Tuesday, May 4, 2010

payson

Dave and I decided to extend our Friday night date to an actual out of town get-away. We drove up to Payson Friday afternoon after work. We did some major research to find all the activities in and around the Payson/Pine/Strawberry area. That took all of 10 minutes and we ended up with a list of 3 things. Friday night we went out to eat and Saturday we planned to just wander and enjoy whatever we felt like doing.
I've heard of the Tonto Natural Bridge and apparently we have driven by it dozens and dozens of times, but somehow it never got on our radar. So we made a stop. It's kind of cool. You can't see it and don't realize what you are about to see until you are right on the edge. We hiked down in and climbed around on the rocks underneath. It was hot up top, and chilly underneath - a whole different weather at the bottom with a waterfall coming down off the edge. It was very pretty.

Then we just went shopping and poking around Payson and Pine. Dave loves old junk, (excuse me, I meant to say antiques). We realized that there is a little retirement spot for all old stuff in the little town of Pine AZ. I don't know how all that stuff gets to such a small town, but they have more than their share of old, rusty pieces and parts of machinery, tools, implements, and farm equipment. It was like a little antiques heaven. And Dave loved it. There were a lot of fun arts and crafts stores, book stores, and we had some of the best ice cream I've ever tasted.Then we decided to drive home a different way than we had come up. Since we were just in Payson, two hours from home and on a road we know by heart, of course we didn't take a map, but Dave heard someone say they often drive to Camp Verde from Strawberry, so we decided to go home that way. Before long we were on a dirt road. Dave knew what road it was because he's brought the kids up here to Fossils Springs to swim several times before, but what we didn't know is where this road hooked back onto a paved road. We called the girls and they looked it up on-line for us and tried to describe the direction and the distance so off we went. The drive started off being very scary to me. I tried to capture my fear with my camera, but the height and steepness looks very mild here. The road was cut out of the side of a mountain, it was only the width of one car and there was a death defying drop off the edge. You can see how close the car was to the edge, but you can't see how far down it drops. I made Dave stop so I could take a picture down to the bottom. And guess what I saw when I looked over the edge? See that little white speck at the bottom? It was a camper shell. And it was one of 3 cars smashed up at the bottom of the ravine. Had the road been wide enough to turn around, I think I would have wanted to go back at that point.
But if we had turned around, we would have missed the beautiful Fossil Springs at the bottom. The water comes out of the ground and is a steady temperature all year - I wish we would have had some shorts and water shoes. The water was crystal clear and it was gorgeous.
Apparently there are times of the year that the river runs high and fast. This rock had been pushed up and wedged into a tree trunk and now the tree has started to grow around it.
After driving through the canyon, we headed toward the I-17, on a road which was not described to us very well over the phone because we drove and drove and drove on a dirt road forever before it turned back to pavement just before we got to Camp Verde. Had we known, I don't think we would have chosen to drive half way across the state on a dirt road. So we stopped and got a map. Dave made me promise to keep it in the car. We had to have that conversation because we have many, many maps of AZ (and Utah and California and Idaho - the states we travel to most often) but we never seem to bring them with us when we travel and so we have to re-purchase maps all the time. It was a fun date. I think the girls enjoyed having the house to themselves too. Roxanne came home and Melanie cooked dinner for the 3 of them and they enjoyed their evening together. They are ecstatic that we are leaving town for a vacation this summer. I'm a little worried that they are a little too excited that we are leaving. Should I be?

4 comments:

bandanamomtoo said...

I can affirm that there is a lovely drive from Camp Verde to Payson but it is not a dirt road. Kirk and I drove it once with the top down, and I thought it was lovely - until we got to Payson and they told us the road to Phoenix was under construction and we would have to drive all the way to Globe and then on through Superior to Phoenix. We started in Prescott. Needless to say, that was a bit more of a trek than we bargained for. :) But no dirt roads!

And YES you should be a little worried they are so excited. :)

Lauri said...

Sounds like a fun adventure.

I'll bet the girls have all sorts of things up their sleeves and are itching for you to be gone so they can carry out their plans. Where did you decide to go?

Suzanne Barker said...

Yes there is a nice paved road between Camp Verde and Payson, but look at the adventure you had! I am planning a hike to Fossil Springs soon. I have read about it but never been. Your photos have made me more ready to go.

Sarah said...

I'm jealous! I wish I could leave my kids and get away with my husband like that sometime! You have good girls! I'm sure there is no need to be worried. :)