Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Sunday Drive in the Mountains and Our First Rattle Snake

We crossed Roosevelt Lake Bridge on the way to the dam.  The bridge is the longest two-lane, single span, steel-arch bridge in North America.

We set out in the Honda to see Roosevelt Dam. As the crow flies, the dam is only about 35 miles from our campground – if you don’t mind 20 miles of unpaved washboard roads. We opted for blacktop and about 80 miles. But it was a beautiful drive. Every curve in the road presented a new view or a higher mountain.

We hoped to find a place for lunch along the way. But since this is a really rural area of the southwest the road to Roosevelt Dam only went through two towns, and had very low expectations. For a while it looked like bar food would be our Easter Sunday meal. But, in the small town of Punkin Center we scored a lucky find, big time. The owner herself waited on us. The restaurant was clean and nicely decorated and had been open for all of five weeks. The food was excellent. Everything is made from scratch and Lou’s homemade strawberry cake was remarkable. We’d go back if it wasn’t so far. But if you ever find yourself in Punkin Center, you don’t want to miss Mama Lou’s Café.

Here is the dam. Some of my parents generation would have called it "that Damn Roosevelt."

After lunch we continued our drive to the dam. The dam wasn’t as imposing as we thought it would be from the size of Lake Roosevelt and its important name, but it was worthwhile nonetheless.

Here is the non-business end of a Western Diamond Back Rattle Snake.  In my opinion the best way to see a poisonous snake is when they are leaving the trail

Not being in any rush. Not having to be home at a specific time and being willing to stop and see something along the way is part of this lifestyle. So we decided to stop and check out the Tonto National Monument in the Tonto National Forest. We were not disappointed.

This is the second “National Monument” we have visited. From what I can surmise, a national Monument is a significant natural site, but does not have the larger importance as does a place like Yellowstone National park or the Grand Canyon.

You are looking at an actual cliff dweller's room.  The supporting log and roof structure are originals dating back to the 1100s AD.

We took a very steep but paved half mile trail up the side of one of the foothills to view the Tonto Cliff Dwellings. This time we got to walk through the actual site.

As I mentioned in a previous blog we are scheduled for service on our slide out tomorrow in Glendale, AZ.  We will do that Wednesday, but if parts are required we will need to return.  We also are ready to purchase tires for Moose.  We have one tire that is problematic and so we would rather replace all six tires at one time for that extra margin of safety.   But, buying the size of tires we need for the motorhome can't be done by rolling into Sears, Walmart or Discount Tire.  The size we use is usually only in stock at stores that sell to larger heavy-duty trucks.  Those facilities are not around every corner and they are not exactly price sensitive.  They know if you are there, that you don't have many options.

Many of you did not get to meet our superb dog, Norton.  Here is a picture I found stored on a thumb drive.  He is still missed.

So that's what's been going on. 

Stay tuned.


  1. Last year when we visited Roosevelt Lake, the water level was dangerously low. It has certainly gone up due to all the rain AZ has gotten this year. Great pictures.

  2. Love the picture of the snake! I agree with you completely.