Meanwhile back in AZ the socializing and hiking continue. We recently enjoyed a luncheon provided by our Park Supervisor. The luncheon was a thank you to the hosts and volunteers that make these parks the great places they are. Our luncheon was held at another day use area called Adobe Dams. At Adobe Dams they have many different areas, a water park, go kart tracks, remote controlled plane area and a garden railroad made possible by the local railroad club. Some of these areas are not open every day but the day hosts there worked with the railroad club to provide us with an enjoyable afternoon.
A ride on the garden railroad with a stop at the Sahuaro Central Railroad Museum were both interesting and nostalgic for Dave and I. My father is an avid model railroad collector and has belonged to various railroad clubs as he has moved around the country. Dave spent time remodeling their basement in the home across the street from us in VT so that my Dad could have his railroad layout circling around the exterior. As a family we have spent many a ride with my folks on trolleys and trains through out the country. So this excursion was dear to our hearts and we so wished Dad could have been there to enjoy it with us. Excuse the quality of the pictures Dave didn't take his camera so these are all off of the IPhone, then Picasa got confused and double watermarked a few of them. So Dad these are for you...hope you enjoy...if you ever get out here you need to check them out, think you'd enjoy it.
Live Laugh RV and I took our daughters out to an English Tea Room we had recently found while out to lunch one day. Ingrid and I have a number of similarities in our backgrounds, the biggest one is we have children of the same age. While she may have a son and daughter I have two sons, one of which lives in CO where Ingrid is most recently from. Ingrid's daughter Ashton recently moved to Phoenix and my son David and daughter-in-law live in the area too. We decided the girls needed to meet and what better way than at a girly tea room, the daughters found much in common, a good time was had by all.
Our Metate formation for which the Metate Trail is named. A Metate is a where ancient indigenous people ground mesquite beans forming the depression or Metate.
We have been getting more hiking too. One day we decided to take a ride and ended up in Payson, finally leaving the desert behind and getting into trees...didn't realize I'd been missing them till I saw them. We ended up at Tonto Natural Bridge State Park where we did a few hikes. Tonto Natural Bridge SP is down in a deep canyon with 14% grade getting there...it's a day use area and don't come with your rv, they do have a very small area where you can leave your trailer or motorhome.
From the Tonto Natural Bridge SP Website
" Tucked away in a tiny valley surrounded by a forest of pine trees, Tonto Natural Bridge State Park has been in the making for thousands of years. It is believed to be the largest natural travertine bridge in the world. The bridge stands 183 feet high over a 400-foot long tunnel that measures 150 feet at its widest point.
The discovery of the small and beautiful valley between Pine and Payson was documented in 1877 by David Gowan, a prospector who stumbled across the bridge as he was chased by Apaches. Gowan hid for two nights and three days in one of several caves that dot the inside of the bridge. On the third day, he left the cave to explore the tunnel and green valley surrounding it. Gowan then claimed squatter's rights.
In 1898 he persuaded his nephew, David Gowan Goodfellow, to bring his family over from Scotland and settle the land permanently. After a week of difficult travel from Flagstaff, the Goodfellows arrived at the edge of the mountain and lowered their possessions down the 500 foot slopes into the valley by ropes and burros.
Today, visitors can stand on top of the bridge or hike down below to capture the true size and beauty of this geologic wonder."
The next day Dave took another hike but I stayed home and let my knees rest. He found more flowers and some wildlife.
We always enjoy our volunteer days even when it gets crazy, sometimes though we have the greatest guests come through.
We've of course kept up with the socializing, we recently had Ingrid of Live Laugh RV Curt and Glenda of Camp Lowry and Steve and Debbie of Down the Road out for some of Dave's smoked brisket. Unfortunately Al, Ingrid's husband, couldn't make it but we sent her home with some leftovers. Bloggers and good food just go together. A great evening of non stop talking and laughing with a beautiful sunset, life is good.
One of the activities I've been looking forward to is trail riding, a few months ago Glenda purchased a Groupon for riding at the Spur Cross Stables...great deal. Of course Dave had the camera, Glenda and I both forgot our cameras but a kind co-rider took a few pictures and sent them to me. Our ride was for 1.5 hours and took us in areas we had not yet explored. I had such a great time I'm going to try and get a longer ride in that heads up into the Tonto National Forest.
Meanwhile Dave and Curt took a hike in Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area, Dave filled Curt's head with knowledge that Dave has learned these past few months.