Konnie and I took a day trip out of Phoenix to Tortilla Flat. It’s about an hour drive east of town through the Tonto National Forest in the Superstition Mountain Range. There were some beautiful views!
We had to stop and look at the flora.
There were pink flowers.
And pink and yellow flowers.
And orange flowers.
We looked for the fauna, too, but all we saw was some sort of lizard running away from us.
It’s so green that it’s almost hard to believe that this is a desert. Phoenix is one of the wettest deserts in the world, according to a statistic I saw somewhere. It gets about 8 inches of rain a year. In contrast, the Sahara gets only about one inch.
After winding our way up the mountain on the curvy two-lane road, we came to Canyon Lake.
If you get up close, you can see that they are green because of lichens and mosses growing on the rocks.
After we crossed the one-lane bridge, of which I have no photo, we arrived at the central business district of Tortilla Flat.
Our objective was to have lunch at Superstition Saloon and Restaurant. Konnie had told me about the walls covered with dollar bills.
The ceilings were adorned with the mighty greenback as well.
What she didn’t tell me about were the saddles used as stools at the bar.
We didn’t have to sit at the bar, but there was quite a wait to get a table. So, we mounted up and had lunch at the bar.
It would have been a little easier if they had left the stirrups attached.
I opted for the beef and bean burrito.
Everyone was telling us that we needed to be sure to take our pictures in the restroom.
And here I am!
Oddly enough, Tortilla Flat bills itself as “The town to tough to die”. Hmm, where have I heard that before? Oh, right! Tombstone!
They also claim to have a population of six. Could be. It was crowded when we were there – but it was lunch time!
According to my research, Tortilla Flat started out in 1904 as a stagecoach stop for freight haulers on their way to the construction site for Roosevelt Dam. After they built the road, Roosevelt Dam became a big tourist attraction. Tortilla Flat was a stage stop for tourists and mail carriers through the 1930s. The interesting name, Tortilla Flat, came from a nearby butte shaped like a tortilla. I have to admit that I didn’t notice the tortilla-shaped butte while we were there.
After we finished out lunch and took our pictures in the restroom, we went to check out the other offerings of the town. Believe it or not, they actually had souvenirs for sale! (Where is that sarcasm font when you need it?)
At the ice cream shop, I decided to try the prickly pear ice cream. It was a lovely shade of pink, but I didn’t care for it. Neither did Konnie. I ended up throwing it out. Can you believe it? Ice cream that wasn’t worth eating?
On the way back to the city, we made a few more stops to take in the beauty.
Here is Konnie enjoying the wide open spaces.
At one pull-off, we came across this bouquet of white roses left by the edge of a drop off. I wonder what the story was there. I can imagine it was a sad one.
We saw the formation known as “The Weaver’s Needle”, rising up over the saguaro cactuses.
We had a lovely day, and it was time to be getting back. But I like the question this sign from the souvenir shop raises: