Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fort McDowell, Relatives and the Salt River

September 26-30

We decided (without checking that we should go to Phoenix to visit Lew's brother and cousins.  We biked the very nice Bizz Johnson trail and then took off down the road.
Along the way we stopped and looked over the height of the Joshua trees.  Not very big.
 We spent the night 15 miles from Death Valley in a private campground with a very observant, not-on-my-watch campground manager.  The bathrooms were spotless (the showers each had their own lock) and he was up early and over to our campsite to get the bathroom key when we hooked up.  No one is going to steal something while he is around!  It was Amargosa Valley RV Park.  
The next day it was HOT that we just keep driving 'cause we didn't want to stop!  We pulled into Fort McDowell County Park for a late dinner and early drinks.  We were so glad to be with air conditioning and the wonderful desert views. That's a Cholla cactus.  It’s a mean cactus that leaves little sticker burrs everywhere (Lew got one in his foot this trip).  I can see it from the side window.
 Out the front window of Marco is a Saguaro cactus.  And across the road is an Ocotillo cactus with the many arms waving.  I really like them both.  The Saguaro have to be over a hundred years old before they branch.  So neat to be around them again.
 From the side window we can look out at a Barrel cactus.  They are just starting to think about blooming.
In the morning we called Ann and Fred and arranged to go to their house and visit.  That evening they came out where we watched the moon rising outside.
In the morning the sun reached the mountains and the cactus view was a bit different.
Its so lovely BUT IT IS HOT! at 7 AM we went for a hike right from the campground up to a bluff.  See the path up to it?
 Then back to Mr. Marco and Katz (who is not hot in the air-conditioned house)!
Since we walked so early, we had time to visit our old haunts on the Salt River before meeting more family after lunch.  I really pushed Lew a bit on this.  I so wanted to visit where we lived 39 years ago on the river in the National Forest. Back in those days, Lew was a rod and chain man on a surveying crew and I was recovering from thrombophlebitis by rescuing people who got stuck in a whirlpool in the river. We lived here in a tent and I wore a bathing suit all day long.  I was in and out of the river constantly.  I routinely swam across it for fun. Now everything is gated.  It is hard to access the area unless you pay the Forest Service its nine dollars and float down the river. We parked up the road and hiked down past the Saguaro and other cacti that I had used as a mark from when we lived here and I hiked around.  Here we are at Blue Point.  I'm in the river.  I would have jumped right in but I didn't want all those wet clothes.  I just stood in the water and soaked my legs, arms and head.  Lew said he was too hot (he didn't get all wet in the river) so we left.
 We spent an enjoyable afternoon with family and the five cats.  I got quite a charge out of how Jesse still couldn't sit still for long but made sure everyone had drinks, helped his Grandma and was just quite the gentleman to his two girls.   We talked a bit about life, schools and being self employed.  Not nearly long enough to get to really know them, but what a joy to see them all.  Remember that to enlarge the photos you just need to click on them.
Jesse and his youngest daughter.
 Peg, Jesse, the older daughter, Ann.
Fred and Chris behind Ann and me.
All too soon, it was time to go back to the campground where we met Ron and Ann for supper and a fine evening of talk.
All conversation stopped when the Tarantula came out of its hidey-hole and allowed photos to be taken.
 I told Lew I would be fine for another night in the desert if we spent the entire day on the Salt River swimming and floating.  We left those 100+ degree days and will be biking in Prescott tomorrow where the temperatures will be in the 80’s.



  1. Anonymous8:16 PM

    i'd like to meet peg if the chance happens to happen..... and 4 stars for the tarantula!!

  2. Anonymous8:20 PM

    AAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUURRRRRRRGGGGG!!!! I ment the younger daughter!!!!!!!! Meeting peg would be nice, but i ment her!!!!!! sorry!

  3. The Tarantula was, indeed, awesome.



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