Thursday, February 16, 2012

Frontier Country

Today's adventure took us to such western frontier sounding places as Apache Junction, Goldfield, Canyon Lake and Tortilla Flats.  Just see the fun we had and the sights we saw.

Apache Junction was our destination but just as a stopping off point to other sights.  Just outside of Apache Junction there's a reconstructed gold mining town from the late 1800s.  You can take a tour of an old gold mine, watch a real live gun fight, pay $1.00 to have your spouse hanged from the gallows, pan for gold, etc.  Since we had done all this a couple of years ago, and since we were on our way to someplace else, we just spent an hour in Goldfield sightseeing and taking in the atomosphere.

Lloyd and I resting on main street

The main feature of this area of Arizona is the Superstition Mountains.  Lots of stories are told of gold mines, including the famous Lost Dutchman Mine which is supposed to be worth millions of dollars.  They are very beautiful mountains, full of history and mystery.

Lloyd and I in Goldfield with the Superstition Mountains in the background.

Lloyd and Randy in front of a huge saguaro cactus and old mining machinery.

This haunted looking house on the top of the hill is the bordello - a very important part of frontier life.

And just look at who's visiting the beautiful young bordello hostess - none other than Lloyd and Randy!

While their oh-so-pure and chaste wives visit the church!  Can  you say "goodie two shoes"?

Then after a quick visit to the local hygenic facilities, we were off to our next adventure.

just kidding - this outhouse is just for show.

The main reason for our outing today was to take a riverboat cruise on Canyon Lake, 16 mile into the mountains from Goldfield.  I did not like the drive from Goldfield to Canyon Lake very much - all twisty turny narrow two-lane highway - up one mountain and down the next, around hairpin bends with breath-taking views.  I loved the views but there was no safe place to stop to take pictures.  The cruise was well worth the effort to get there though.

Part of Canyon Lake from the lookout

More of Canyon Lake

Dolly, our lake steamship

Wendy and Randy enjoying our open-air cruise

The captain pointed out points of interest on the 90 minute lake cruise.  Among them was this formation that he said was Johann Sebastian Bach sitting at his organ playing one of his compositions. We listened quietly and suddenly the air was full of the sound of one of Bach's beautiful pieces of a 'box' canyon...pardon the pun!

Now this one is a little trickier.  There is actually the form of a mastadon there.  His trunk is the dividing wall between the first two caves on the left.  His front leg is formed between the second and third caves, his underbelly is the third cave with the cave wall being his back legs.  From there it's easy to see the rest of his body.  Raise your hand if you can see the mastadon.  Good for you.  I knew you could do it.

 This is a 500 foot lava cliff.  This whole area was formed by the eruption of three super volcanoes millennia ago.  The wall of the cliff is very green - covered with a type of lichens that only grows on lava rock.

That's the lower part of the cliff wall behind me as I stand on the deck of the boat.

 The water looks green behind Wendy too, reflecting the green of the huge cliff.

One of the many vistas laid out for us.

Wendy, Lloyd and Randy enjoying the cruise.
We saw several bald eagles flying overhead, and the captain pointed out a nest at one point.  They were all far above us.  Here, through the magic of zoom lens is a picture of a golden eagle perched on top of a cliff. 

Now, in my last blog when I mentioned we were going to Apache Junction, Rho suggested in her comment that we go the extra few miles to Tortilla Flat and to be sure to check out the restrooms there.  So we did.  Tortilla Flat is a wide place in the road - population 6.  There's a mercantile store, a museum, a cafe and a restaurant.  Its the restaurant that is amazing.  It's huge and all it's walls are papered with dollar bills - real money!   Incredible. 

The wall in the foyer - papered with dollar bills

When Rho told me to check out the restrooms, I wasn't sure which ones she meant, so I took pictures of them all, starting with the one in the parking lot.

Then on the boardwalk, Wendy found this one.

But I think these were the ones Rho was referring to.  In the ladies restroom of the restaurant papered with dollar bills, were these awful, amazing stalls.  The awful part was the fact that they had short fronts so anyone wanting to see if someone was using any particular stall just had to look over the top.  Yuck.  The fun part was that you could have your picture taken in the stall...

Now ain't that just the classiest thing you ever did see??

On that note, I'll end this way-too-long blog.



Anonymous said...

Looks like you having a great time!


Mickey said...

Not too long at all! I love all the Western sites. Imagine a riverboat in Arizona! Very interesting Pat. (You made my being awakened before 6 am worthwhile! ..while the cartoons roar! PD day today! He wakes up early!)

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Your day was filled with lots of history and beautiful sites. I'd think it would be very relaxing cruising along on the river. I loved seeing all your pictures. Hope your Friday is a fantastic one too!

just call me jo said...

I've been to that lake but none of the other sites. Love the pictures. Was it warm enough? It seems kind of cold to me, but I'm a sissy now. Looks like you found fun places.

Magpie said...

I'm so going on this trip!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking us along with you on this fabulous trip! I'm still chuckling at being able to have your husband strung up for a dollar ...... and I love the photos in the 'facilities'!!


My daughter's house sits somewhere near Superstition Mountain. She has a lovely view of it from her living room window. I LOVE this TOUR of yours, through all of these FANTASTIC sites. Had to chuckle seeing the guys at the Bordello while you ladies went to church. My hubby was tickled by seeing your photo of BACH in the rock formations. He also LOVED the fact, his music was played on the cruise as you saw it. He thought your pun was VERY funny. He's a classical music lover. Looks like you had a great adventure. Your PHOTOS were TERRIFIC. Thanks for taking us along. Take care.

Ellie said...

What an interesting trip and the scenery if breathtaking. Thanks for taking me along.

Flora said...

We did that drive last March..didn't take the boat ride though...

JQ said...

When did Dad and Randy become twins?

Danielle said...

oh my - it looks so pretty!! I love western towns - we have one in my husband's home town for the 'shooters' in town.
thanks for sharing !

Anonymous said...

That should be Wendy's profile picture. Classic, and classy lol!