Monday, April 27, 2009

Apache Trail

Today we set off for a Sunday afternoon drive to Tortilla Flat up the Apache Trail.  Wow!  The scenery did not disappoint. The terrain is so rough and the story of it’s construction over 100 years ago is fascination.  Ron and I hiked up a small trail to look out over Apache Lake (it’s 17 miles long but just a bit is peaking through in the background of our photo).  We took a bite at the Tortilla Flat Saloon DSCN2403and marveled at all that money stapled to the walls – lots of dollar bills, marks, yen notes, kiwi and ausie dollars….  names and dates visited. 

Teddy Roosevelt is responsible for building the road leading far back into the mountains to service the building of a large dam.  The entire project was part of the Reclamation Act of   1902.  The purpose of the act was to increase the habitability of the arid western United States.  DSCN2391Construction began in 1903 and ended in 1911 when the Roosevelt Dam began operation.  As a result of irrigation from the dam, hundreds of thousands of acres of land have become fertile farmland.  Many other such projects continue to benefit all residents of the arid western states.  After today I understand why Grandpa Matson took so much time explaining all the workings of the Imperial Dam for me back in 1997.  These dams made life in the desert possible.  

DSCN2384 Back to our trip…  The desert is a bit coy.  Not wanting to flaunt it’s beauty, it doles it out a bit at a time.  We saw loads of blooming prickly pear cacti and several others bloomers I can’t name.  Beautiful.  Yellow flowering trees were everywhere.  The DSCN2575 saguaros showed buds but we only saw a couple of them with full hats.  Beautiful and stately,  the saguaro is such a great object lesson for life.  Grow when you get watered, store it up for the hard times, bloom conservatively and not for long, hunker down and you’ll make it through the arid seasons…  and know that spring will come again next year.  PACE yourself.  Hmm, very wise. 

Tomorrow we have reservation at the Desert Botanical Gardens.  The farmer in me needs to know the names of some of these cacti and desert plants….  We’ll also see the Dale Chihuly glass exhibit which is there right now. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Cheryl,
    Well you chose a good time to go - its been snowing here! Love your finished project by the way. We miss you in class but I can see you will come back with lots of inspiration (lucky girl).
    Cheers Lins