Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Apache Trail

Gerry, Barbara, Cassie, Darlene & I took a trip out west in the mid-60s in a popup tent trailer for 6 weeks.  We knew we wanted to go west but didn't really know what all there was to see.  The highlights were obvious but we didn't have any idea how much there was to see.  At least it was enough to whet our appetites for travel in a RV and we enjoyed the trip very much.

One place we did stop on the way was Apache Lake, AZ.  We saw the campground on the map and decided to head for it out of Globe, AZ.  It looked like a great place to go and we were in for the surprise of our lives.  The road for the first 1/2 mile was fine and then it turned to dirt and steep dropoffs.  We were towing a trailer and could not turn around so we kept going.  The road continued to get worse and was down to one lane with no place to turn or go if we met someone coming in the other direction.  We did meet two cars eventually and we clipped mirrors as we went by.  Whew!  

We camped for the night in 110 degree heat and it cooled down to 98 at night.  We didn't have a/c in the canvas sided popup and there wasn't any wind.  It felt like we were in a furnace.  No sleep that night for anyone due to the heat.  We got up early the next morning and kept going west thinking the road would get better.  No such luck.  We finally made it to a better road and hightailed it out of there and continued on with our trip.

Gerry and I remembered that trip vividly and I wanted to take the car and travel the route once again, so off we headed today.  It was 350 miles round trip and we made it in one day and came back very tired but satisfied.  

We entered the trail from the west at Apache Junction and headed east toward Roosevelt Lake.  Our first stop was at the Superstition Mountain Museum and checked it out.  Since we had a limited time frame to make the trip, we didn't go through the inside of the museum but did enjoy the outdoor exhibits.  They had more exhibits outside including boot hill but we didn't get a picture of it.

A little farther down the road was a touristy place called Goldfield Mine with old buildings, a train station, RV park, mine, and numerous other things designed to get you to spend money.  We drove through the place and took some pictures and left.   It seemed to be a very popular place so maybe one day we will return and see what we missed.

We drove through the Lost Dutchman State Park to see if it would be a nice place to camp if we were ever back in this area.  They were installing electric hookups while we were there and they also have water hookups.  There is a 15 day stay limit but I think that would be enough time to really explore the area.  It looked like a very nice park and I understand it is very popular and hard to get a reservation during the winter months.  The Superstition Mountains are in the background.

Continuing on with the drive took us to Tortilla Flats, another touristy place.  We bought prickly pear & black cherry ice cream cones there and enjoyed looking at the buildings.  Gerry wouldn't tell me how much the cones cost, but did say Dairy Queen was a bargain.

That was the last chance we had to see civilization for a long time.  We drove past Canyon Lake and then on to Apache Lake on a gravel and dirt road for 22 miles.  Overall it wasn't a bad road but they don't allow vehicles over 40ft on this section.  I would not even consider taking our motor home down there.  Very steep grades, narrow roads, switchback, one lane bridges, rock outcroppings, etc.  I loved it.  

We think we found the campground we stayed in 44 years ago but it has been upgraded and looks different.  Progress.

And yes, we did find 6 geocaches on the trip.  We were doing good until we saw the 5ft dead rattlesnake on the road.  That ended our traipsing in the cacti and weeds for the day.

We took a lot of pictures (175) and have included a few of them in an album that can be seen by clicking on the picture below.

Apache Trail

It was a long day and tiring but we enjoyed it very much.  Nice to go down memory lane every once in a while.

Good night.

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