02/14 – 2/21/09
We traveled with Sam and Carolyn Kidd to Mesa, AZ, which is just north of Phoenix. We camped in the Goldfield Recreation Area. Carolyn picked this area because she was told it had easy access to several lakes-(Canyon, Saguaro, Apache, and Roosevelt) and she had just purchased Sam a two-person inflatable kayak for his birthday and wanted to get it in the water.
Tonto National Forest encompasses almost 3 million acres of spectacular country, ranging from Saguaro cactus studded desert to pine forested mountains. Elevation of the forest ranges from 1,300 to 7,900 feet.
Tonto is the fifth largest national forests in the US, and is one of the most-visited “urban forests” with approximately 5.8 million visitors annually. It is bounded by Phoenix to the south, the Mogollon Rim to the north, and the San Carlos and Fort Apache Indian Reservations to the east and the Gila River Indian Reservation and Salt River Indian Reservation to the West.
Our time here was very enjoyable. We saw wild horses running across the desert near our campground, we saw
an eagle nesting not far from our campsite; and we were within walking distance of the Salt River. We explored several walking trails and saw several large Saguaro cactus. It was beautiful!
As for Sam and Carolyn, they had one day that they might say wasn’t all that enjoyable. It was the day they put their kayak in at Saguaro Lake at Butcher Jones Recreation Area. This was another beautiful area and the lake was gorgeous. Their launch went well. They paddled out with another couple and spent the morning exploring the lake. They came in for lunch and then headed back out to enjoy the lake a little bit longer. Then it happened! Carolyn got a leg cramp and started moving her leg around to get it to quit hurting. In doing so, she turned them over… Not Good! Cold Water-Wet Camera-Lost Sunglasses, etc.
Well, after Sam and Carolyn got dried off and speaking to each other again-(just kidding), we all went out for pizza in Mesa, at Organ Pizza. It was an amazing place. They had an organ coming up from the basement into the center of this restaurant on a platform and all of the pipes and horns were all built-in around and above the eating areas. And the organist would play requests. The music was beautiful. It was a neat experience.
The pizza wasn’t the best we’ve ever eaten but it was a neat place to go for the atmosphere.
Our table was right under these horns.
They sounded great!