Thursday, February 10, 2011

Rockin‘ RV, Good Hikes and Cliff Dwellers…

Well, we never held good to our promise not to get in the truck on Tuesday. More on that later.

Here's another view of Superstition Mountain that I neglected to post, just to get you started.

We did go for a bike ride to get groceries before I attended the weekly jam session, here at the park. The jam session is a big deal, with twenty or more musicians in attendance. There were: piano, two electric guitars, electric bass, stand-up bass, banjo, three saxes, two trumpets, two trombones,
Harmonica, three accordions, a drum kit and my Cajon. The jam is so popular that the park provides valet parking, a sign-up sheet for musicians and a hundred or more chairs lined up in neat rows.

All of those musicians together at one time sounds a little scary, I know. Thankfully though, not everybody was always playing at once. The sound and the overall pace of events was surprisingly professional for so many players - but unbelievably boring.

The hundred or more grey-haired folks in the audience turned out to be eager to dance, make requests for, and show a lot of outward appreciation for all those same, tired, boring old songs.

Don’t get me wrong. I know I’m a grey haired senior myself, but it’s not about age, it’s about attitude. I was brought up on sixties and seventies material but I couldn’t stand a steady diet of it. Give me something new already. Most of the people in that audience were probably in their late sixties or seventies - why are they stuck in such an old time warp? I mean, who has a jam session at one in the afternoon anyway? Who waltzes at that time of day? People in RV parks do, that’s who.

You might be able to tell I was pretty disappointed. I had expected, after seeing all of the instruments, a bit of a rousing good time. Instead, after a dozen numbers of the same droll, fifty, sixty or seventy-year-old material, I was almost asleep. It was hard to believe. I half expected to see Gene Autry or Lawrence Welk step out from behind the curtain and tell me I’d been punk’d. Come on already, my mom’s eighty-eight years old and she rarely listens to that sappy old stuff anymore. Sure, it has it’s place, but not every time, everywhere.

One more two-step, waltz or polka, and I swear, I‘m gonna’ bust into a heavy back beat.

The last straw was when every person in the audience stood up, hands over hearts, when one of the elderly guitar player started into America The Beautiful. I couldn’t handle any more - I left.

Readers might be able to tell that I’m really starting to miss jamming with people who play with some energy, some soul, some creativity, some gusto, some balls!

You guys and girls at home know who you are.

I suggested to Janice today that maybe we should start The Rockin’ RV Resort. Musicians can’t play more than one-in-ten old-time country songs - or any other old standard that makes people get all nostalgic and waxy eyed. At the Rockin’ RV Resort: Quiet time would start at midnight. Nobody is welcome to make an appearance before 7:00am. Everyone has to have a campfire at least twice a week. There’s no going to bed before 10:00pm. Having your TV on in the afternoon is a misdemeanor. You might even be required to eat some spicy food once in a while.

I think there must be enough Boomers out there that are about ready for something like this. Don’t you? There are sixteen acres for sale on the Apache Trail. Anybody want to partner up?


Anyway, back to the promise. Because I left the jam early, and we had no other plans, we decided to hop in the truck, drive to the Apache Trail, and hike the First Water Trail. As we started the gradual climb it was sunny but windy, and dusty. The trail got steeper as we approached the enormous sheer cliffs of Superstition Mountain. The closer we got to the cliff face the more the wind picked up - it served to keep us cool though.

Pictured below is Superstition Mountain and Janice appreciating the somewhat dusty view.

On Wednesday morning we went back to the Apache Trail and hiked the Bulldog Canyon Trail. I have no idea why it’s called that. We never saw any bulldogs or any topography that looked anything like a bulldog. I did take my walking stick along though, just in case. It was a nice five-mile hike, winding through a narrow canyon, and then to the top of a hill that afforded three hundred-and-sixty degree views of glorious scenery.

Pictured are some shots form the Bulldog Trail.

When we finished the Bulldog Trail we drove east toward Tortilla Flat, where we stopped for lunch at the Lost Dutchman’s eatery. There’s a Lost Dutchman state park here too. Apparently he was an eccentric old prospector and miner, who made it rich. There was a live band playing, what else, old time country music, where we sat outside. I had chili while Janice had a hot dog.

Pictured is Janice in the washroom at Tortilla Flat. She really balloons up after a hot dog.

We took the spectacular loop drive past Apache and Roosevelt Lakes, stopping to gawk at all the unbelievable topography along the way.

Pictured is the canyon formed by the once mighty Salt River, which is now dammed at Roosevelt lake, leaving a mere trickle of a river down below.

Leaving the rim of the canyon, we proceeded down a very scary, narrow, winding dirt road, clinging to the cliff face. It was so narrow that there were just a few pullouts to pass vehicles approaching in the other direction. As we approached the canyon floor we had to let another vehicle pass. There was so little room I had to pull in my side mirror and we noticed the woman in the passenger seat of the other vehicle had her hands over her eyes.

Pictured is a shot at the canyon floor, another along the dirt road to Apache lake and Apache lake itself.

The road truns to pavement again at Roosevelt Dam. Finally we ventured into Tonto National Monument, where we took the half-mile hike to see the cliff dwellings of the Salado Indians.

Pictured is a shot from the trail up to the dwellings and what remains of the dwellings themselves. The dwellings date from the 12th and 13th centuries. The Salado cultivated the banks of the Salt River, which is now Roosevelt Lake, in the distance.


Our friend, Charlie (Charlene Jenneson) passed away on Tuesday afternoon. Our heartfelt thank you to ‘Charlie’s Angels’ as Janice calls them, for being there for her. Some of you were there over the long haul, others showed up for these final weeks. Again, you know who you are. It gave us a lot of solace to know that she had so many people who cared so much for her while we were thousands of miles away.

Charlie was one of a kind - a good friend - we’re going to miss her a lot…

1 comment:

  1. Geez, when we get to Arizona there will be nothing left for us to see. Sure glad you mentioned the narrow road one we'll stay off.
    What grey hair!!! ?
    Fabulous pictures as usual.