stillhowlyn's travels 2009 travel blog

FROM BANANA TREES TO....

BITING CHOLLA BUSHES!

A HIKE IN THE SUPERSTITUTION MTS.

GETTING CLOSE TO THE TOP!

CLOSE ENOUGH!

MUCH NEEDED REST!

TORTILLA FLATS IS A HAPPENING PLACE!

NOT IN THE TROPICS ANY LONGER!

THAT GUARD RAIL LOOKS A LITTLE SHAKY!

ONE LANE BRIDGE!

TWISTED MOUNTAINS; SAGUARO FOREST!

APACHE LAKE

ROOSEVELT DAM


Welcome back to reality…was the message on Facebook! So I start contemplating “what is reality”? Or rather where! Is not our reality the product of our lifestyle which probably isn’t quite normal, but what is “normal”? Oh Lynda, don’t start! It’s all relative, right?!

So March 1, Roatan to Houston to Phoenix, about 6 hours combined flight time with an additional hour to clear customs and immigration, necessitating baggage pickup from Roatan, security inspections/clearance, then re-checking for flight to Phoenix. Our departure from Houston was delayed by an hour due to bad weather in, where else, San Francisco! This gave us time for a decent dinner, phone calls to family and a quick Facebook update!

Our dear (patient) friends, Paul and Dalya, pick us up at the airport about 10:30 pm local time which, for us, is fast approaching midnight. The same dears that got up at 5 a.m. on the morning of our departure and routinely checked on the motorhome during our absence, brought in cream for our coffee and fresh fruit for the next morning, and opened windows to let in some much needed fresh, citrus blossom-scented air!

We figured three days in Mesa: one to unpack and do laundry; one for shopping and Costco; and one to sight-see and get some physical exercise. On one of those nights we had a marvelous dinner with the Collins (Paul & Dalya) at P. F Chang’s, our treat. Well let me tell you, we had not heard of this chain of “upscale” Asian-style restaurants and the menu selections and the dishes themselves, were fantastic. We dined on duck, rare Ahi tuna, and crisp, fresh vegetables & rice, an appetizer of calamari and dessert, of course.

Our sight-seeing outing started with a 3 hour hike at the Lost Dutchman State Park and a strenuous climb into the lower reaches of the Superstitution Mountains; managing to get lost on the way back added approximately 2 more miles to our jaunt. Remind me we never do this without our GPS for good reason. Well, she was still in nautical mode anyway!

This was followed by a drive along the Apache Trail, 40 miles of steep, winding and mostly unpaved road past magnificent scenery of twisted mountains with dense forests of saguaro, and several deep blue lakes, before finally arriving at the Theodore Roosevelt Dam and Roosevelt Lake. We passed Tortilla Flats which appeared to have been invaded by a swarm of senior citizens enjoying burgers, beer, prickly pear ice cream, and some good country western entertainment!

We stopped at several scenic overlooks, including the dam, but passed on the hike to the Tonto National Monument Cliff Dwellings since our legs had long since stopped functioning and we had done this steep hike twice before. Now back on paved highway we continue in more traditional fashion to the former copper mining town of Globe and back to Mesa. By now we are hungry, cramped and practically comatose but proclaimed it a very good day!

It's now time to move on, regroup and recoup or rather recuperate - our Anza Borrego Desert is calling!



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