Sunday morning we did our normal things and relaxed most of the morning. After lunch Max’s sister, Betty, and her husband, Randy, came over to see the rig. After the tour we decided to take a tour of some of the surrounding area. We drove through some really neighborhoods that had some very stunning houses in them. All I could think about was that I am glad I do not have to maintain them. I still have my own maintenance issues in this lifestyle but it is nothing compared to traditional home ownership. The properties are beautifully landscaped and there are numerous varieties of cactus and plants everywhere. One good thing about living here is there is usually not much grass to mow.
Randy took us up in the mountains just north of Phoenix to a recreation area called Lake Pleasant. It is a very large water recreation area that has several campgrounds, hiking trails, nature programs etc. They have a star gazing program that I think Max and I will try to get to while we are here.
The lake is fed by snow melt from the mountains and also a canal system. There are wild burro’s living in this area of the Sonoran Desert. The wild burros living here are believed to be descendants of pack burros, which escaped or were released during the 1880s and 1890s. This was an era of extensive mining activity along the Agua Fria River and nearby Bradshaw Mountains. The burros were generally used by prospectors in search of gold, but were served as pack animals carrying ore to mill sites located along the Agua Fria River and other free-flowing streams in the area. Additionally, burros were used to haul supplies back into remote mining camps. Left alone in this remote region with few natural predators, the wild burro population flourished. Today, the population of burros remains fairly constant within the area at about 208 animals. The burros in this area weigh about 425 pounds and stand about 40 inches high. The majority of the burros congregate in or around Lake Pleasant as a result of abundant food and water. Next trip up I will have to keep my eye’s open for them so I can get a picture.
Here are some pictures of our afternoon drive through the area. Since I do not have free WiFi here I resized the pictures to save bandwidth to help with the uploading of pictures so the quality will be reduced.
Randy, Max, and Betty in front of some Saguaro cactus. The Saguaro grows very slowly, perhaps an inch a year, but to a great height, 15 to 50 feet. The largest plants, with more than 5 arms, are estimated to be 200 years old. An average old Saguaro would have 5 arms and be about 30 feet tall.
Overview of lake from the nature center
A Desert Tortoise
Various landscapes from around the lake
The beauty of the desert is incredible and it lures you in, but you have to be very mindful that there are lots of snakes, and Gila’s . We have not hiked in the desert yet and the park does offer a hiking in the desert 101 class. That might be a good class to take while we are here. Here is a pic of a rattle snake that was at the nature center.
Yes, a class would probably be a good idea!
After the drive around the lake and the mountains we headed back to Phoenix to get some dinner. We stopped at a BBQ place called Dillon’s, yummy!
The plan for Monday is to contact an Orthopedic for Max, and get an appointment set for follow up on her leg. Other than that we will go and visit her mom this week.
Have a great day!