Friday, October 17, 2014

Our Arizona Adventure Continues

To continue our adventure from three days ago, we left Dome City and decided to drive north to Quartzite a small town of 800 people.  Craig wanted an ice cream cone so instead of driving the 45 minutes back to Yuma we thought Quartzite was closer…well it wasn’t, it was another hour away.  The drive was spectacular with foothills on either side, that is  until we hit Border Patrol.  I guess because Yuma is so close to the Mexican border Arizona has Border Patrols at certain high risk areas.  We didn’t think anything of it as this would be our 4th border patrol that we had to go through and the first 3 were a breeze.  We pulled up, stopped and asked where we were going Craig answered “going to Quartzite for ice cream”.  I guess that was a trigger for them and we were asked to show ID and to pull over so that the officer and his dog could search our vehicle.  They questioned why we had so many miles on the odometer for just a week, asked us where we were from and why we were in Arizona, if we did drugs and if there were drugs in the car.  It was a classic case of good cop/bad cop as the officer with the dog was bad cop, all business and no smiles but the other one was more personable and joked around with us.  Maybe that’s their personalities or maybe that’s a game they play, either way we had nothing to hide and after a thorough search we were on our way for ice cream. 
Yesterday we decided to head over to the Wild World Zoo & Camel Farm.  It’s a small family run zoo and it’s a hands-on zoo as you can pet and feed some of the animals.  There are many different kinds of goats at the farm along with some water buffalo, donkeys, chickens and geese, deer,  tortoise, a wallaroo which is a marsupial, a Zeedonk which is a the result when you breed a Zebra and Donkey and of course camels.  When we first arrived we were sure where to go or how to pay as there was no one around to guide us.  After going into the lone building and visiting with a bird and ferret a guy greeted us outside.  For the two of us it was only $10.00 and if you wanted to feed the animals the feed was another $1.00 per cup.   
Our first stop was Murphy, the wallaroo who was hand fed and was carried around in a cloth pouch until he was weaned.  He was a character and would turn his back to you so that you could give him a good neck and back scratch.  He wanted nothing more, didn’t want any food, didn’t want to be petted, just a good ole back scratch and the odd rubbing his eyes.
From there we turned left so visit some goats and then we saw what we first thought was  a zebra.  She looked a bit different, not black and white but instead a tan and black with her legs black and white.  Her name was Xena and she was a Zeedonk and she was gorgeous.  She had beautiful big brown eyes and was very gentle but when she wanted more feed she sounded like a donkey.

Across from her were some animals that I adore, donkeys.  There was one in particular that didn’t want to take the feed pellets from your hand but instead he would open up his mouth for you to throw the pellet in.  He just didn’t open his mouth normal but instead gave you these really funny faces...another reason why I love donkeys.

Crazy eyes!

Lip smacking good 
After leaving the donkeys we visited the water buffalo and then the deer.  While feeding the deer I look over to my right and saw this big brown head peaking around the fence asking me for some feed.  She was a cute goat but very demanding and while I feed her Craig would feed the remaining.

Love goat's eyes

We then came to the camels, we weren’t allowed to feed the adult ones but they did have a baby camel that we could feed.  She didn’t like the pellets but the zoo keeper told us to grab a cup of the grain and feed her that.  She loved me but whenever Craig came near she would give him a grunt and turn her head so that he couldn’t pet her.  I guess she preferred women.
The zoo had over 200 animals representing 25 species and our last stop was a visit to the tortoise.  Turtles and tortoise are some of my favourite creatures on this earth and this guy was no exception.  He moved from behind his wooden crate for me to take a picture and then he turned and went into his cave that he dug.  The zoo keeper told us that it went about 4 feet and that he had to fill it in now and again.  The tortoise would then begin to dig it out. 
After visiting the farm we decided to head over to the foothills and have a look at some show homes.  A home in the foothills gives you a view of desert and well the foothills.  There are homes, RV parks and trailer parks but we drove to the end and went into a area called The Raines.  They specialize in mission style home which both Craig and I love and we visited two of their homes.  The division has certain rules, no RVs parked on your land or driveway for more than 72 hours, no homes less than 1553 sq feet and your landscaping has to have that desert feeling.  Unfortunately these homes were a bit out of our league but maybe we will win the Arizona lottery and purchase one of these homes. 
Last night there were clouds in the sky so I wanted to drive somewhere to get some sunset pictures.  After many dead ends and driving up to a secure military facility we decided to head over to the Tiny Church and the Bridge to Nowhere for sunset.  The Tiny Church is a place to “Pause Rest Worship” and it was built in 1995 by Loren Pratt as a memorial to his late wife.  It was destroyed in 2011 by a freak microburst storm but with an outpouring of donations it was rebuilt, it was re-opened in time for Easter in 2012.  How tiny is this church?  Well it seats 12 people comfortably and if you were tall you would have to bend to get into the building. 
Taken while driving - the wind can sure pick up the dust

Just before sunset and just before we tried to enter a secure area 

The Tiny Church

So tiny inside

Waiting for the service

Craig asked me to take a picture of the Mustang as
the foothills were in the background and the skies were beautiful

Only tree in the desert 
After taking some pictures of the Tiny Church we drove to the Bridge to Nowhere.  I saw this bridge when we went to Dome City and wanted to find out more about it.  It is called the McPhaul Bridge and it is an 800 foot suspension bridge which was built in 1929.  The builders were John Roebing & Sons who are known for building the Golden Gate Bridge.  The bridge has been closed since a fire damaged its wooden deck and there are signs stating that the bridge is unstable and do not enter.  It was dusk when we arrived and there must be caves in the rock that surround the bridge as the bats where coming out for the night. 
This morning we decided to visit the Peanut Patch, a small family run store who specializes in...well peanuts.  It started after World War II when Gerry and Franny Didier homesteaded some property on the Yuma Mesa and found out that the soil was perfect for growing peanuts.  They no longer grow peanuts but they do buy direct from growers in the US.  They purchase the raw product and they roast and make the best peanut butter and treats around.  Of course we purchased some peanut butter, peanut brittle and other treats.

Tomorrow morning we pack up, say out good-byes to Yuma and drive north-east to Sedona for a two night stay and hopefully get on a tour to the Grand Canyon.  If we can't purchase a tour we will drive to the Canyon on Sunday.
Talk soon!

1 comment:

  1. I can't tell you how many times I flew over the Grand Canyon, but I had never been there. We were driving our daughter to Chicago, as she had taken a new job there and was leaving CA forever. We were staying in Flagstaff and figured we'd go to the Canyon. I am a person who's usually never at a loss for words, but this time, I can't tell you how wonderful and majestic the Canyon. We were on the South Rim and there was a female elk wandering the grounds, chewing up the ground cover. The colors were bright and so far down you could see the blue of the Colorado as it meandered it's way through it. You'll be amazed at it.

    Sedona is nice but really pricey. It's got the only McDonalds in the world with blue arches, to fit in the southwestern theme. The rocks are red and supposedly it's full of supernatural powers. Had great margaritas at a place upstairs with lots of overhead misters, and great Mexican food. The drive north to the canyon through Oak Creek is pretty impressive too.
    I hope you have a wonderful time.