Thursday, April 19, 2012

From Roper Lake to the Gila River and Back

While our Suzuki is undergoing major exploratory surgery (with the transfer case lying on the garage floor and spelunkers crawling around in the wiring behind the dashboard) we took a trip in the rented Impala. Our target was Bonita Creek, but we never got there. Didn't want to take that pretty and low-slung car out on too many gravel roads.
Roper Lake Fishing Dock
We left Roper Lake State Park, shown above, and headed east on US Highway 70, drove several miles beyond the turn we wanted to take, and doubled back. Ah, that must be the road! No, that wasn't it, but it did lead us out into the countryside, and how we love to go wandering and wondering in the countryside! Look! Over there!! What is that? A short walk found out.

This old burnt out adobe seems to have been abandoned some years ago.

Obviously a lot of work went into building this place -- look at that stone fence!
Looking through three doors to the back yard.
Off to one side stood this obelisk grave marker.

"Juanita Molina, born July 12, 1892" (it says in Spanish), "died at the age of 14 years."

Not far beyond we came to the end of the paved road, drove a few yards further and turned down toward the Gila River. And here we found kind of a dam, with a diversion of a large share of the river's water to a major irrigation canal.

This is the control for the diversion
And this is irrigation canal getting the diverted water.
The day was getting along, and we hadn't had lunch yet (it was about 4:00!) so we headed back toward Safford, but quickly turned into the tiny old historic town of Solomon.

"J. Fred Blake, General Merchandise, Standard Oil Products"
While this old building was abandoned, the town had a splendid Latter Day Saints Church, an active Catholic community, and a very fine looking elementary school.

We were still getting hungry, of course, so we took another back road to return to Safford. Remember, we are exploring Arizona's Salsa Trail through the towns of Pima, Thatcher, Safford, Solomon, Willcox, Duncan, Clifton and York. There are 15 Mexican restaurants officially part of the Salsa Trail. This evening we ate at Safford's Casa Manana Restaurant. (Don't forget to put the little thingy over the first N!)

No, those aren't the long awaited pictures of Suzy. Be patient! Oh, by the way, these pictures of our dinners are for Mike McFall, who absolutely dislikes FOOD pictures. The second one is Suzy's plate --she ate about 1/5 of the food, half of a grilled chile relleno, the tomatoes and some of the beans!

But for now, please come back as we continue along the Salsa Trail and ... Our Life on Wheels!


  1. Jerry...I think Mike dislikes pictures of food because it makes him hungry. :-). He loves Mexican food and this looks really delicious! Congratulations Suzy!!! I'm so glad you're feeling better!! Have fun and if you get close to North Ranch before we head north, please stop by. We can have Happy Hour and celebrate Suzy's success. Big hugs.....Pat

  2. Nice tour! Good idea not to take the rental over rough roads, then there might be two cars in repair:)

  3. Wowee zowiee you guys sure know how to find the good food! And Suzy looks great, even if these aren't the "official" reveal photos. Nice things you find wandering around the countryside. That's a fun way to travel, and sounds a lot like what we enjoy doing, too. It's great having a fun companion to share life's little blessings with.

  4. Suzy does look really good! And so does the Mexican food. I'm surprised she can eat things like that, but I know she must be happy not to be on a total liquid diet. Great pics!

  5. Those Mexican dinners looked terrific! It's great that Suzy can at least enjoy a bit of zesty food like that once in a while.

    Thanks for the tour of Roper Lake and the Dam too!

  6. The Salsa Trail...I would love to follow that one!

  7. Hope you get everything fixed and back on the road. Wow, that Mexican food looks goooood.

  8. Wonderful pictures. I noticed in the photo of the grave there are fake flowers. BUT they don't look like they are too old. Could someone have put them there recently?
    Love this Salsa Trail tour. So unique.
    You showed the pictures of the delicious food but forgot to tell us if it was any good. Thumbs up or down?

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  10. we loved the food at Casa Manana! We were camped at Rpoer for 4 nights and at at Casa Manana 3 of those 4 nights! I love their sour cream enchiladas! YUM! The wall in front of that adobe building is really quite interesting! I like it!


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