Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Giving Thanks & Apache Trail

We celebrated all of the many things we have to be thankful for at Alan's and Sharon's with a great traditional holiday feast. True to form, I ate too much because it was all wonderful.

After Alan took the bird out of the oven I went to work with the knife carving this beast. We had all the traditional food with both mashed and sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, green bean casserole, two kinds of stuffing, butternut squash soup, and all topped off with both cherry and pumpkin pie. Way too much food, but it was great having a couple of days of leftovers.

Here we are in the studio with a first course of butternut squash soup. After dinner we relaxed and watched some football. We have been in five different places for our five Thanksgivings on the road and they have all been different and great. Each one has been with different friends or family.

One day the four of us decided to take the big loop drive on the Apache Trail. We had been as far as Tortilla Flats before, but this time we did the whole trip including the 22 miles of dirt road. The first sight that caused us to stop was this big tarantula that had attracted a crowd (four people) along the road. They are neat critters that are really helpful and harmless to humans.

The road was originally built to get supplies to the site of the construction of the Roosevelt Dam. It is a real up, down, over and around trip with steep narrow spots where we needed to wait for oncoming traffic to pass.

We were rewarded with a beautiful up close look at the high Arizona desert.

Here Sharon is taking a picture of a scene she or Alan will turn into a beautiful pastel painting.

It was unusual, but beautiful, seeing the fall colors on the trees along dry creeks in the middle of the desert.

This is Apache Lake, one of three we passed along the road. It is a little strange seeing so much water in the desert.

Roosevelt Dam was originally built in 1901 when it was the highest masonry dam in the world. At that time, Roosevelt Lake was the largest man made lake in the country. In the 90's the dam was raised 77 feet and the exterior was covered with concrete. It took 13 years, until 2009, to raise the lake to the new level because of the Western drought.

Sharon and Alan in front of Roosevelt Lake and the bridge that had to be built when the dam was raised. Even with all the miles of dirt road the Apache Trail is a worthwhile drive to get into the back country of Arizona.

1 comment:

Doing It On the Road(Part II) said...

LOL A spider stop! OK we would have stopped too.