Friday, April 11, 2014

Our Great Southwest Adventure: Day 7

Vacation Day 7 - March 22, 2014 - Last day!

For our last full day of vacation, we spent the day exploring the greater area of Payson, AZ, by way of letterboxing! We love this hobby because it will take us to the most scenic, historic, or interesting parts around the city. Curtis and Mitchell also planted boxes on this day with amazing carves, if I may say so!

The day started with Mitchell and Curtis making us a traditional English breakfast with soldiers, soft  boiled eggs, and of course, tea! It was undoubtedly the best breakfast we had this whole vacation! We planned out our day of hiking and boxing, and finally set off on our adventure.

Our first hike started on the 260 trail.

Curtis - "At the University of Arizona, you can minor in counting rings on trees!"

Grant, taking in the beauty :)

Mitch successfully planted a box!

We ended up on the other side of this trail, but thankfully didn't hike the whole 51 miles ;)

Above: Grant is disgusted with our "Arizona Waterfall"

Found a horned toad on the trail!

Mitchell and the toad, representing our hometown :)

The Tonto Creek - stopped here for a quiet picnic lunch.

The boys started panning for gold, so I took pictures of plants. :)

Unfortunately, today's gold panning was unsuccessful. :)

Only Grant can prevent wildfires!

We drove into Payson after the hike, and there we visited the replica of the author Zane Grey's cabin. Sadly, the original burned down in a forest fire.

After this, we drove to the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park.

Here's the natural bridge! (that giant hole in the rock!)

Looking down

We hiked down a trail, and now looking up at the bridge!

Fish in the water below!

Daylight on the other side

Looking up at the small waterfall 

I opted out of walking through here - there wasn't much (if any) of a trail, and I have terrible balance. Grant and Mitchell went all the way through, and while they enjoyed the adventure they assured me I made the right decision. :)

Instead, Curtis and I hiked back up, then went to a scenic overlook on the other side.

Our last hike of the day was on Pine/Highline trail, which also met up with the great Arizona trail.

Below - we found this odd: there was a tree bent over like this. Possibly some sort of trap. We didn't go to check it out. Later, we ran into a strange man on the trail, who we later decided was a Vampire Cowboy. All signs pointed to it. It's a good thing we didn't get stuck in his trap. ;)

It was a beautiful day, the perfect end to a wonderful vacation! That night, Mitch made us chicken alfredo and we enjoyed the pool one last time!

Day 6 wrap up: Hiked 8.5 miles, drove all around Payson, got 6 letterboxes, planted 2 boxes.

The next day, 3/23/14, we got up early and had a quiet drive to Phoenix, (for once!) dropped off Grant at the airport, and drove home by 10 am…and finally "relaxed"! What a fun first married spring break! Wonder where we'll go next year? :)

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