Saturday, March 31, 2012

AN AWESOME SCENIC DRIVE…APACHE TRAIL

Thursday, March 12 – We are heading up the Apache Trail in the Superstition Mountains. Recognized as the most scenic route in Arizona, this is a must see for anyone visiting this area. This well-traveled road affords visitors an incredible view of canyons, geologic formations, desert plants and trees, desert and lake views, and wildflowers in season.

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Paul remembers driving this trail back in 1966, the year he graduated from high school. His memory is of a scary, hilly, dirt road. The Apache Trail today is in much better condition than it was 25 years ago. Treacherous is the adjective that comes to mind when I recall those days of driving the Apache Trail. Now, wider lanes, more pavement, and significant grading help make the trip a bit less harrowing. Still, this drive is not for nervous drivers, and definitely not for nervous passengers.

Single –lane bridge.
single-bridge 

We started our drive in Apache Junction with our first stop at the Ghost Town in Goldfield.  A very rich, high grade gold ore was found in the area and soon after the town sprang up 1892. The town boasted three saloons, a boarding house, a general store, brewery, blacksmith shop, butcher shop, and a school.

mercantile

church

For five years the town boomed until some 1,500 souls were residing in the burgeoning city. Just five years after it began, the vein of gold ore started to play out and the grade of the ore dropped, and the town found itself quickly dying.

We were early and most of the shops in the old buildings weren't open yet. We did visit to Pottery and stopped at the Bakery for coffee and a morning pastry.

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View out back of the Bakery.
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After the Ghost town it was on to Canyon Lake.

canyon-lake

This lake was created by the Roosevelt Dam. A nice fishing lake according to friend, Jim Dixon who we partied with last night at Superstition Skies. He's quite the fisherman.

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We drove to the end of the pavement, near Fish Creek. Once the pavement ended the road became very bumpy.

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Much like a wash board effect. Rather than beat up our car, we chose to turn around and head back to Tortilla Flat.

We found Tortilla Flat to be pretty much a tourist trap. Tortilla Flat started out as a stage stop in 1904.

You can see the smoke of the tiny town.tortilla-flats

Outside the salon.
TF-salon

The saloon was cool with thousands of $1 bills stapled all over the ceiling, walls, and most vertical spaces. The story goes, that a man wanted to leave a business card at the saloon, so the bartender said, “Sure, for a dollar!” So he took a dollar and the calling card and stapled it to the wall. Thousands of dollars later, the place is plastered with dollar bills with names, messages, and whatever written on them.

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Marsha loved the restroom. Don't ask how we got this picture…just know Paul got a dirty look from a lady waiting to get in.
TF-batroom

The Mercantile.
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Our final stop was Weaver's Needle…pretty cool name. Weaver's Needle, located in the superstition Mt., is a 1,000-foot-high column of rock that forms a distinctive peak visible for many miles around. Weaver's Needle was created when a thick layer of tuff (fused volcanic ash) was heavily eroded, creating the spire as an erosional remnant with a summit elevation of 4553 ft. Weaver's Needle has a large split in the side that makes it look like it has two tops, not one. We were so far away that we didn't really get a great shot. But since it carries our last name, we had to get at least a peak of it.

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The desert comes alive with color.
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After hundreds of pictures and some gorgeous sightseeing, we headed back to the motor home. Our last stop was at the Santa Fe RV Park in Apache Junction. Our friends, Sandie & Jim, are staying there. We wanted to check it out for future stops. Well, we liked it so well, we've decided to move over there next week. We only got to use our Passport America discount one week here at Val Vista Village. The price doubles for our second week, so we'll save a bunch of bucks by moving to Santa Fe RV. Thanks for the tip – Sandie!

We FINALLY did it. We have heard about it, read about it and were told to go. So we did.

We ate our first In-N-Out burger. Not bad…not bad at all.in-and-out

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y'all back real soon. Have a great day!

13 comments:

  1. I think everything would taste better with that view behind the bakery!

    and of course you gotta have a pic of your namesake Weaver's Needle. . .very cool. . .perhaps on this trip to Colorado we will finally visit Mt Evans. . .always see the signs. . .never made it there!

    and of course, like you we always enjoy ghost towns. . .really brings to life the scenes you read in novels or westerns. . .doesn't it?

    Safe travels,
    Janice

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  2. The brothel tour at Goldfield is really pretty cool. Jeri will be glad you liked your in-n-out burger. It will be great to see you here in the park next week. We sure like it here.

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  3. I have to agree that is an awesome trip. We have done it several times and I'm sure we'll do it again. Enjoy!!

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  4. We really liked the drive to Tortilla Flat. We need to get to that ghost town before we leave here.

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  5. Must get another fix of In n'Out before we leave. Yum

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  6. That's some great scenery and desert color. The ghost towns are great - love the restroom shot!!

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  7. The one time we drove Apache Trail, I got car sick and ended up having to drive and pay attention to the road to alleviate the symptoms. Needless to say, not much joy from that drive. I'll be better prepared next time so I can enjoy all that the trail has to offer.

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  8. "Not bad."?!! That's it? Not bad? In N Out Burger is one of the highlights of our trips to Arizona! A double double, no onion, with a strawberry shake, please. I think it's the only place I still eat ice cream.

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  9. Great tour - it brought back a lot of memories as Paulette and I did that same trail a few years ago. I remembered a lot of the names like Tortilla Flat.

    I'm going to miss In 'n Out now that we're back in Canada!

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  10. In and Out Burgers---MMMMMMmm, my mouth is watering, love those! Great pictures of Goldfield. We did the same restroom photo last year! :-)

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  11. another beautiful place I'm adding to my Pinterest board!

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