Vacation 2010 - April 7, Apache Junction

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It was nice to be somewhere that we didn’t have to be running all the time! To celebrate, Jenny and I went for a run!!! I had made it out in Denver for a quick 3 miler, but Jenny wanted to get out, so we went to the map and found somewhere that “looked like it had trails.” After driving for about 10 minutes, we found a trailhead at the Usery Recreation Area and parked. We didn’t have the $2 entrance fee for the self service registration, so we took all my dad’s change (we took his car), $1.45, put it in the envelope, and hoped for the best. It was a nice run, but a word to the wise when running in the desert - if a trail has the word “wash” in it, don’t run on it! We ran almost a mile on a trail called the Amigo Wash, which turns out to be a dried creek bed. It was like running on a beach!!!

After consulting the iPhone for the nearest Starbucks, we went back, got some breakfast, and relaxed a bit. My dad and I went out to run some errands and to get my tire fixed, Jenny, my mom, and the boys hung out at mom and dad’s place and took a walk. After lunch, we finally got motivated to go somewhere, a shopping center south of Apache Junction called San Tan Shopping Center (or something like that). The main attraction was a little store called “Total Wine and More.” It is basically a toy store for alcohol enthusiasts. They have something like 4000 wines, 2000 spirits, and 1000 beers. It was like sensory overload!!! I ended up spending just south of $20 on bombers and bottles of things I can’t get in Milwaukee.

We then stopped quickly at Best Buy in the same shopping center where I was able to fondle an iPad for the first time. It took all my will power, well, all of Jenny’s insistence for me to walk out of there without one! I will have one, some day…

We finally ended up at a ghost town outside of Apache Junction called Goldfield (I think) to do a bit of touristy stuff. We first rode the “choo choo,” followed by some ice cream, and finally Ehan and I did a horse ride. It was pretty cool, actually. It was the first time I was allowed to control a horse while on a ride rather than just getting on a “horse train.” Ethan was also able to ride his own. He rode Bear and I rode Captain. The 30 minute tour took us through national forest and desert land. Our guide was full of interesting information, like the fact that Arizona had one of the lowest percentages of privately held land in the nation, only 18%. In fact, he said that you could ride all the way from where we did our tour up to Utah without hitting a town or leaving public land. Interesting… Bear and Captain were great, too. Ethan had his hands full with Bear who liked to stop and munch on desert grass he found, while Captain seemed to like nothing better than to smell Bear’s butt!

For future study, we learned just a little bit about the “Lost Dutchman,” who was apparently some guy that buried a bunch of gold, up to 9 pounds or something, in the Superstition Mountains, which is the mountain range outside of Apache Junction. I didn’t catch the whole story exactly but put it here so you can do your own research and to remind me to look into it later.

After taking supper in (my parents were leaving the same day we were for Wisconsin in the offseason and had a lot of food to get through in their refrigerator/freezer), Jenny and I got dressed up and went out on our own! As usual with vacation, we were too tired to do anything all that exciting by the time we actually got out. We ended up going back to San Tan, browsed through Barnes and Noble, groped an iPad at the Apple store, then had a brownie and beers at Gordon Biersch.

Man, even the “off days” are packed full of activities!!!

Written by Brandon Grady
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Talks with Ethan.
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