Journey to the Father…of Arizona, that is

Posted by on March 4, 2019

Monday, February 25th was moving day…but we only had 145 miles to travel so we took it pretty easy getting going.  As I was adding air to the hitch we were both standing there talking when someone came up behind us and asked if we were having problems.

Here we are with Ron & Rachel!

We turned to tell him, ‘No, just adding air.’ when we turned around he introduced himself and he turned out to be one of our customers who is our leading 50/50 referer.  Turns out that they’d been kitty corner from us for the last couple of days and neither of us knew it until they saw our truck (with the PTB magnets) pull around to hitch up.  We chatted with him and his wife for quite a while before we said our ‘goodbyes and see ya down the roads’.

Casa Grande RV Resort – site 345

We arrived at the Casa Grande RV Resort about 1:00 pm, got checked in by a very helpful young lady and then made our way to our site.  We got backed into our site easily and settled in for the next 2.5 weeks.  The site is quite spacious – plenty long for the coach and we’re able to park the truck out front, no problem.  It’s also plenty wide so that we’ve got plenty of room between us and the neighbors.

The only down fall is that we’re backed up to a fairly busy road so there’s lots of traffic noise.  There’s a brick wall that might damper some of the noise…but not much.  On the plus side we don’t have a back window any longer so we don’t have to stare at the traffic all day!  🙂

After getting settled in we had some lunch and then went to work.  The phone rang off the hook most of the day, which is pretty typical for a Monday….but I think it was even busier than usual this week.

By Wednesday things had slowed down enough for us to be able to go to a movie.  This week we saw, ‘Run the Race‘.  We didn’t know anything about it before seeing it other than it had a decent IMDB rating.  It turned out to be a pretty good movie that we both enjoyed.  It’s a ‘feel good’ movie about two teenager brothers trying to better their lives.  Good stuff.

Afterward, we stopped at a local nail salon and had our toes tortured (ok…just me and my very ticklish feet were tortured).  After all the years Michael had his feet encased in combat boots his toes need LOTS of help.  The lady who worked on both of this week did a very nice job…we were both surprised at how well she did.

Heartland family dinner

The big treat of the day was meeting Heartland friends for dinner at Mimi’s Cafe.  Kevin & Nelly were in town briefly dropping their coach off at a friends so that they could drive out to San Diego to visit their daughter and her family.  We also found out that Dean & Jodi are also in town for the winter so we made plans with both couples.

Since Dean & Jodi are familiar with the area we let them choose the restaurant and the made a great choice.  LOTS of options (everything sounded good) and I think everyone was very pleased with their choices.  We visited for well over two hours.  With lots of stories and laughter being shared.

On our way home we stopped at Lowes so that Michael could pick up more supplies for his basement project.  It was nearly closing time so he was in a hurry.  When he got back out to the truck to load his loot he placed his phone and the receipt on the back of the truck (you guessed it) and forgot them….and drove off.

He remembered about 1/2 way home so we retraced our steps but didn’t find anything.  Our son, Dan, told us the next morning about an app that will help you find your phone.  We used it and saw the phone was last located…so we, once again, retraced our steps.  Nothing.

We set up my phone to receive Michael’s forwarded calls (PTB calls mostly), turned off Michael’s credit card (stored inside the back of his phone case along with his military ID) and ordered new phones that are due to be picked up on 3/8.

Yellich at bat!

The biggest reason we’re in Casa Grande is the proximity to Phoenix and baseball spring training.  I tried to find a park in Phoenix to stay at but had no luck.  The RV park we’re at is a little over an hours drive to the Maryvale Baseball Park where the Milwaukee Brewers play.

Back in December I purchased tickets to three games and we went to our first game on Thursday 2/28.  We had nice seats behind home plate in the shade.  The Brewers fell to the Giants 6-2 but we enjoyed being out in the gorgeous weather (72ish) watching the game nonetheless.

We journeyed to the top!

Saturday we headed east toward Florence, Arizona to visit a Roadside America spot.  It was about a 30 mile drive but quite scenic.  We were in search of the Pyramid Tomb of the Father of ArizonaCharles D. Poston was a significant lobbyist in the creation of the Arizona territory.

Before running out of funds, Poston, had intended to build a temple to the sun atop of Primrose Hill even going as far as writing to the Shah or Iran for help with funds.  Needless to say Poston was labeled ‘eccentric’.

Getting closer…

After business failures, Poston went into obscurity and when he died in 1902 he was buried in a pauper’s grave in Phoenix even after requesting to be buried atop Primrose Hill (now called Poston Butte or ‘F Mountain).  On the anniversary of his 100th birthday in 1925 his body was exhumed and moved to a 14 foot tall pyramid that was built in his honor.  He was buried inside the pyramid, facing the rising sun.  His re-interment was attended by 1500 people, including the governor of Arizona.

I think we can…I think we can…

As we drove up to the parking area it was a bit intimidating to see the pyramid on top of that hill….I thought Michael was crazy for insisting that we scale the mountain but we set out on our hike.  We took it slowly…stopping often to catch out breath and enjoy the views around us.

We did it!

It took us about 30 minutes to reach the top of the butte but we were rewarded with gorgeous views of the area around us.  The city of Florence in the distance, several man-made ponds, a couple of ‘fields’ of solar panels, etc gave us plenty to discuss.

We sat along the edge of the pyramid for 10 minutes or so before heading back down to the parking area.  Going down was quicker (about 20 minutes) and not nearly as exhausting but harder on the body in some ways.

After getting back to the truck we made our way to the second adventure for the day….the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument.  There is a $10 per person entrance fee but with Michael’s disabled vet pass we entered free of charge.

Lunch time!

Before starting our tour we enjoyed a light lunch in the picnic area of the park.  The picnic area is very nicely done, clean and well maintained.  It was a gorgeous day for a picnic…sunny and mid 70s.  We enjoyed our cheese, sausage, nuts, carrots, etc and had a nice rest after our trek up Poston Butte.

We had about 20 minutes to check out some of the displays at the visitors center before the next guided tour started.  That also gave us time to stamp our National Parks Passport book.

Tour led by Barbara

We joined a group of about 20 other visitors in a guided tour by one of the park volunteers.  Barbara, our tour guide, was knowledgeable and informative.  The compound of ruins, the largest being the ‘Casa Grande’ (big house) is the most prominent structure, dates back to the 13th century and evidence shows it was abandoned by 1450.

The four-story structure would have been helpful in viewing the area around the compound as well as in viewing the stars and sky.

Some of the outlying ruins

Other walls/structures are still standing but have been covered in a protective caliche ‘shell’.  The walls are actually about 4 feet below ground level as well.  The ‘big house’ has had several attempts at preservation over the years…some not the brightest of ideas (concrete, steel bars, wood beams) all of which are still visible but have been left in place as now they have become part of history as well.  No further attempts at preservation will be made as requested by the native people.  When the structure finally tumbles…it will be left to tumble.

Casa Grande (big house) under the roofing structure

In 1932 a tall structure was built over the top of the ‘big house’ to try to protect it from the elements and it seems to be doing just that as it sprinkled a little bit while we were there and by standing under the structure we were kept completely dry.  The ‘roof’ also protects the ruin from the harshness of the sun.

It was definitely an interesting visit and the ability to be able to walk around the various structures was a plus.  I would recommend waiting for one of the guided tours as you get more information than if you take a self-guided tour.

No need to wash dishes!

The RV park we’re in has lots of activities and also offer meals several times a week.  Sunday’s there is a brunch put on.  For $6.00 each you get a nice breakfast and not dishes to do afterward.  We decided to partake Sunday morning.  Offerings included scrambled eggs, biscuits, gravy, sausage, ham and potatoes.

Another couple sat with us and we had a nice time getting to know them.  They, like us, are only here for a short period and not ‘seasonal’.  They’re from northwestern IL so we had quite a bit to chat about.  It was a nice way to start our day…wouldn’t be surprised if we do it again before we leave.

 

 

 

 

 

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