Palm Springs and the Wind Farm

I’m always on the lookout for things that you can’t do just anywhere. I found a company in Palm Springs that gives tours of a wind farm. That sounded like something right up my alley. I made arrangements to take the tour and then started looking for other things to do in the area,

I hit up my HISTORY Here! app and saw that there were a couple of listings for the area around Palm Springs; Gerald Ford’s house and Sonny Bono’s grave. Well, I had nothing more pressing to do before the tour, so I put the addresses in my map and set out.

I saw roads named after famous people. Here’s Frank Sinatra Boulevard

and Gerald Ford Drive. There were others, but I didn’t want to slow the flow of traffic to take pictures. (And, truth be told, I didn’t want to try to find a place to park so I could get out and take pictures.)

I found the street sign that the app said his house was on.

Of course it was inside a gated community! What was I thinking? That I could just roll up and take a look?

Anyway, according to my map, his house would have been just around the bend to the right.

As long as I was parked and out of my truck, I decided to stroll around a little.

I smell money!

After a bit, I got back in the truck and headed out to find Sonny Bono’s grave. I didn’t get too far before something else caught my attention.

I saw a sign for an estate sale. Well, it’s not like I need anything, but I figured that it would be an opportunity to go take a “tour” of a mid-century modern house that was definitely out of my price range.

I mean, it was on the Rancho Mirage Register of Historic Places!

Quite the house, isn’t it?

I did buy a couple things.

One was a deck of playing cards from Japan Air Lines that I picked up for a friend who collects airline items.

I got myself a mug from The Torah Oasis in Rancho Mirage. I figured, it says “Rancho Mirage” and it cost a quarter. That’s a thrifty souvenir.

Then it was on to Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City to find Sonny Bono’s grave. This is what I was looking for:

This is what I found where the app lead me:

I didn’t find it his grave, but I walked around and saw some interesting graves.

I was there right after the anniversary of Nestor’s passing.

This is a larger view of their memorial.

I turned the photo so that the words are easier to read. I can just imagine the family getting together and making this tribute to him. He must have been greatly loved.

Not all the graves had large floral tributes, but I thought that this bunch of daffodils was a nice touch.

This marker with the woman’s nickname and a sketch of a bunny was sweet.

This tranquil fountain was a nice ending point to my search for Sonny’s grave. On to the windmill tour!

After a brief lecture about the history of windmills being used to generate electricity, we hopped into this big bus and set out to tour the wind farm, which is located between two mountain ranges. They serve to funnel and focus the wind, which makes this a great place for a wind farm.

There were different sizes and brands of wind turbines. The manufacturers are always seeking to improve the efficiency of the machines.

At one time, these hinged turbines were the state of the art.

Theses are the latest and the greatest. Can you imagine having to climb all the way up to work on this? I was kind of hoping that they would come up with some sort of an elevator or “belt man lift” by now.

Our guide told us that they are starting to secure the turbines. It turns out that a couple guys broke in to one to steal the copper wire out of them. It didn’t go well for them. They were electrocuted.

Tucked in between all the turbines, you can see solar panels generating more power.

Now, my father would rant on about how people thought that we could depend on alternative forms of energy. It turns out that they have this figured out.

Right there, along with the solar and wind, they have what they call a “peaker” generating plant that runs on compressed natural gas. When there isn’t sufficient power coming from the wind turbines or the solar panels, the peaker generating plant kicks in.

Our last stop on the tour was the Windmill Market, where we got to sample a date milkshake. Delicious!

And then it was time to head back to Flo and get packed up to hit the road.


Super Bloom!

Thanks to an unusually wet winter, California was experiencing a “super bloom”.   I’m sure you heard about it – it was all over the news. I did a quick Google search and got about 6,620,000 hits in 0.49 seconds.

One place that was mentioned over and over in the reports was Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (about 282,000 results in 0.89 seconds) and it was about fifty miles from where I was camping. All the news stories recommended getting there early and taking lots of water. I got up at a time that I thought was early and set out to see the super bloom.

I pulled over every time there was a turnout, to see what I could see.

At first, I would only see a flower or two, here and there in the sand.

I think these are called desert lilies.

I liked the tracks in the sand around this one.

Not all the flowers are white.

There are yellow flowers.

Lots of yellow flowers.

I saw these just outside Anza-Borrego Desert State Park – outside being the key word. Although I thought I got up early, I didn’t get up early enough. By the time I got there, the parking lot was full, and parking at all the trailheads that I could find were also full.

Oh, well. I parked on the road outside. That made it easy enough to take a picture of the park sign.

The desert was quite splendid. I was taken with these clusters of mixed plants.

They reminded me of bouquets or arrangements for fancy dinners.

There were cactuses here, too, but I didn’t see as many as I saw in Arizona.

There were prickly pear surrounded by was looks like baby’s breath that would work for Baby Huey.

The ocotillo was in bloom, too.

I loved wandering around in the flowers and snapping pictures whenever it struck my fancy.

In this shot, you can see how the flowers were clustered.

Look how green the hills were! This is quite a different look for the desert in this area.

These lavender-colored flowers are different from any I’ve seen before.

These pink ones remind me of snap dragons.

These remind me of cornflowers – only white.

After a few hours of wandering around, I needed the bathroom. I stopped in at the library. Not only did they have a bathroom that they didn’t mind sharing, they had a book sale.

I thought this might help me plan my travels as I made my way up the coast. Then it was time to head back. This time I stopped at the turnouts on the other side of the road.

This is the badlands.

This area is all about off-road vehicle fun.

Quad cycle fun.

Dirt bike fun.

The scenery is stunning.

Then it was time to head home. There’s the Salton Sea in the distance. I drove until I got to route 89 and then turned left.

Home again!

Salton Sea

My father used to talk about the Salton Sea. Try as hard as I could, I was unable to remember anything he told me about it. It is possible that he never went there, even though he lived in Long Beach. That is only about 175 miles away, but it was during the Depression, though, so it’s possible that they never went there.

Personally, I think he just liked the name. He always loved the way words sounded.

After an interesting drive through the Imperial Valley, I arrived at Oasis Palms RV Park. It was a nice place with a pool, hot tub, showers and a laundry room. It was close to the Salton Sea, and in the heart of an interesting agricultural area.

Public Domain,

I think the park was on the left side of the Salton Sea up near the top.

The sea is an interesting geologic feature. In its current form, it is kind of a man-made accident. According to Wikipedia, the engineers of the California Development Company dug a cut in the bank of the Colorado River to manage the water flow. The outflow from the river overwhelmed the engineered canal and the river flowed into the Salton Basin for two years before repairs were completed.

The Salton Sea is a shallow, saline, endorheic rift lake located directly on the San Andreas Fault. Its surface is 235 feet below sea level. The deepest point of the Sea is only five feet higher than the lowest point of Death Valley

I love that word “endorheic”. It means that it is an enclosed basin where water flows in but there is no outflow. Water evaporates or it seeps into the ground, but there are no streams, creeks or rivers emptying the lake.

As a result, the water is getting increasingly more saline and polluted. While it is beautiful, it stinks.

Really, doesn’t that look lovely?

I saw quite a few communities that were started up over the years, but abandoned.

Nowadays, it isn’t a place I’d want to be.

Somehow, though, there is a lot of agriculture – even more than shows up on the photo taken from space.

There are all sorts of greenhouses.

There are citrus ranches.

The orange blossoms smelled so sweet.

Of course, this is a desert, and the soil is dry. Water is applied judiciously. They don’t water dirt roads to keep the dust down.

The beehives are there, to assist with pollination.

Squash is growing in the fields, as are many other plants that I was unable to identify.

One crop that absolutely fascinated me was dates. The date groves were all over the place. Some were tall and slender.

Some were short and squatty.

You can see the ladder leaning up against this palm. Did you notice the ladders attached to the tall, slender ones? Let me share a close up with you.

Can you see the ladders now? That is one job I would not want to have!

Did you know that date palms are either male or female? I know that there are many plants like that, but I don’t know how many of them are commercial crops.

Unfortunately, neither birds nor bees are attracted to the flowers, so they have to be hand pollinated. This is incredibly labor-intensive. If you want to know more about it, this information from Dateland will tell you just about everything you want to know.

My last stop during my independent agricultural tour was Oasis Date Garden. They had a sample table. There were all sorts of sizes and tastes, and I tried them all.

I liked them! Who knew that I would like dates?

Go figure!




Time to go to the Dentist

My time in Phoenix wouldn’t be complete without mechanical issues, now would it? I mean, it had been almost two months!

I knew that I needed to get the brakes attended to before I started in on my mountain travels. I didn’t think that I would need as much done as I did. I have blocked exactly what was done from my memory.  (I do have the paperwork in my records, though.) Suffice it to say that it was expensive and it took a long, long time. You can see Bart in the middle bay. I got there at the beginning of the work day but didn’t leave until an hour after they should have closed.

However, I managed to get to the resort I had reserved near Yuma. Uh-oh. A resort…

Actually, on their website it looked really nice. It was on the bank of the Colorado River and had large, mature trees.

The rigs are really packed in, but look at those trees! Marvelous!

This is the site they put me in. All the nice sites are booked up by the year. But, there was water and electricity, and it was where I wanted to be, so it was good enough.

Where I wanted to be was close to the border crossing to Los Algodones, Mexico, so I could go get my teeth cleaned.

You go to the end of California 186 and then park in a lot run by Quechan Indian Nation. I paid my $6 to park for the day and walked across the border.

My first stop was a pharmacy. I needed to pick up some amoxicillin that I need to take before I have dental work done. I took a list of some other meds that I thought I  might pick up, if the price was right. My word! The prices were incredible! For instance, the amoxicillin was about $5 for 100 capsules!

Then, I passed by the people handing out flyers for the many clinics in town. According to one source I read, there are over 350 dentists in town that serve mostly people who cross the border to have dental work done.

I stood there looking at the papers, and a man asked me if he could help me. He saw the clinic on the top paper and said he could help me find it. I figured they paid people for customers, so I let him escort me over.

I got signed in – and he added his name to my form, so I suppose he will get some sort of commission – and I took my seat to wait my turn.

Before too long, I was ushered back to a work station. I got my teeth cleaned, I paid my $25 and then I was out in the sunshine again.

I started looking for lunch. Somehow, I ended up back by the wall.

There’s the wall, with a warning sign.

Danger – Extreme temperatures.  I guess Mexico is urging people not to cross, too.

I kept hunting for food. I saw this interesting “Welcome to Los Algodones” water tower.

I made my way back to the more populated parts of town.

There were stalls and stores lining all the streets. I managed to snap this picture quickly from across the intersection. I didn’t want to stop too close to where the merchandise was for sale. A standing gringo is a target for the salespeople.

I finally found lunch at Pueblo Viejo de los Algodones. While I was waiting for my order, they brought a basket of things to nibble on. I was familiar with the tortilla chips, but the wheels were new to me. I can’t say that I liked them, but I did try them.

Oh! This helped make them more palatable.

I sipped and nibbled and listened to the music while I waited for my food.

After lunch, it was time to head back across the border. The line was long, but Los Algodones had constructed a canopy to shade us from the strong sun.

Since there were standing gringos, there were people trying to sell us things, just in case we had forgotten to buy something.

Or, maybe we had gotten hungry while we were waiting in line.

After almost an hour in line, I made my way through immigration. The agent looked at my passport and waved me through.

On my way back to the “resort” I stopped to examine the All American Canal. I was curious. I am intrigued by all that goes into irrigating the desert so that food can be grown.

From my research, I found out that this is an 80-mile long aqueduct that carries water from the Colorado River into the Imperial Valley. It was authorized in 1928 by the Boulder Canyon Project Act, along with the Hoover Dam. Construction started in the 1930s and was completed in 1942.

According to my ultimate source, (Wikipedia) the All American Canal was featured in the 1957 horror movie, The Monster That Challenged the World.

There was also a historical marker nearby that commemorated the 1540 expedition of Hernando de Alarcon.

Alarcon’s mission was to provide supplies for Francisco Coronado’s expedition in search for the Fabled Seven Cities of Cibola, which were rumored to be made of gold. Coronado “visited” Sky City Pueblo in New Mexico, which I also visited.

This marker was erected in 1982 by the Squibob Chapter of E Clampus Vitus, among other groups.

This group is a fraternal order dedicated to the study and preservation of the heritage of the American West. According to my “ultimate source” the fraternity is not sure if it is a “historical drinking society” or a “drinking historical society.”

According to Wikipedia, the organization’s name is in Dog Latin, and has no known meaning; even the spelling is disputed. The members call themselves “Clampers” and the motto of the order, which is apparently also written in Dog Latin, is Credo Quia Absurdum. They take this to mean, “I believe it because it is absurd.”

Who knew? I certainly didn’t!

With my mission for Yuma completed, I was ready to roll on.

Next stop: Salton Sea!



Phoenix Miscellany

When you spend a chunk of time in a place, there are always small stories that won’t fill up a full post. Here are a few of those stories.

I was happy to meet up with Jeanne, a fellow Kalamazoo Public Schools teacher. She happened to be visiting her brother and we were able to meet up.

She suggested that we have dinner at Organ Stop Pizza. I have to admit that I was surprised when I got there. I thought that it would have kind of a desert theme – the name conjured up the Organ Pipe National Monument.

When I got there, I thought that maybe the name was a play on the artery-clogging potential of pizza.

But, no, it had to do with pipe organs, hence the name Organ Stop. And this organist could pull out all the stops! (And those who know me know that organ music isn’t my favorite.)

I tried to take a video, but I couldn’t do it justice. If you are loping for a one-or-a-kind dining experience in Mesa, I heartily recommend Organ Stop Pizza.

I met up with Pat and Shelly from Buffalo. We met when we were camping in Texas last year and then met up again when we were in Buffalo at the same time. They are also Airstreamers, and right now they are on an extended trip throughout the country.

Speaking of Airstreamers, I met up with Mary. She lives in Phoenix in a lovely mid-century modern house. She has her Airstream listed on AirBnB!

There was an Airstream gathering at a resort in Casa Grande, and Mary offered to let me drive down with her. We had a great chat along the way and I enjoyed hearing about here interesting life.

When we got to the resort, we tried to follow the guard’s directions to the pavilion. I think we turned the wrong way, but when we saw this lovely shiny trailer, we just had to stop.

Actually, we knew that someone with a non-Airstream trailer was going to be attending and that they were welcoming visitors. Their trailer was for sale, after all.

Such cool retro details!

After oohing and ahhing for a bit, we headed over to the gathering.

Parked by the pavilion was the mother of all tow vehicles! It was a customized Freightliner. The owner got the largest one he could get without needing a CDL license and had it fitted out exactly they way he wanted. In the back is a complete shop with just about every tool you can imagine. I wish I had taken a photo of the interior.

It was fun to meet up with so many Airstreamers. Here is a photo of Mary and me with Elizabeth, who organized the event.

Konnie and I made a visit to IKEA for browsing and lunch. Here’s a shot of me with the “official” Airstream mascot, the flamingo.

One of the things I love about IKEA is their practical approach to design. How marvelous that they would put in a sink in their rest room that is the right height for a child or a little person.

And, while we are on the topic of rest rooms, here is a photo of some tiles I found in a rest room along the way.

I love how it looks like origami paper that has been unfolded.

This multi-armed cactus caught my eye every time I turned down the road that lead to Lake Pleasant Regional Park.

Lake Pleasant had wild burros living in the park. I was so excited when I actually saw a herd one evening.

I guess it was dinner time.

Now, I know that there are wild burros in many places, but it is always exciting to see them.

There was a launch site for hot air balloons that I passed when I returned to the park at night. That was always a marvelous sight.

Yep, everyday is an adventure!



Konnie and I made two trips to an area that was identified as Aztlan, which is an archeological site in the Tonto National Forest.

Our first trip was a guided hike put on by the McDowell Sonoran Preserve Conservation Group. We met at a clubhouse nearby and carpooled to the residential neighborhood right in front of the entrance to the site. We walked through an area that looked like it might have been someone’s yard, around a water tank and there we were.

According to our guides, when the housing development was going in, they discovered sites that they believe were the center of the Aztlan civilization, which is the legendary ancestral home of the Aztec peoples.

I guess Phoenix is more or less in the center – especially when you don’t count the Mayan regions in the south of Mexico. Of course, this is all long before our time – maybe a thousand years ago.

The selected this site for its flat land and proximity to water. This site is along the Verde River.

Our first stop was looking for pottery shards. Our guides told us to look for small bumps in the flat landscape. Those would be the trash heaps, or middens.

You can detect the irregularity in the landscape, if you look carefully. We divided up into two groups and started scouring the ground for shards.

There’s a shard, lying right there on top of the ground!

I picked up a few of them and added them to our group’s collection.

We had a nice collection of pieces of utilitarian-looking pots. None of us found anything that was decorated, but it was fun looking for the pieces and seeing what everyone collected.

There were no excavated dwellings to see along this hike, but it was an interesting hike.

The place had seen many uses throughout the ages. We did see a site that was occupied by settlers who had worked for the U.S. Army at Fort McDowell. They were given permission to move to this area, they acquired the land and built a house. Things were going great. They were making a living and expanding their fortunes. Things were going great until an Army surveyor made a mistake and placed the Fort’s boundary on the other side of the house.

While the parents were off taking care of their businesses, the Army rode in, rounded up the kids and moved them to a tent on the other side the new boundary and burned the house down.

Eventually, the surveying mistake was discovered, but no restitution was ever made. They stress of the events broke up the family and they never returned to their previous holding.

This is what I remember of the story. I may be remembering correctly what I was told and what they told us might be accurate.

We walked along the edge of the bench by the Verde River. “Bench?” you inquire. Actually, I think it would more accurately be called a fluvial terrace. In any event, the river was quite a ways below us. In theory there was a path to take to get down to the river. I wasn’t interested in trying to find a way down. Besides, the group kept moving.

Another more contemporary use of this area was as an emergency airstrip during World War II.

You can still see the flat area they cleared.

While we were walking in this area, we spotted the wild horses!

With all the people in the group, it was kind of hard to get to close. Konnie and I decided we’d come back another time to look for them.

Our last stop on the tour was what they told us was a ball court. It definitely looks like human hands have done something here, but it was much smaller than any ball court I’ve seen before.

After that, it was time to head back to our cars. Most of the people there were really fast on their feet. I walked as quickly as I could, but I was the only person walking with the guide who was bringing up the rear. I kept my head down and walked as fast as I could, but my best was no match for the pace the leader set. As I always say, I am more of a stroller than a hiker.

Konnie and I made it a point to get back to the site again. This time, I actually could look at things and snap a few pictures of the things that caught my eye.

On the group hike, the guide told us that this nest built by a hawk, although other birds may have moved in after they moved out.

With our eyes on the ground, we found some 20th century pottery shards. I wonder where the purple glass came from?

I enjoyed the rocks I saw. You can really see the effect of water on the land. These were all transported from far away.

Finally, though, we spotted what we’d come for. The wild horses! Here’s Konnie trying to get closer without spooking them.

How beautiful!

It seems to be foaling season.

This horse looks like she is going to be adding to the herd before too long.

They look so healthy and strong.

They are close to the river for their serious water needs, but for a quick sip, I guess a puddle will do.

We went to do a little more exploring.

We ended up along the Verde River.

While the river is high, it must have been a lot higher.  It was interesting to see it close up.

We met a woman who was sitting along the river, and we had a nice chat. She took a photo of Konnie and me on our last adventure before I headed out.

Thanks for all the good times, Konnie!




Facebook – one of my favorite sources, in addition to Wikipedia – had an article on about Ted’s Hot Dog’s 90th anniversary that was published in the Buffalo News.

This photo is of a Ted’s in Western New York.

It the discussion that followed the article, I learned that there was a Ted’s in the Phoenix area! Well, I just had to check it out.

One day, when I was finished administering a test near their Tempe location, I went there for dinner.

Some things looked very similar to the Western New York locations. There’s the big neon sign.

The hours sign with the familiar hot dog character.

There he is again!

However, the landscaping kind of gave away the location. That doesn’t quite look like Buffalo!

While I was waiting for my hot dog to be cooked, I noticed that they had the Buffalo News in racks for us to read. Cool!


My seat was near the door, and I heard three men pausing to discuss things. I do love to eavesdrop! They were discussing Buffalo, and so I stuck my nose in the conversation and asked them if they were from Buffalo. We chatted for a bit, and it turns out that one of the men was the grandson of the original Ted! His name is also Ted.

He graciously posed for a photo with me.

What a fun dinner!




Spur Cross Ranch Outing

Adventure buddy Konnie and I set out to explore Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area.

We parked and headed toward the trails.

What a beautiful day for a hike!

It’s hard to believe that this is a desert.

But, those cactuses kind of give it away. Yes, it’s a desert!

We got down to the creek.

The sound of water in the desert is so peaceful.

We continued our explorations. I wondered about the name of this trail, Metate Trail.

A metate is a tool used for grinding corn. There are a lot of forms of them.

This is a souvenir version that I brought home with me from my years in Guatemala. The stone on top is called a “mano”, and this one is too large for the metate underneath.

As long as I’m sharing about Guatemala and metates, I figured I’d share this sculpture I brought home that shows how tortillas were traditionally made.

You’re welcome.

Anyway, we set off down the path and we found metates!

The people who lived here long ago found this rock and used it to grind their grains. Sometimes rocks would have a natural indentation that they would use to start. Over the years, the grinding would wear away the rock creating deeper pockets.

Konnie and I looked for cactuses to take pictures with. This one was her choice.

I picked this one.

I was surprised that this prickly pear was covered with vines. That’s not something I would expect to see in a desert.

This vine had some mighty odd looking fruits. Konnie tells me that they are wild cucumbers.

Time for another look at the mountains and then off to Cave Creek for a little sustenance at Big Earl’s Greasy Eats.

And so another concludes another outing with adventure buddy, Konnie.





V Bar V Ranch – More Petroglyphs

Konnie and I made plans to visit the V bar V Ranch, near Sedona, to see the petroglyphs that were on display there. Unfortunately, Konnie was unable to join me, so I went by myself.

I gassed up ol’ Bart and set out bright and early for the 90 mile drive. Along the way, I gained about 3000 feet in altitude. I followed the directions and was happy to see the sign.

I pulled in to the parking lot and proudly displayed my America the Beautiful Pass. I like it when I can make more use of my $80 annual investment.

I passed under the gate and headed toward the ranger station. I checked in and assured the ranger that I had my pass properly displayed and went in search of petroglyphs.

There is not much left of the cattle ranch that was here. They don’t talk much about the ranch, except to say that the fact that this was a working ranch is part of the reason that the petroglyphs were so well preserved. I guess the cattle helped to keep people away.

I didn’t know what to expect. My previous experience with petroglyph sites was that I should expect to walk among boulders. Walking down this level gravel path was unexpected.

There are always things to see. This cut off branch caught my eye. I am amazed at how dry and cracked it is. I wonder how old it is.

So many questions!

After a short stroll, I got to the petroglyph site. It was a cliff that was covered with 1,032 petroglyphs in 13 panels.

There was a marvelous docent there who took great pride in explaining what was known about the petroglyphs that were created by the Sinagua culture between A.D. 1150 and 1400. Actually, all that is known about this culture is what archeologists have put together by study of what has been left behind.

Jim, the docent, has his own methods, though. He takes advantage of every  opportunity to talk with Indians about what they think of the symbols. Here he is, picking the brain of a visitor who identified himself as Hopi.

Jim told us that these forms were important. He identified the top figure as the Creator and the bottom one as an antelope. The holes are part of a calendar.

I snapped this photo from his notebook. You can see the two figures and the holes I mentioned earlier. Supposedly, this is from the solstice. I am not sure how the holes play into the calendar. Maybe they do at a different time of year.

The archeologists felt that this site was used primarily by priests or healers. As such, being able to tell when it was time to plant was important.

Jim told us that they think that the shapes in the center might be maps of fields. They used terraced fields, and archeologists have found indications that they farmed the hills around the site.

This petroglyph appears to be a map of the Verde River.

Are you doubtful? Here is a photo I took of Jim’s resource notebook.

It sure looks like it could be a map of the river!

There were a lot of bird form glyphs as well as other zoomorphic forms.

There is one female form on the wall. You do kind of have to use your imagination, but you can make out her squash blossom hairdo.

Jim told us that there were actually more than 1,032 glyphs. The cliff went down more than five feet deeper. The soil had been deposited by the annual flooding of Wet Beaver Creek over the years. Archeologists have done exploratory trenches by the wall and found glyphs all the way down.

The thirteen panels of the site are quite tightly grouped.

In fact, this site so tightly grouped that the whole area is enclosed in a chain link fence. They are committed to preserving it for future generations.

And that is a good thing.

South Mountain Park

Konnie and I were off on another adventure!

This time, we went to South Mountain Park, which is has the distinction of being the being the largest municipal park in the United States. It is more that 25 square miles! Oddly enough, it is classified as an urban park. It seems like it is no where near the city, but there you have it. It is one of the largest urban parks in the world.

Konnie was driving, and I was glad she was. The road to the Dobbin’s Lookout is 5.5 miles of steep sections and blind curves.

Dobbin’s Lookout rises more that 1,200 over Phoenix.

The view is spectacular!

We walked over to the shelter to check it out. What does that sign say?

Ah! Well, that’s one warning I didn’t need.

The view was nicely framed by one of the windows in the shelter.

Konnie sat in the window and drank in the view.

After taking in the sights, we headed back down to see what else we could see.

This beautiful stone building must have been a headquarters at one time.

I like this plaque. It’s so much more positive than a list of all the things that are prohibited.

After stopping at the old building, we went over to the current headquarters. It was closed – which seems to be the way it goes.

Konnie snapped a photo of me with a statue dedicated to America’s CCC boys. The Civilian Conservation Corps was the salvation of many families during the Depression. The $25 per month that the boys sent home made the difference in the survival of their families.

And after that, it was time for food!