The next morning dawned beautifully in Phoenix, not too hot, but much warmer than what I'm used to, at 7,000 feet here in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
Did I mention that I had my In-N-Out cheeseburger fix last night on the way to the horse show? Oh yeah! It was just the way I like it, animal style, with ALL the fixings. (In-N-Out Burger is a chain of fast food restaurants located in the Western United States. Founded in 1948 by Harry Snyder and his wife Esther, In-N-Out Burger is headquartered in California. In-N-Out Burger has expanded to the states of Arizona, Nevada, and southern Utah. In-N-Out is privately owned and has never franchised.) They only sell burgers or cheeseburgers, fries, and drinks, but it tastes so good! See the menu here.
The last time we came to the Scottsdale show, we went to the horse races on Saturday. It was raining and, unfortunately, we saw the demise of several racehorses who fell on the sloppy track. I wasn't sure I was ready for the races this year, even though the weather was good. So my mom and I discussed all our options. We could go to the zoo. Or drive through a wild animal park. There was a Renaissance Faire with a jousting tournament but that meant a lot of walking and my mom isn't up to it. Ultimately, we decided to go for a drive. Why not? We'd only just driven almost 500 miles the day before!
We headed out towards Apache Junction. Along the way, I noticed a dirt side road so we pulled off.
We got back to the highway and then drove to another parking area with some trails. It looked like a relatively small hiking area so I decided to check it out. My mom wanted to sit in the car and read so I grabbed my camera and a water bottle and headed out towards the trails in this photo.
I love the name of the area, don't you? After reading the lengths and types of trails I figured I could it hike it easy- in about an hour. I headed out towards the right.
I took the Brittlebush Trail and then ended up on the Old Mine Trail. My goal was to reach the top of this mini mountain. The sign down below posted all the interconnecting trails. I found it rather confusing so I just hiked.
This is a back side view from the top. Surprise! There is a housing area behind these hills.
This is the view towards the highway. You can see a row of vehicles just off the main road. That is where I started my little hike and where my mom was.
The little bits of color of the native flowers were quite lovely.
Look how tiny this vegetation is.
I liked their posted signs:
DO NOT DISTURB
Mountain is resting and Healing
You are the biggest part of this restoration.
Every step hurts!
Stay on designated Trails.
Apparently, this area was used for vehicle off road four-wheeling as well as hiking and mining.
Check out the gnarled trunks of this little native tree/bush. Mesquite, maybe?
This was one of the paths I took in the more difficult section of trails. Yes, it was very steep and rocky. I am proud to say that, although I am always aware of my ankle and I get little ouchies all the time, I am able to do much of what I used to do. The best physical therapy for me was walking the snow-packed path to the barn every day this past winter. I don't have full flexion yet (may never), but I was so happy to be able to hike a rocky trail again.
There was a marker at the top of each summit.
This is the view from the backside.
If I had studied the map better I would have looked for the grave that was listed. I never did find the old mine. I asked several other hikers and no one was even aware of it being there. Since I had limited time, I didn't go down the backside at all.
My hike took just over an hour and I was hungry afterwards! Driving back towards the hotel, we found a little Mexican restaurant, Las Glorias Grill, in a strip mall. A $.99 margarita had my name written all over it. I was surprised that they serve warmed pinto bean dip with the usual chips and salsa.
I ordered a chile relleno (cheese stuffed chile pepper) with beans and rice, all smothered in cheese and green chile sauce, pictured below. My mom ordered cheese enchiladas.
All the food was so yummy good!! And we got served fast, with HOT home cooked food! I would highly recommend it, if I can find it again. ;) (After reading some of the reviews on the link I provided, it appears that it's rated pretty well and their tilapia fish tacos are the best in town. I think we got lucky, finding it.)
Aren't these flowers pretty?
I like that the highways are decorated with art.
Check back for my next post about Saturday night, Finals night, at the Scottsdale Arabian Horse show.