MICHEL Country Music Journalist
Arizona here we come
For many years we met musicians from Arizona when they played in Switzerland. Now it was time to visit them in their home state.
Hangout on Sunday afternoon. My Ole Man's was calling for us to see the Hey Boyz playing again.
all afternoon enjoying music, beer and wings.
Music is great, but now and then you need food as well. Always a nice place is a Lonestar Steakhouse.
A place to stay is Apache Junction, home of the Superstition Mountains. It's still quite empty at this time of the year.
The first week was very busy and time flew by. A day trip took us along the Apache Trail, a stretch of unpaved, narrow winding road.
A few minutes up the road, a sidestep to the Mining Camp Restaurant. It was just about to open for the season.
The structures are kept in good shape, even though some look a little shaky.
Next stop is Apache Lake.
...but the small Museum and the Superstition Saloon are a must see (and eat).
Back on the road again on to Canyon Lake. What a view !!
4-wheel drive helped to safely reach Roosevelt Dam.
Driving dirt roads gives the car a new paint.
There's a lot to see in the Phoenix area, such as Oldtown Scottsdale...
...Schnepf Farms in Queen Creek. Mark and Carrie Schnepf are doing a lot of events each year,
... Pioneer Pepper. It was a lot of fun and you could feel that the boys really like what they are doing.
... Clarkdale. We left Apache Junction at 5 am. After the sunrise there was a special attraction waiting for us,
This train ride is well worth the time and money spent.
or hangout in the open cars. The first part of the ride is not that spectacular...
Riding Through The Canyon - in the pure sense of the song.
After a few hours of enjoying the ride through Mother Nature...
The next day we drove to the White Mountains. In Springerville, the weather got REALLY bad.
No sense to continue our trip, so we took a room at Reed's Lodge in Springerville.
Here's a great place we found for food and drinks.
The first stop was at the Nelson Reservoir. Nice landscape.
The weather was great, so we did not expect anything else but good road conditions for that day...
Yesterdays's storm had left it's traces.
A stop at a view point called Sardine Saddle. Great views.
We settled in Tucson for a few days: Quality Inn, Benson Hwy
These pictures are from the eastern part.
Our first visit to Old Tucson in 1996 failed because the place had burned down. Since a few years they are operating again.
Back in 1996, we already had dinner at the Silver Saddle.
interesting formations of rock and cactuses.
We found the rock art but also a sign that warned of Rattlesnakes.
We entered gravel roads and drove to Parker Canyon Lake.
Miles and miles of open range and mountain roads...
as close as you can get to Mexico without crossing the border
This Saturday we were invited to a gig of the Hey Boyz at the
Relay for Life Event of the American Cancer Society in Glendale.
continue reading from left to right...
Later that night we were invited to Steve Thomas' place. What a museum he has.
Tons of antiques, books, records, instruments, artifacts are piling in his house.
Our stay at the Express Inn was pleasant and a good starting point for visiting our friends and for trips in the area.
First stop is at the Superstition Mountain Museum, where the staff is happy to help with tips and detailed roadmaps.
The next stop is Goldfield, a lively Mining Ghost Town.
Allow some two hours to stroll through histoy of time and visit the many shops. Stop for a drink at the Mammoth Saloon.
Then Tortilla Flat - no relation to Mexican food....
The walls are covered with bucks. Once the place burned down and it's said that the money on the walls was more worth than the entire structure. It was rebuilt and dollar bills are covering the walls again.
And you can learn about mother nature, too.
which marks almost the end of Apache Trail.
Back after a long day.
...or the Rancho de Tia Rosa in Mesa, serving some great food and Margaritas. Thanks to Dr. Peter Rolland for taking us to this place before we followed him to a gig at...
which attract hundreds of parents with their children. Doc Rolland played that night with...
It was already too dark to see all the things on the farm. Also, we had to leave early, as the next day it was a long drive to...
the Verde Canyon Railroad. But first we were having a hearty breakfast at a nicely restored Diner.
On the way, you can relax in the comfortable chairs...
...but this changes very soon
Arrival in Perkinsville, where the engine is swapped to the other end of the train for the ride back to Clarksdale.
...and taking many pictures, we are back at Clarksdale.
We could not even take pictures from the scenic Salt River Canyon because rain and snow were coming horizontal to the camera.
This is a great place and, yes, our host Roxanne did enjoy chocolate. Especially Swiss Chocolate.
The next day we left for the Coronado Trail through the Apache National Forest
8am in Alpine. Time for breakfast at the Bear Wallow Cafe.
...and we were...WRONG!!
Well, being from Switzerland, driving on snowy roads does not scare us and after crossing the peak, the spook was over.
The Morenci Mining District. 125'000 tons of ore per day.
The Saguaro National Park consists of two parts. East & West.
We took some time to relax, too. The motel pool was helpful.
It's nice to stroll through but generally, prices are too high.
Saguaro West was on the map the next day.
Several hiking trails lead away from the main road.
Our last road trip was down to Nogales. This is Sonoita.
Signs did not indicate it was ONLY dirt and gravel til Nogales.
When we left Coronado National Forest, the car looked a mess.
We strolled the shops and souvenir stands. Crap sold only.
On to Phoenix the next day for our trip back to Switzerland