And We’re Off… Arizona Here We Come

And We're Off... Arizona Here We Come

And we are off to destinations known… Arizona here we come.

The first stop is Phoenix then on to Fort Lauderdale.

We arrived early at the Victoria airport and with time for a meal and a nap. No rush… no fuss and the same in Seattle.

Arrived in Phoenix at midnight, rented a car and headed to Casa Grande with a quick stop at Jack’s for a hamburger.

Went to our favourite hotel and they had a room available so we got it for two days to rest up before we headed to Fort Lauderdale.

Turns out it was a good thing we got a rest as the next trip was epic.

Slept in and took it easy for the day as we had gotten in around 2 am.

The first stop was a park we stop at often upon leaving Casa Grande called Picacho Peak State Park.

Cruising around the campground we saw a couple of birds hanging around and as usual, I needed the car stopped so I could check them out.

Turns out they were curved-billed thrashers.

Curved-billed thrasher preening

One was preening himself at the base of a cactus while the other one had taken up sentry duty at the top.

Can’t you just see him saying “ouch” with landing on all those thorns?

Curved-billed thrasher on cactus

We see something new every time we go there and this time was a memorial to the Battle at Picacho.

Battle at Picacho

It’s a circular walk with signs along the way commenting about the role that Picacho played in the Civil War.

You can read more details of it here and every year they have a reenactment of the battle.

After walking in the steps of the men who came before us, we heading along a service road that ran parallel to the highway and headed to Casa Grande Ruins.

If you have been reading the blog for a while you’ll know we’ve been here many times before but I put a link to the last article in case you want a refresher.

Saw the great horned owl up in rafters and asked the ranger when the fruit of the barrel cactus was ready to eat as I saw some yellow fruit at the top.

barrel cactus in fruit

What he said was that when you can twist the fruit off easily then they are ready to eat. No spines or prickles on them.

The Indians used them for their seeds which are full of protein and their water value which is maintained in the slime areas around the seeds.

Here’s a quick video of a fellow picking on and eating it so you can see what they look like inside.

Also at the park were some native craftspeople with tables set up.

One fellow had done some lovely silverwork with stones and Rob told me to pick something out. This was hard as there were so many nice pieces with lots of turquoise and other colourful stones.

But I ended up with just a plain silver pendant with the man in the maze etched into it.

This is considered the circle of life with all its turns and twists.

On this page, you will see a more complete description of it and if you scroll down and look at the earrings with the hooks on them that is what my pendant looks like.

I love it and haven’t taken it off except to sleep.

Speaking of sleep… we had an early dinner at the Golden Corral and were in bed around 9 pm.

Off to dreamland.


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