Sunday, October 7, 2007

Like a Phoenix from the Ashes

If you happen to need to stay overnight in Globe, AZ, may I suggest you don’t stay at the Motel 6. Just don’t. From Globe, it’s a short drive to the second of our family stops, my sister Leslie in Phoenix, AZ. On the way there, we got in a couple of short hikes just outside of Phoenix in the Superstition Mountains. We hiked up a plateau in 60 mph winds with very little shade. Ugh-the dessert…I mean, ugh-we R tough!

When we arrived at Leslie and Steve’s house, it felt especially good to be welcomed and comfortable after several days of camping and bad motels. Unfortunately, Kristi came down with the flu and spent the next 24 hours sleeping. While she slept, Leslie and Steve took me to Mystery Mansion, an 18 room mansion built by an eccentric old man for his daughter. The daughter moved in in 1945 and has lived there ever since. We were lucky enough to have her show us around the house, which stands as a testament to old-school recycling. Depression-era glass was used as windows, old bottles were used as tile, and a wagon wheel was used as a bar. Check out photos to get a sense of the place. After that we went for a wonderful drive up the winding mountain roads of South Mountain Municipal Park, the largest municipal park in the U.S. of A. (with some wonderful views of Phoenix.) When we got back and Kristi awoke at around 7 pm, Steve cooked his (to us now) famous ‘deconstructed burger.’ Delicious and just what the doctor ordered.

The following day we relaxed and hung out, but also made a trip to the Casa Grande, old prehistoric ruins of a Hohokam Indian village. There are a ton of ruins throughout the AZ desert, just waiting to be discovered to help us understand more about the past (or pillage and vandalize it, depending on your perspective). We encountered a lots of names carved into the ruins from the 1800s—those punk kids! But at least it led to Casa Grande becoming the nation’s first archeological preserve in the late 1800s.

No comments: