Great West Adventure - Day 8 - Don't look down...

Posted in Family , OldBlog with tags Vacation -

Day 8 was to be a relaxing day! In that right, it wasn’t too bad. Mom and dad wanted to show off their new winter home state to us, though, so we headed out of town on Arizona 88 around 10:30 to catch up on some history and engineering marvels. Our first stop was Tortilla Flat, a (very) small stop on the way up to the Roosevelt Dam on the Salt River. What might be said about Tortilla Flat is that it is the last sane place to stop on Hwy 88 before you wish you had brought a dune buggy! After spending a short time in Tortilla Flat getting a beer and looking through some of the buildings, we headed out again on 88 with a destination of the Roosevelt Dam. 88, however, was the real attraction of today’s trip. All along my dad was explaining to me how horrendous this road was, and let me drive to prove it to me. Of course I didn’t really take this all that seriously - he’s old, right!? Well, let me be the first to admit that this is far and away the nastiest drive I’ve taken in all my years. Not only is it a curvy, mountainous road with little or not shoulder or barrier between the road and the canyon floor many hundreds of feet down, but the road is unpaved and, seemingly, ribbed (for her pleasure). I’m not sure of the science behind dirt roads and why they get so bumpy, but this one seemed to have been made so on purpose, perhaps to keep people from going more than about 15 miles per hour. Anyway, our 28 mile trek from Tortilla Flat to Roosevelt Dam took well over an hour. We did stop for some lunch along the way at Apache Lake where Quin started out napping, and upon waking half way through the meal asked us “where is everybody?” Business was not bustling in Apache Lake today!

The Roosevelt Dam was quite impressive itself. Not so much as the Hoover Dam that Jenny and I toured some years back, but still impressive any time you view an engineering feat like that. We quickly stopped at the Roosevelt Lake Visitor Center and promptly headed to the Tonto Monument, which was very, very cool. Remember when you were in grade school studying Native Americans and you got to the Pueblos built by those in the Southwest? These were those! Of course, these weren’t the ones that you see in your textbook growing up as the Salado people were not quite the masons that those in more northern areas were, but it was really neat to see this piece of history that had only been known in books prior.

For the drive back we took the “long route” through Globe on more traditional roads and highways. Now we are resting at mom and dad’s place anticipating our return to reality tomorrow…

Written by Brandon Grady
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