Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas from Arizona

Merry Christmas to all our family and friends from Apache Junction , Arizona .

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Casa Grande Ruins

We took a ride today and came across the ruins. It is really worth a visit.

The Great House was 4 stories and 60 ft. long and had several rooms inside. The walls had even been painted with a reddish paint that the Indians made. The colors have faded now but, you can see some color left on the interior walls.

The remains are believed to be around 600 yrs old. The Hohokam people Tortilla Flats and Casa Grande 017were farmers, they built along the Gila river and set up an irrigation system to water their crops. They lived in permanent settlements and made pottery for trading. Ancient ballcourts have also been found here along with several different artifacts. By 1694 the Hohokam had disappeared, it is believed that their water supply dried up due to major droughts.

Tortilla Flats and Casa Grande 020inside structure

Tortilla Flats and Casa Grande 024mud walls

Friday, December 17, 2010

Catching up with old friends

Finally caught up with some of our camping friends from last years adventure.

We meet up with Toni and Doug in Beaumont, Tx in Nov. for a couple of days. Next we caught up with Jerri and Terri in Casa Grande and then we moved on up to Apache Junction and there we saw Jim and Sandie and Eric and Carla.  Really good to see everyone again.  We are all staying in this area until after Christmas so I’m sure we will be visiting frequently and swapping stories at sunsets.

Apache Junction, Az 004Apache Junction, Az 005

Christmas in Phoenix, Az

It wouldn’t be Christmas without seeing the lights so here we are at the Arizona Temple of Latter Day Saints.  A fantastic display of lights covering approximately 3 acres.

Phoenix Az 011Phoenix Az 013Phoenix Az 016

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Ghost Town of Mongollon and new friends

This trip was quiet a wonderful find. We rode through this old ghost town just out of curiosity and had quit an adventure. Of course they had a few old buildings with some shops and a museum ,but everything was closed for the season, pretty typical for a ghost town. On our way back to prepare to move on down the road we were approached by a fellow and his wife. These folks were out looking around also so they stopped to talk to us and we found out they were in the fifth wheel next to us back at camp. They were well prepared for an adventure, they had some info on Mongollan (muggy-own) from the ranger station and permission to look around the buildings, cemetary and mine. So we joined them!

Meet Brad and Marilyn from Ontario, Canada. They graciously invited us to join them in there search for the original old town and the gold mine. What we thought was the original town was not it. We climbed into their 4 wheel drive truck and headed up the hill to the cemetary first.

Most of the folks in the cemetary died very young in their 20's, 30's and 40's, some infants and children, and only a few older folks 60's and 70's. The markers were mostly crude iron crosses or wooden crosses or nothing more than a pile of rocks. Most of the dates were early 1900's.

We found the original town next with more than 15 buildings still standing.

This was a hugh mining operation until it closed in early 50's.


Moved from City of Rocks to Glenwood N.M. Found a spot to dry camp and set-up for 2 nights in the National Forest so we could hike to an are called the catwalk. The trail is about 3 miles round trip up a canyon with a creek flowing through it.

Part of the trail is over a suspended catwalk anchored into the rock walls over the water. There was several footbridges that crisscross the water. The catwalk was part of a trail to maintain a water source for a gold mining operation there back in the 30's and 40's., not much left of the old operation other than a few foundations.

Gila Cliff Dwellings

While we were at City of Rocks we drove up to Gila Wilderness area to see the Cliff Dwellings. It was a beautiful drive through the national forest up to the area where the dwellings were located. On the drive up hwy 15, the road was very narrow and winding so we were glad we left the motorhome behind and drove up.

The Mogollon Indians (muggy-own) were believed to have lived here from 1270-1300. The dwellings are in amazing shape and you can go inside most of them. The dwellings face south so they are heated in winter and shaded in summer and there was about 42 rooms.

Rudolph lives in Tx

Our grandson Bodie got a big thrill feeding the deer at Medina. We told him this is where Santa sends them until he needs them for Christmas deliveries. He doesn't know they are not reindeer, so the bucks with horns passed that test!

Westward Ho

City of Rocks State Park, NM

Left Medina, Tx on Dec. 2 and headed west. Overnited at Walmart in Fort Stockton and headed north on Hwy 285 into New Mexico on Friday. Stopped in Ruidoso for the night and next day stopped at City of Rocks state park. This was a very interesting place with camping among these hugh rock formations out in the middle of nowhere.
Indians camped and lived here for awhile, the Apache were protected by the rocks since the surronding area was all open plains. We saw several grinding areas in the rocks that proved they were there. Some of the grinding holes were at least 12 inches deep into the rock.
Of course Jerry had to check out some of the tallest rocks.....children will be children!