Single- Track Through Paradise

May 28, 2017, Cave Creek-

I have now gone from one point of angels to another, meaning from Superior to Cave Creek, via Globe and the Apache Trail.  This road (AZ Highway 88) is mostly single track, offering enough room for vehicles heading one way to pass, whilst those going in the opposite direction wait their turn.  It’s good for people to do this, at least a few times in their lives.  I last drove the AT, in 1983, with Penny in tow.  She was petrified and made me promise never to bring her there again. Today, she and my other spirit-minders made sure I paid close attention.  With scenes like the one below, it might not have been so easy, had my main focus not been on the well-being of everyone on the road, including yours truly.  Fortunately, there were also plenty of turn-outs.


There are two lakes along the Apache trail, between Roosevelt Dam and Goldfield. Here is a view of Apache Lake.  When I taught at Villa-Oasis School, in the late 1970’s, this was one of the places groups of kids were sent for camping weekends.


Imagine how the Salt River must have flowed, before these reclamation projects took root.

At Fish Creek Hill, I drove up a 10% grade, made doable by the dryness of the road, and the cautious courtesy of all comers.  One is rewarded at the top, by  amazing views of the Superstition Wilderness.






Fish Creek Canyon looks like a fun place to hike and camp- in November.

I drove on, and found the pavement had resumed, about 1 1/2 miles west of the overlook.  So did one young man behind me, who chose to pass, on a double yellow line, in a 15-MPH curve zone.  The look on the face of the driver who had to stop and wait for him was classic.  I would not want to be on approaching driver’s bad side. Itchy Foot was the only one who broke courtesy, on the 44-mile drive.

I stopped at Tortilla Flat, a small tourist haven, close to Lost Dutchman State Park, in the heart of the Superstition Wilderness.  Siphon  Draw and Boulder Canyon are two popular hiking trails, accessible from Tortilla Flat.  Again, late Fall and early Spring are the best times for this area.  Tortilla Flat does offer a wide variety of cool treats, and I thoroughly enjoyed a sarsaparilla float.


Back in  1900’s Arizona,, sidewalks, and even some roads, were made of planks.


Having had a nice relaxing break, I headed on towards Apache Junction, then up through the Valley, to pay my Memorial Day respects to Penny.

There is one more attraction on the Apache Trail, before one gets to Goldfield (another, slightly more upgraded “ghost town”),  This is Canyon Lake.


Each of the lakes and vista points along the Apache Trail is worth a day or two, in comfortable weather.  People, nonetheless, go there, even in the heat of summer, at least where there is water.  Looking back, I spent most of my summer days in and around water, as a child and young adult, so the appeal is a no-brainer.  It beats being inside.

I stopped at the Cemetery, anchored Penny’s flag, and one other, and thought of how fortunate I’ve been, with her presence, since 1980, and since 2011.

As I pulled up to Local Jonny’s, a lovely young woman, who seemed to be an advanced medical or law student, given her heavy briefcase, was securing her dog’s leash to the gatepost.  There weren’t many inside, so  Alicia was  glad I stopped in, and in ten minutes, I had the last of her pitcher of iced tea and a cilantro chicken salad was placed in front of me.  Jonny’s salads are good for two meals, so I have Monday’s lunch in my cooler, as the drive back to Prescott begins.

Having angels surrounding me, in all directions, including above, is a comforting state of affairs.  Oh, and an e-mail from the chief of department leaves the door to my staying in Prescott ajar, at least.





11 thoughts on “Single- Track Through Paradise

  1. I think I’m with Penny on the opinion of driving that road! I don’t much like mountain roads with curves and drop offs and no guard rails and a single lane!! However I do like your photos and the good news that you have the possibility of remaining in Prescott!


  2. I’m reminded not of arizona here but looking down across leadville co. from mosquito pass knowing much of it is carefully traversable in the wrong vehicle like say a amc. lol obviously it’s posted a four wheel drive trail. . – isn’t life an asside sometimes? oh by the way? 😀 lol – thought you’d pop up calling out “board Walk..Board walk” as if to the sixtiessomething tune. I dimly am aware kansas had some serious industry with cement once a forever ago yet some of these things weren’t in the logistics loop then 😉 . . of course Ihank you hopefully as you can see 😉 for stopping by 🙂 as in mine 🙂


  3. crud! i knew i was forgetting something! sarsasparillas you this time as a float. thanks also for reminding me of a certain devil’s tower after “the good stuff!” only lol to find out lo and behold someone else knew the place weelll. I believe you’ve met Inot quite yet..


    • Devil’s Tower, or Spirit Tower, as I prefer to call it, was a high point of the largely bleak summer of 2013. I will go back there again, at some point. Like Superior and Cave Creek, it is one of those places where I feel totally loved, and at home. Manitou Springs is another such place. Prescott has its share of people who care about me, but the day-to-day struggle of this year has worn on me a bit. I guess that’s true of anywhere, though.


      • ahh. I think of the places I’ve visited, tried making beans wit actual lard in el paso only to be invited to the lady of that couple/prev. neighbors friend’s where she made rude anatomically on purpose shaped coookies. or to be waiting for a transfer in w.d.c. only to be approached by a panhandler- but while i was giving by choice outgoing onthe return i couldn’t be yet i was rather taken aback when i was recognized. heh. the rotten smell of the ocean but the bridge over to washington state from astoria ore. is a neat corkscrew -sure i’ve since seen them in late north carolina and early tennesee but it just was neat. while i haven’t been as lucky with the nature at homeness as you or the people kinds either, i haven’t been unfortunate by a long shot! yes even when it seems i’ve found the friends at impass of relationship moments included.- it’s easier now to understand the value even in it not being forever seeming infinite within abundances- but such can be a blessing! 🙂 for instance, I wouldn’t have ever expected getting a gentle mind kick in the shins for being a perfect smart bottom in the middle of ohio to still make me laugh….yet to know that while I would have liked to have stayed or moved elsewhere forward lol she had a point in staying close with the folks providing about the most stable childhood for her small one….with a nice connection to family. i wouldn’t have actually fit then and there…but to accept that is a smile now as so many what ifs came to me in away/peoples to show a: i was right, i cared and was cared about. I could mechanically fulfill much but in an emptiness of spirit/meaning to all the money…other’s dreams. i am far more blessed to have ‘lost” than to have soured winning. as i didn’t lose at all but won.memories attration however fleeting etc. but to you. ahh yes, there are those moments when you wke up on day fifteen of having needed to do laundry in a space with facility only to have it full and the only free moment to lead to that please laundry?? is a grouchiliciousness of not right now lol. as in now just aint that time! so they’re simple like washed wrung and dried ias i can and I’m about my life not quite as conveniently but lol when is life ever wholly convenient for LONG? 😉


  4. Beautiful scenery, Gary.

    That restaurant you stopped off at reminds me very much of the restaurant in a small town in the high plains of Washington state that my dad and I stopped off at in 1995 where I ate the best omelette I ever tasted in my life.

    The proprietor/cook was a real cowboy with rugged denim jeans, authentic rodeo belt buckle and real silver spurs on his cowboy boots.

    And the sidewalks on the one block main street where this restaurant was located was made of wooden planks as well.

    Looking at these photos, it’s almost as if this Arizona town you show is the twin brother of that town in Washington state.


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