Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Globe, Miami and Superior travels

March 14 - 16, 2014

On Friday, after a light rain shower, we departed the Lost Dutchman State Park for the 50 mile trip north to Globe, Arizona.  It was a rough 50 miles though as there was a sprinkling of rain and route 60 had a couple of steep climbs and steep white knuckle descents that tested the RV.  We did not know what to expect at our destination, the Gila County RV Park which is in downtown Globe.  It is small park and a combination RV Park and baseball batting cage, a rather unusual combination.  The owner was most friendly, chatty and helpful which put us at ease immediately.  Being cheap, we opted for a dry camping spot at $11 a night.

After setting up camp we visited the  Besh-Ba-Gowah Archaeological Park a couple miles away with it's incredible Salado Indian ruins.  The Salado Indians lived in this area between 1225 AD and 1400 AD, were good farmers and excellent potters.  They mysteriously disappeared, then the area then went uninhabited until around 1600 when the Apache Indian's moved in.  This area is now heavily populated with Apache's with the San Carlos Indian reservation just outside of town.

Salado Indian pottery

The extensive Besh-Ba-Gowah ruins

In the evening we ventured over to the "Drift Inn Saloon", built in 1902 and one of the oldest continuously operating Saloons in Arizona. I have been there a couple times previously and love the place although it is a dive and so wasted.  I say wasted because it is a wonderful classic old western bar that they have sort of crapped up with beer signs, dumb pictures, junky tables, assorted junk piled up in corners and lots of dirt. It could be and should be so much more.

The Drift Inn
An excellent breakfast was had Saturday morning at the La Luz Del Dia Cafe (the light of day), it was small, crowded, with no atmosphere, but the breakfast was fantastic.  It was also quite entertaining to watch the cook prepare the food behind the counter.  It was a big breakfast, after which we took a walk around town to attempt to walk it off !  Globe's old downtown is wonderful, but struggling with many closed and vacant buildings.

Kate was the wife of Doc Holiday, daughter
of a Hungarian aristocrat who spoke seven
languages and lived in Globe for a while

Great old ghost signs in Globe

Great spot for breakfast

Globe is a railroad town, this Steam Locomotive
was in a small park

A Tee Pee in Globe within sight of the RV Park

We then went to the town of Miami which is another huge mine boom town very similar to Globe.  They have a historic district with lots of old buildings, some are converted into antique shops, along with a few cafes and other artistic shops, but most are empty.  It is sort of sad as they are slowly rotting away, it appears that the town is attempting to get something going, with negligible success.

The abandoned Silver Front is for sale, could be
such a cool cafe or bar, would love to see that

A 37 Dodge bus in a vacant lot, would make
a great RV, love to see that too !

They have cats painted all over Miami

A great Miami mural

Much of the landscape around the area now looks
like this in man's quest for Copper

A very special shrine along route 60

Saturday evening we did something that we haven't done in a very long time, we went to a movie.  We saw the movie, The Monuments Men, about recovering art treasures taken by the Nazi's during WWII and hidden. This movie reminds me of a book I have been reading about the lost treasures in the Superstition Mountains.  In the southwest, legend has it that as the Spanish Jesuit priests were being expelled from the country, they hid much of the churches gold and riches in the Superstition mountains before the Spanish soldiers could confiscate it. People have been hunting for these treasures ever since with no success. 

Sunday we went to the town of Superior which happy to say looks improved from my last visit there.  They are actually rebuilding the old Hotel Magma although it seems to be way behind schedule.  Superior is yet another Arizona boom mining town with huge Copper mines all over the surrounding countryside.  

A classic Bar in Superior

Great mural in this town

This is my favorite mural, but sadly it is peeling away

Superior has a beautiful mountain setting, has been
used in many movies over the years

I want to take a nap here

The best mailbox ever ?

The old Hotel Magma under restoration

After a walk around the main street in Superior, we headed for the Boyce Thompson Aboretum State Park .  Boyce Thompson was an amazing man of his day who made a fortune in mining.  He did good things with his wealth however.  He built himself a winter home, more like a mansion just outside Superior on a hilltop.  He then bought surrounding property which he converted into a incredible world class botanical complex.  It is now one of the finest Botanical parks in the country for desert plants and cacti from around the deserts of the world.

Flowers on the cactus are amazing

I was taken by the shape

Another incredible bloom

And another

Stunning green cluster of barrel Cactus 

Boyce Thompson home on cliff top

Brilliant colors
On the way back to Globe after going through the tunnel we pulled over at a vista where you could walk down the old (now closed) highway, it would have been a much more thrilling ride !

Too thrilling for this motorist ?

View from the highway, don't look down !
Next stop is the Roosevelt Lake Recreational Area on the other end of the Apache Trail where the treasure is water.

Happy Trails,
Twinkles and Slick

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