View Full Version : Trip to Arizona in a Nutshell



brdad
05-01-2008, 05:15 PM
Since Bruce is sharing his trip I thought I'd post a quick pictoral of our trip to Arizona last week...

We flew out Sunday morning the 20th and spent a few days in the Phoenix area with Lee's Son's family, including a new granddaughter. We took them caching and swam in the cement pond and had a lot of fun with the two girls.

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Wednesday morning we took off in a rental to see as much country as time would allow and grab a few caches on the way. We headed west on Superstition highway through some amazing mountains. It didn't take long to see Arizona is not all flat desert. In fact, much of it is at a higher elevation than any point in Maine, and cool and breezy. But great sunshine.

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At one point, we ended up at Salt River Canyon. This road switches back many time as you descend down into the canyon about 1500-2000 feet lower in elevation and back up again. There is a cache at the bridge at the bottom.

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We continued on northwestward and drove through the Petrified Forest National Park. I expected this to just be some scraps of petrified wood, but there is much more to see in this park. Also, there are some big trees in the petrified forest. Many are 3-4 feet in diameter, a couple are closer to 6. And many of them! Other attractions through the park are where the Old Rt 66 used to pass through, painted deserts, "Newspaper Rock" petroglyphs, and a few virtual and earthcaches. All well worth the entry fee.

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We were going to stay nearby that night, but we wanted to do all we could to visit a place called Antelope Canyon. So we drove to Flagstaff to cut 100 miles off Thursday's drive. Just so you know, Flagstaff is busy with trains! We heard them all night long. In the early evening, there was at least one passing through town every 5 minutes. It seemed like that lessened to every 10 minutes as the night went on.

On our way north to Page on Thursday, we took a loop through the Sunset Crater/Wupatki national monuments parks. Sunset crater is an old volcano, very much worth seeing. There are a few trails and caches in the area, including one through the lava flow. The Wupatki and other ruins on the nothern part of the loop are well worth a look as well.

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From there we headed north to page. We drove to the entrance to Antelope Canyon to see if we might be able to go. You cannot go alone, you need a guide and a permit. But you can get the permit on-site and they have about 5 or 6 guides with trucks all set up to take you there. After a short, fast ride across desert we came to the slot canyons. These are a must do if you're in the area, truly spectacular. No caches are there because it is on reservation land, but you won't care!

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That was it for Thursday, except for a short drive to the Utah line for a cache there and a few others in the area. On Friday, we headed for a natural area known as Horsehoe Bend. I saw pics of this before leaving and there was a cache there, so we had to do it. This is another spot pictures or words can't fully describe. Planet of the Apes was filmed in this area, and when you are there you can see why. the walk to the cache is fairly easy, but long enough to make you really appreciate the terrain.

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From there we drove past the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. That is as amazing as you would expect it to be. It is a bit less enjoyable as you approach the heavily visited areas, there must have been 1000 people at Grand Canyon Village.

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From there we cached our way south to Kingman, not far from the AZ/CA/NV border. Saturday morning we headed toward and old ghost town, Oatman, via Historic rt. 66. This in itself was a great trip, imagining what it must have been like to traverse this twisting stretch of road in the old days. The roads are barely wide enough to pass two cars, with no guard rails to protect you from 100-500 foot drop-offs. Oatman was nice, but we were unaware of a biker gather in Laughlin, NV, about 10 miles away. So this ghost town with a normal population of 50 or so had several hundred motocyclists visiting. We hope to go back when it's quieter some day, but it was still worth the visit.

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Here's a pic of Lee and me in Oatman. :) Actually, these burros roam wild, anscestors of the burros used by prospectors.

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From Oakman, we drove acros the borders of CA and NV to get a few caches in those states, then drove back to Phoenix. We turned the rental in that night, so Saturday we walked the streets of phoenix to pick up a few caches before flying home.

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All in all, a great time. Phoenix was hot, 90° and 2% humidity, but northern AZ was closer to Maine in the fall. We bought a case of water, and used it all in the week. Caches were often Altoid tins. A few were just zip lock bags. One was a stuffed animal. but, with the dry air there, they were all in good condition.

That's about it, there are a few additioanal pics on photobucket if you care to take a look. http://s235.photobucket.com/albums/ee37/brdad/Arizona/?start=all

This is the route we took A ---> B
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TRF
05-01-2008, 05:24 PM
Awesome pictures!! Looks like Lee and yourelf had a great trip!!!!!!

firefighterjake
05-02-2008, 11:20 AM
Great pics and narrative Brad . . . for the record I believe Laughlin is in Nevada though . . . I went to a Clowning and Puppetry in Fire Safety Conference out there (well technically it was in Bullhead City, AZ across the river) a number of years ago (pre-geocaching days) . . . stayed at a nearby hotel cassino there ($15 a night . . . but nearly died since I had a cold and the room was a smoking room and the windows would only open a crack . . . figured it was to keep the depressed losing gamblers from leaping to their deaths. :) )

I did take off one day to do some exploring . . . drove and drove and drove through some pretty depressing looking areas, got to Hoover Dam, didn't realize you could take a tour and then drove back . . . and about halfway back had to go to the bathroom really, really, really bad . . . and couldn't find any place to go . . . nearly blew up my insides on that trip. ;):D

I am however going back to the area at the end of this month to Sin City . . . might be able to get some caching in while attending the NFPA Conference out there.

brdad
05-02-2008, 02:10 PM
blah blah ...for the record I believe Laughlin is in Nevada though . . . blah blah...

I stand corrected. All I know is it was across a border from AZ, and with the numbers of motorcycles in Oatman there was no way I was going to Laughlin!

As it was we had to alter our route once, and early had to a second time. There were two accidents with traffic backed up a long way. I assume both involved motorcycles, hopefully no one got hurt too much.

Edited my post to reflect he correct state. ;)

We didn't make it to Hoover Dam, but if we go out again, we'll probably try Oatman again and do the dam.

firefighterjake
05-02-2008, 02:34 PM
I stand corrected. All I know is it was across a border from AZ, and with the numbers of motorcycles in Oatman there was no way I was going to Laughlin!

As it was we had to alter our route once, and early had to a second time. There were two accidents with traffic backed up a long way. I assume both involved motorcycles, hopefully no one got hurt too much.

Edited my post to reflect he correct state. ;)

We didn't make it to Hoover Dam, but if we go out again, we'll probably try Oatman again and do the dam.

:D:D:D Got a kick out of your quote with my original one-line statement and then . . . blah, blah. I suppose I sound like that to a lot of folks. ;):D

Trust me, you didn't miss much . . . while I have never been to Vegas I can only assume that Laughlin is a watered down version of that place basically a strip of highway with a bunch of casinos lining both sides.

Again, I enjoyed the telling of your trip . . . blah, blah, blah. :D;)

Hiram357
05-02-2008, 02:38 PM
you went to arizona... surrrrrreee.... I can tell those rocks are fake!!! ;)

those are some awesome pictures of those caves!

Mainiac1957
05-02-2008, 03:51 PM
Great pics and narrative Brad . . . .

Thanks for the compliment Jake....;)



But for the record.... Br"D"ad's name is Dave.:p

firefighterjake
05-02-2008, 04:07 PM
Thanks for the compliment Jake....;)



But for the record.... Br"D"ad's name is Dave.:p

Oops . . . I know that . . . momentary loss of brain function. Blah blah blah

Sorry Dave . . . or is that sorry Brad . . . no, I think I got it right the first time. Sorry Dave. I know better . . . just not thinking. Blah blah blah ;):D

Beach Comber
05-02-2008, 08:10 PM
Wow - that was quite a nutshell - heheheheh

Thanks for sharing! It is so different in some parts of the west than here. Some day I hope to drive across the country and visit many of the awesome places along the way.

Awesome pics!

team moxiepup
05-03-2008, 09:21 PM
Great Pics thanks for sharing. We wish we had been into caching when we were out in Utah. You guys sure racked up some miles!! Sounds like you had a great time and saw some amazing places.

Foxgloves
05-04-2008, 07:03 AM
I’m sitting here with a cup of coffee enjoying your pictures. Wow! Beautiful …and your granddaughters are as sweet as can be.
I have never been to Arizona but would love to visit sometime. Especially today…when it is cold and dreary and rainy here in VT. Absolutely depressing.:(

Did you see any poisonous snakes while you were there? That’s one place I would be a little nervous caching. :confused:

Hiker Twins
05-04-2008, 07:29 AM
Your pictures make me want to go back to Arizona for another vacation. I was there in the late 80's!

brdad
05-04-2008, 07:48 AM
Did you see any poisonous snakes while you were there? That’s one place I would be a little nervous caching. :confused:

No, we didn't see any snakes. I really wanted to see some (before they saw me, of course), as well as some other local animals - scorpions, Javelina, maybe a Gila Monster. But, all we saw for wildlife were rabbits, some small lizards, an owl, turkey vultures, and quite a few cows, horses, and sheep. I think our chances of seeing many of those would have been better had we spent more time in the south.

As for miles, We put on a little over 1200 miles in 4 days of driving according to my calculations. The caches along the way broke up the long stretches well.

darterkitfox
05-04-2008, 08:26 AM
Your trip went to all the exact places we went to a few years ago, which unfortunately was before we took up caching. We did stay in Winslow, Arizona (because of the Eagle's song) where our motel next to the train tracks was not a pleasure. They do go by all night. We made it to Laughlin and it's not very big. They do have a nice walkway along the Colarado river between it and the casinos. Must be a cache there somewhere. And I really think rattlesnakes are a myth. On that trip and one we took to Death Valley, I actually took a mirror with me to reflect sunlight into crevasses and under rocks and spent much time looking for snakes (which even non poisonous, I deathly hate). In an old ghost town I lifted tin roofing and other materials thinking snakes might be hidden underneath staying sheltered and warm. Never saw signs of any. Rattlesnakes are just something made up by Steve Irwin and the Discovery channel. Looking back on past vacations though, it makes you wonder how close you were sitting to a cache while stopping to rest on a rock on the side of a trail. Can't wait to get back to vacations someday. I need some states colored in.

WhereRWe?
05-05-2008, 03:21 AM
Sheesh! Great pictures, Dave! They put my poor offerings to shame. LOL! Glad you had a great time. Traveling is great - do it more often! :D:D

Team Trout
05-07-2008, 10:14 AM
So I was logging some cache finds that we did while our family was on a trip to Arizona last week and much to my surprise I noticed that the last folks to log one of the caches (Salt River Canyon Bridge Cache) I was logging was msteelee and brdad! Unbelievable! Small world, huh?

Looks like you folks went to a few of the same places we did. We also visited the Petrified Forest, Painted Forest and the Grand Canyon. Amazing places, all of them.

We were visiting relatives in Tucson and to go to a wedding there, so we got to visit a bunch of the sites around there, including the Saguaro National Forest, the Kartchner Caverns, the Chiricahua National Monument and PIMA Air Space Museum. We had a wonderful trip and saw a bunch of amazing sites.

brdad
05-07-2008, 11:07 AM
So I was logging some cache finds that we did while our family was on a trip to Arizona last week and much to my surprise I noticed that the last folks to log one of the caches (Salt River Canyon Bridge Cache) I was logging was msteelee and brdad! Unbelievable! Small world, huh?

Looks like you folks went to a few of the same places we did. We also visited the Petrified Forest, Painted Forest and the Grand Canyon. Amazing places, all of them.

We were visiting relatives in Tucson and to go to a wedding there, so we got to visit a bunch of the sites around there, including the Saguaro National Forest, the Kartchner Caverns, the Chiricahua National Monument and PIMA Air Space Museum. We had a wonderful trip and saw a bunch of amazing sites.

It truly is a small world. And I have another story to back that up. Lee and I were having dinner the night before doing Horseshoe Bend, and we were talking about how easily you can travel many miles and meet up with a neighbor, friend, or the like. So the next morning, we are at Horseshoe Bend just after daylight, we start up the trail and there is someone walking back to their car, the only other car there. After talking about the area for 10 minutes, we discovered he was from Gray!

Glad you had a great trip, too!

Team Trout
05-07-2008, 11:32 AM
We had a similar experience when we entered the Grand Canyon National Park. The park ranger working the booth at the entrance to the park said she was originally from Bridgton, Maine. :)