Home based in Scottsdale for the past week, Don and I enjoyed some great day trips around the Phoenix area. Usually, going to Phoenix is a fast trip to Sky Harbor airport to collect a visitor and sometimes included a side trip to the IKEA store. We were always intimidated by the spaghetti freeways that surround the area and always opted to get back to our safe Tucson before the sun went down, so when we were looking to use a timeshare vacation week before we would loose it, we decided to give Phoenix & Scottsdale a look see, especially after hearing so many things about the area from the locals, the Arizona Highways magazine and my friend Lena. And, a whole week in the area would allow us to face our driving demons and apprehensions of maneuvering their massive freeways.
While rain is scarce out here, it can follow anyone’s vacation plans, including ours. The forecast was “rain for five of our seven days”, so while our first day there was a gloriously sunny one, we decided to head for the Apache Trail (Rte 88) and Roosevelt Lake. About 1 hr east of Scottsdale you pick up the Apache Trail in Apache Junction. (how appropriate.) This trail takes you north into the Tonto National Forest and the Superstition Mountains where 40 miles of steep and winding, mostly washboard (unpaved), roads pass magnificent scenery. At the end of the trail, you come upon The Theodore Roosevelt Lake, which was formed by the construction of a masonry dam on the Salt River in 1911, making it the oldest artificial reservoir in Arizona. Maintaining numerous houseboat communities, it is certainly a water activity Mecca. We always wondered when we saw someone in the desert hauling a trailer with a boat where they were going. This must be the place………….. The pictures just don’t do it justice.
Ballad of Tortilla Flat
Sung to the tune of "The Beverly Hillbillies
Come and listen to my story, it won’t take long.
About a little town, with mountains all around.
On the Apache Trail, is where you should be at,
Cause we’re servin’ up vittles, at Tortilla Flat
Burgers, that is.
Well, a long time ago, the stage went threw.
All travelers stayed here, and had a great view.
Not far from Canyon Lake, and the “Dolly" too.
So plan on a trip, you’ll be glad you do.
That’s the truth.
Would we kid you?
Now, Tortilla Flat is open, all through the year.
Saddle up to the bar, and have a beer.
Put a dollar on our wall, it’ll always be there.
Be sure to try our ice cream, it’s Prickly Pear.
Lip smackin’ good.
So, come along a set a spell, at Tortilla Flat.
The sidewalk is made of wood, you can’t beat that.
The hangin’ tree is down a way, but don’t you fret.
We haven’t hung a customer, at least not yet.
Ya all come out , now,