Sunday, May 26, 2013

Day 7 - Phoenix

Lower Cliff Dwelling in Tonto National Park, Arizona - inhabited 850 years ago

Looking out from the Lower Cliff Dwelling in Tonto National Park - note the many tall Saguaro Cacti that grows around here

Theodore Roosevelt Dam at the start of the Apache Trail, Arizona

The Apache Trail - Apache Indians and cattle drives used this trail in those olde days

It was a Memorial Day long weekend in Arizona, the Apache Trail which is usually not busy became a traffic jam through the tight passes

Well guess who is person in front of the Apache Trail,Canyon?

This is the town of Tortilla Flats along the Apache Trail (for sale at $5M USD - the entire lot) - still retains its cowboy look

We had lunch in the Tortilla Flat Hotel. Every bit of the inside wall was plastered with $1 USD notes - not a spot was spared. Must of been over $10,000 worth of wallpaper used! What are the patrons sitting on?

Anne at Tortilla Flats along the Apache Trail

Once a ghost town now a thriving tourist town. The town of Goldfields with it renovated saloon.

Another view of Goldfields, Arizona

Anne and the "gunslinger", Goldfields, Arizona

We were picked up from our hotel at 7am and as we were the first couple we had to drive around Phoenix and Scottsdale to collect the other eight passengers. This was a good way to see Greater Phoenix with it opulent housing estates. It is a long weekend in the US (Memorial Day is on Monday) therefore most locals are enjoying the weather (rather warm) and going to places where boating and camping reigns. It was a two hour drive to a sacred place inside the Tonto National Park. We climbed a steep hill and explored the Lower Cliff Dwelling used by Indians 850 years ago. It is actually built inside a cave with all forms of cacti littered around the countryside. Apparently they said there were rattlesnakes and gila monsters that live in this area. Both are poisonous however we didn't see any. From there we passed through the Theodore Roosevelt Dam that holds back water along the Salt River and creates a series of three lakes. Phoenix water supply is reliant on this river and lake system. We entered the Apache Trail famous for the Apache Indians using this trail along the Salt River which later cattle drives were used to move stock from the south to the north of the country. There we many conflicts between the white men and redskins along this route. As the long weekend was in full swing, the traffic was horrendous. Locals with boats that consumed most of the dirt road and block the tight passes that climb the mountains were experienced. We ended at a place called Tortilla Flats and had lunch in a bar that had thousands and thousands of one US dollar notes that took every inch of the inside walls. Our guide was saying that the town went for auction at a $5,000,000 USD reserve price - apparently nobody bid but it is still on the market. Interesting the town is located in the Superstitious Mountains famous for a lost gold mine that nobody has found yet. An old German had lay claimed that he found a mother lode and died before he revealed its location. That was about 100 years ago and now many people venture in these mountains looking for that mine. They say he was a loud-mouth and possibly nothing is there at all. We continued to a place called Goldsmith, a ex-ghost town brought back to life as a tourist trap. Nevertheless, it still has the old original buildings and cowboy charm that it was famous for. We returned to our hotel at 4:15 pm after many hours of driving. Neil has a cold and trying to shake it off. We are now ready to have dinner and hence pack our bags for tomorrow rental car pick up. We leave Phoenix tomorrow and head for Albuquerque New Mexico. Another early start and about six hours of driving. Cheers

No comments:

Post a Comment