We planned to get together with our relatives Dot and John in Phoenix. Apache Junction is out of the city and close to where they were staying.
We chose this park because it is RV only and relatively small. We parked the van but didn’t really spend any time here. Like many RV parks, the appellation “Resort” is questionable; sites were not landscaped and the clubhouse had few amenities except for a small patio and pool in back. We weren’t particularly impressed and doubt that we’d return.
Despite the rather depressing surroundings, this was a fantastic stop. Dot and John were visiting friends and work buddies in Phoenix and we planned our stay to coincide with theirs. We visited the Desert Botanical Garden first. We lucked into a special exhibit of Chihuly glass.
Lots of interesting flora were on display.
We visited Fountain Hills and walked the nature trail at McDowell Mountain Park.
The town of Gilbert has an interesting park: Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch. Treated effluent is stored in seven ponds and used to recharge the aquifer. Trails weave around the ponds. Needless to say, this place is a haven for birds (and birdwatchers!)
We were surprised to see a group of pelicans on our first visit.
This place is a fantastic example of incorporating a public recreation area into a utilitarian space. We enjoyed it so much we returned later with Dot and John. Unfortunately the pelicans were not to be seen, but there were lots of other birds.
Another day we returned to Usery Park for a hike with Dot and John. We were very lucky to spot two Harris hawks, as well as many other birds.
The day’s big surprise was seeing horses. The Tonto Twist 50 race was passing through.
On Sunday we decided to hike up Silly Mountain. We took Brittlebush up and Palo Verde down. It was a beautiful morning hike but lots of loose rocks and gravel. Great views of the Superstition Mountains and Apache Junction. One has to ask how this saguaro holds on but it does.