our trip we soon got on our way. There was only one other auto there at that time and they were polite and gave us 'space' until we were ready to go. By the way, the dirt road is in good shape and there is plenty of room to park. As the roadside sign says, we encourage you to 'Pause, Rest and Worship' if you happen to be in the area!
Behind the church stands the 800-foot-long McPhaul suspension bridge spanned the Gila River when it was built in 1929 but it was considered to be too flimsy for modern traffic, and when a dam was built upstream in 1968 the river was diverted and the highway was rerouted over a much smaller bridge. This ultimately proved unwise, as a flood in 1993 destroyed the new bridge while the Bridge to Nowhere, with its broad span and high clearance, probably would have been just fine. Today the bridge crosses only desert sand and rocks and is closed to all traffic.
And finally, I need to mention 'From The Farm', an eclectic business that's growing in front of the bridge. A U-pick farm at root, this improbable but charming collection also includes an artisanal bakery, taco stand, outdoor event venue and a store selling both vintage gift items and Yuma-made farm products. We stopped there for a bit and purchased a couple of cinnamon rolls hot out of the oven. And a lemon pound cake. And a shoulder bag and some of the best, biggest lemons ever! We also shared a taco and enjoyed an awesome date shake. My first ever! Another highly recommended stop for sure!!!
See you next time...Have a great day