Saturday, November 24, 2012

ROAD TRIP TO PUNKIN CENTER


Aileen suggested a road trip this morning so we put some lunch together and hit the road.  We wandered through the little village of Queen Creek then took the gravel road past Hewitt Station getting back onto Highway #60 just before Superior.  We climbed up the hill out of Superior following Queen Creek which is very pretty steep sided canyon with rock walls towering above.  Today’s road is pretty tame compared to some of the sections of the old road that are still visible.
We dropped from 24C to 17C while ascending the hill.  There was about a 2,000 foot elevation gain.  We found a quiet corner in the Oak Flat Campground to have our lunch.  It was quite cool with the strong breeze even though the sky was completely clear and the sun was strong.
We topped up the gas in Miami before taking Highway #188 west along Roosevelt Lake.  Once beyond the Blue Bridge, just above Roosevelt Dam, we were in new to us country.  Punkin Center was a neat little spot in the Tonto Basin.  Heading south on Highway #87, which has a number of long hills we let the GPS take us home.  She took us a different way than I would have, which turned out well.  We got to see a bit of Saguaro Lake which is the last dam on the Salt River above Phoenix.  Canyon Lake next upstream is near Tortillo Flats and where we took a paddle wheeler cruise a few years ago.   Apache Lake is next then Roosevelt.  This series of dams is what enables the greater Phoenix area to prosper.  After logging the better part of 200 miles, we arrived home about 4:30. 

Queen Cr canyon with a bit of the old highway showing top right

Across the road and above the first picture

Top of the World area between Superior and Globe has lots of neat rocks

The Blue Bridge and Roosevelt Lake.  Roosevelt dam is just to the right of the bridge

The Punkin Center Bar

Across from Punkin Center

Saguaro Lake is very busy because of it's close proximity to Greater Phoenix