Our campground here in Mesa is on Apache Trail, also known as Main Street, depending on your map. Yesterday we followed Apache Trail to the east and north out of town and up toward the Superstition Mountains. Along the way, we stopped to check out the campground at Lost Dutchman Mine State Park, one we had tried to get into but it was full. Arizona State Parks are about twice as expensive to camp in as Iowa, so we were a little put off when the ranger told us we could drive through the campground but we should take no more than ten minutes, we should not stop, and we could not take any pictures. I'm hoping the folks at Dead Horse Ranch State Park are friendlier.
The road up to Tortilla Flats, an old stagecoach stop along the trail, slithers back and forth like an Arizona snake, giving awesome vistas with each turn and Butch a chance to play Steve McQueen. I had a bit of a cramp in my hand from my grip on the door handle but other than that, we arrived physically intact.
Tortilla Flats has a population of 6 (not a typo) and basically consists of four buildings: a one room school tuned museum, an ice cream shop, the Superstition Saloon, and a gift shop. It is the epitome of tourist traps but a fun place to check out. The museum recounts the numerous times the spot has suffered from flash floods and the famous people who have visited there: Teddy Roosevelt, John Wayne, Barbra Streisand, Gary Cooper, etc. We had an early supper at the Superstition Saloon, an establishment with dollar bills covering every wall and bar stools made from saddles and tractor seats. The food was good and the wait staff was very friendly. And we made it back down the trail before dark--a good day.
Some random thoughts about writing, camping, and eating.