Sunday, April 29, 2007

San Carlos to Phoenix

Ahh, it's the last day and we're headed into Phoenix. It's only a little over 100 miles if we stay on the main highways. Nahhhhh. We first westward to the old mining town of Globe where we check out the few mining remnants to be seen. We then head northwest towards Roosevelt Lake and the Tonto National Monument. As we come down the mountain the lake is a beautiful blue and the view is fabulous, but we move on to the monument. There, ancient cliff dwellings dating back almost 700 years are perched high in the rocky cliffs overlooking the Tonto Basin, once supported the Salado Indian peoples who farmed in the Salt River Valley below, as well as hunting and gathering native wildlife and plants.

Next, we're off again along the Apache Trail, which entails 40 miles of steep, winding and mostly unpaved road past magnificent scenery. We first pass by Theodore Roosevelt Dam before losing pavement and beginning yet another dusty truck. Along the way we see everything from dense forests to giant cactus to several deep blue. Also along the trail are the Lost Dutchman State Park and the somewhat corny "ghost town" of Tortilla Flats. As we end this journey that took quite a bit more time than we anticipated we arrive at the restored ghost town of Goldfield. This is an authentic 1890's ghost town that has been restored and recreated as a tourist destination. There are a number of original old buildings that now house stores and restaurants. The town also provides underground mine tours, a narrow gauge railroad, wagon rides and more. But we are tired. The place is great, but it's time to go home. We take several pictures, eat lunch, call it a day, and call it a trip.

Stay tuned, as the flight heads back to Kansas City and I write up more details of this wonderful ride!


Joan Wells said...

Hello Kathy!
Thanks for coming to AZ to explore what Least Heat Moon called 'Blue Line roads.'

God looks out for fools and Kansans; I'm glad you survived the border tour! I've done my share of dangerous things and I'm not from Kansas! My philosphy: you never have any fun if you don't do things.

I wanted to let you know a dear friend of mine, Jodi Akers, runs a jeep tour company out of Goldfield Ghost Town, between Tortilla Flats and Apache Junction.

Check out her website at She has several of the few permits isssued to jeep into the Tonto National Forest. She's a good woman and has good drivers. And they know their history.

By the way, Goldfield is one of dozens of working gold mines in the Superstion Mountain area; you'll still see old-time prospectors belly up to the Mammoth Bar at Goldfield and you'll notice they are very careful when making their way back to the mines they're working from 'civilization.'

Keep up the awesome website and blog!


Steve said...

Where can I find the story or legend about the town that rose up and drove out a gang that had taken over. They went after them and said that any one wearing a Red Bandana would be shot on site. I am looking for information on this story