A HUGE thank you to all the readers and supporters of this page! I am working on getting the word out on this very page and MANY new posts. But life keeps getting in the way. My family and work definitely come first before Exploring or posting. I have been busy getting new pictures and Exploring in so please stay patient with me in the posting area. And share the links if you enjoy what you see here! I have trouble sometimes because I have been all across this amazing state in my travels ----but this was years ago, and I strive to keep these posts and pictures as current as possible so do not want to post the old trips. Although I might bring up some of the great experiences and maybe pictures in my new posts. Plus this just gives me more reasons to take trips to places like Sedona and Flagstaff and beyond. Several of these great places I or we have lived in in the past also. This surfaces some in tonight's blog post.
First I want to mention an activity that is getting a lot of push through several sights on Facebook. I have talked to the page administrators and they do not wish me to mention the pages names---so be it. They also do not wish me to mention this Exploring blog page on there sights, but that I can not guarantee I will not do. Because the pages so well go together at least in my eyes. Anyways in this area and beyond it seems painting rocks, and than hiding them locally on trails, in towns, and such for others to find joy in is turning into a huge thing. And I must say some of the rocks pictures are amazing! Especially when you consider they are being painted on such rough, usually oddly shaped pieces. People locally are going crazy for this. Even taking the painted finds out of the state to re hide. And having rock painting parties with there families and others. This gets them outside to look for and hide the rocks. And off there computers and screens. Except of course to post what rocks they have found, painted, hidden and of course clues to were they hid them. And there is easily 50 such posts a day on this sight. I found it interesting but not to interesting at first. And than my beautiful wife and kiddos found some painted rocks. And they were instantly hooked. They re hid a few. Than started painting there own. Than every time I got in our vehicles I will find perfect rocks to be painted and than hidden. My wife even had a horoscope that said to return to child like activities from your past, to find joy. Instantly reasoning that rock painting should be on her weekly to do list.
I than got a little disgruntled because I Explore a lot, had even started to take several rambling trips across Benson and had not found a single painted rock. I mean they were being found on trails, in town, in front of the dentist office, even in Wal Mart-until inside store rock hiding became very discouraged. And I could not find a single rock. Well today---as I was in Benson paying the electric bill, I finally found my own rock! Propped up on the ground by a no parking sign. I saw it on the way in the building but wanted to pay and get out of there, with out holding rocks,---so when I saw several people in line, I instantly regretted not picking up the darn rock. As I watched people leave, I instantly knew one of them was going to pick up the rock and cherish it forever, no matter what was painted on it. Happily no one else grabbed it, and than I did. A very nice Hello Kitty design, extra dirty from all the current rain. It was the first thing I showed my wife when I returned home, before the payment for the electric bill even. Am I hooked---no But I do like the idea, and the Exploring for kool rocks while you are out Exploring. I like that a lot. Now that I typed all this--- I thought it was just going to be a short rock story at the start of my blog, I wish I had some pictures.
Today's post has nothing to do with rocks. Painted or other wise. Although rocks of every shape and size can be found across the state. For sure. A few weeks and months back when I posted about visiting the local air base, before I got kicked off the property, I thought I had the whole day to Explore. I was going to roam --with no real plan and than spend the night in some cheap motel in a little place like Eloy --so that I could continue Exploring the next day. This did not pan out, at least not the over night part but I did manage to Explore more that day. Because of my stop at the base I got to the near by peak around ten AM and it was much to hot to do much of a hike for me. I have been here several times in the past and have several blog posts from here. Just past the base ---heading towards Phoenix. I again stopped at the huge Shell gas station/tourist trap and purchased several large bottles of water. In case I forgot to mention this time, this station also sells fireworks! ;)
I toured the very small ranger station, and got my day pass for the park. The building is super small but air conditioned, so a quick cool off before my mini hike. The rangers were also very knowledgeable. One even happened to come down the trail later on, supposedly taking pictures for online, but it really seemed like he was just checking up on me. I didn't pass any hikers no the trails or see any vehicles in the turn outs. If you keep following the main road, this park has a huge area for camping. With many many sights. Each has bathrooms nearby and an amazing view. Some day ---with a much earlier start I am going to hike to the top of the main peak. But don't hold your breath for that post to be published.
Nice easy well maintained trail----with lots of photo opps.
In case groomed trails confuse you.
This trail now goes to the left!
I have hiked in all kinds of areas and states,
Arizona has it's own beauty for sure.
Some day to the top of this I will venture!
What a view!
It is amazingly calming to watch the vehicles speed past on I-10
from such a height.
About here I took a misstep and fell hard on my arm.
It scraped it up a little bit but nothing was bleeding.
It really did not even hurt
although it hurt my hikers pride a good deal.
I was suddenly very glad no one was with me on the hike.
It was getting near noon now, and the sun was to hot to deal with full on.
So it was time to drive.
We had just bought an inexpensive car for our sons 17th birthday *Cringe* and part of this trip was seeing how it handled on the open road.
I had no plan on this day but was now hungry.
At that point I did plan on ending up in Eloy for the night so kind of headed that direction.
But decided it was to early to get a motel room.
I soon ended up on some back farm roads.
Lost in the beauty and lost in general.
Not necessarily a bad thing.
The next thing I knew I was very near Casa Grande.
We used to live in Florence and Queen Creek and several surrounding areas and had traveled to Casa Grande and Coolidge and such many times. But I had never been to the ruins. After a stop at the Wal Mart litarly just down the road, to cool off and find more fluids for myself and for the car, just in case I went to the national park to look around.
Even though I had never been here and probably was never coming back
I did not wish to pay to go on the actual grounds.
So I took advantage of the zoom feature on my camera.
Even the visitor center here charged to see the good stuff inside.
In the parking lot.
Than back to Wal Mart to cool off again, find lunch, and supplies for the motel room.
I wound up never needing.
Back in the car to see what I could see.
Coolidge was my next stop.
Most of the town is closed down with empty buildings
but there are still lots of things to take pictures of.
At least in my eyes.
I thought this was entertaining
especially since it was right beside a large bar.
I always enjoy a great sign.
Although this bar had been long closed by the looks of it.
This bar was alive and kicking.
Each of the sings out front were classic and the large chalk boards were covered with dislike for the local government and city officials.
Just outside city hall.
In front of a residence.
Everyone needs a little help and support sometimes!
In front of the very nice visitors center/ Chamber of Comerence.
Just beside the visitors center and surrounded by a huge park.
Right about here I had some issues of were to go next. We had lived in many of these areas -that were now very close by. Queen Creek was mainly there because of the Wal Mart my wife and I both worked at when we lived there and now I have heard it's a huge town. I wanted to revisit a lot of these areas but I was getting hot and I kind of want to visit with my wife because she is the people person and still likes people that live in these towns.
What a view!
And happy rock hunting!!