Thursday, March 3, 2011

Arizona Spring Break, Day 1

On the first day of my Arizona vacation, it was 70 degrees outside.  I was hoping for 80, but it was still nicer than the 30-degree temps back home.  My mom and stepdad drove me up into the mountains outside Apache Junction to Tonto National Park.  We stopped at a little rest area along the way to take a few pictures of the amazingly beautiful Canyon Lake.

You can't tell from these pictures, but there were quite a few tourists at this little rest area.  Many were in town for pro-baseball spring training games and a nearby NASCAR race.  It was hard to take a photo without getting in the way of someone else's camera.

A few miles up the curvy mountain road, we stopped at the Canyon Lake marina, another busy tourist spot.

My mom and I grabbed our walking sticks and headed (uphill) to the Boulder Canyon Trail.  I've never been hiking in Arizona before (and to be honest, I don't do a lot of hiking in Iowa), so this little adventure was definitely a highlight of my trip.

I followed my mom straight up the hill.  She looks so cute with her backpack and walking stick :)

But I slowed her down, because I had the urge to take pictures of every...single...cactus.

It didn't take long before this Iowa girl, who hasn't ventured outside in the winter weather for months, was tired and ready for lunch. So we headed back to the car and drove to the Tortilla Flats restaurant, a hamburger/hot dog/BBQ joint with an Old West theme. Of course, we had to test out the horse-saddle seats at the bar.

And we took some rather embarrassing photos of the way-too-short doors to the bathroom stalls.

The entire restaurant was wallpapered with dollar bills autographed from folks from all around the world.

With our bellies full, we decided to explore the stream bed next to the restaurant. Thanks to a recent rain, the stream was full of water.

The road over the stream was flooded, so cars had to drive through water to cross the bridge. (Doesn't it look like there is a little cloud following this car?)

Needless to say, after all the hiking, sunshine and food, I was tired but happy. It was such a treat to get outside, see the sights and enjoy the warm Arizona weather.

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