On the Road With Doris & Ez

We're going on a road trip!!!! Could be three weeks could be three years, we'll see. Read below to see where we are now.....

Monday, April 07, 2008

Things to Do in Phoenix in the Winter - February-March, 2008

This is the second winter we’ve spent in Phoenix in the motorhome. Because we lived here for many years before selling our house and retiring, we find it hard to think of ourselves as visitors here. It’s easy to fall into a routine and forget about all of the great things the area has to offer, so we found ourselves making an effort to get out and discover (or rediscover) this part of the southwest.

Puerto Penasco (or Rocky Point as it’s known to the gringos) is the closest Mexican beach resort to Phoenix. It had been several years since we made the four-hour drive to this south-of-the-border destination, so we decided to check it out again. There are lots of new high rise resorts along the beach, but many of the roads are still dusty and bumpy. It was a treat to relax on our balcony overlooking the pool and beach with the port twinkling in the distance. We made our first visit to the legendary JJ’s Cantina in nearby Cholla Bay and checked out the residential areas where Americans are building Scottsdale-style McMansions on the beach. My favorite memory – flaming Spanish coffees prepared tableside while we watched the sun set over downtown Rocky Point.

With all the rain this winter, we’ve had a bumper crop of wild flowers in the desert so we headed out several times to take advantage of this unique opportunity. One day we headed east to Apache Junction, the Superstition Mountains and on to the historic Apache Trail. This is rugged country and the rocky hillsides were covered with a thick blanket of yellow and orange blossoms. It was a perfect spring day so lots of other folks had the same idea. Here’s the crowd at Tortilla Flat, an historic stage coach stop on the Apache Trail that’s now the top choice for lunch with all the nature lovers out enjoying the landscape. After our stop at Tortilla Flat the road turns into a twisted, narrow dirt track where we were briefly delayed by a truck and trailer struggling to navigate a sharp turn from the other direction. After that we continued on past Apache, Canyon and Sahuaro Lakes on our way to Roosevelt Lake. The desert hillsides were so green it reminded us of Ireland! No more close calls, but lots of drop dead gorgeous scenery.

One of our favorite day trips has always been the back road from Wickenburg through Yarnell and on to Prescott. It’s always a pretty drive and we like to stop and check on our niece and her husband who have spent the last nine years building their dream house in the rugged hills above Kirkland Junction. This time we decided to spend the night at the historic St. Michaels Hotel on Prescott’s famous Whiskey Row. The elevator was a genuine antique and our room hadn’t been updated since the Hoover administration, but it overlooked the courthouse square across the street. (The downside – the noisy bikers who emptied out of the saloons below in the early morning hours.) We enjoyed a couple of good meals and took the long way back through Skull Valley – a little community with more charm than its name would suggest.

We made several trips to our building site in Tonto Verde this winter. (We always claim we’re checking on the status of the sahuaro cactus that sits in the center of the lot.) While we’re there we always stop by the nearby ranch owned by the development that sits on the banks of the Verde River. Across the river is a bald eagle nest that is monitored by volunteers or Fish and Wildlife employees and we always bring along our binoculars to check out the activity at the nest. This spring there are three young chicks that are active and thriving. Yea! We’ll think of them often as we explore the northwest again this summer.


Anonymous Linda in T-town said...

I swear, you guys live the goooood life...I'm so jealous!!
I'm eager to see you when you hit the Pacific NW, and hope you bring photos of the building progress.

Nola is a doll, by the way!

6:18 PM  

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