Monday, March 19, 2012

Driving The Phoenix South Mountain Road Looking For Whitey, Taco Bell & More Turkey Legs

The Roller Coaster Road On South Mountain
Well, I have had myself another exhausting multi-mile day in Arizona and I still have hours to go before this day ends.

I am hopeful there will be no more miles to go today.

This morning, a short while after I returned from a jog around Sun Lakes, I was informed I had 10 minutes before we were departing for the South Mountain Park Preserve.

South Mountain Park Preserve covers over 16,000 acres, making it the biggest city park in America. There are 51 miles of primary trails for horse riding, mountain biking and hiking. Plus many more miles of less than primary trails for additional adventurizing.

South Mountain's Dobbins Lookout At 2,330 Elevation
It is sort of not the easiest thing in the world to impress me.

South Mountain Park Preserve impressed me greatly today.

Did I mention there is no admission charge?

Are you listening Fort Worth? Phoenix does not charge an admission fee to the largest city park in America. Unlike Fort Worth's Nature Preserve, which began charging an admission charge a few years ago.

I did the driving today, with my dad being the backseat navigator, until, hours later, when we were back in Chandler, where my mom took over the navigating duties.

In The Dobbins Lookout Looking At Phoenix Far Below
The road up South Mountain is paved and in excellent shape. The road twists and turns, up and downs, making it a very fun roller coaster ride, better than yesterday's roller coaster ride.

The road leads to three different lookouts looking out in three different directions.

At one point, on the way down, a pair of mountain bikers zipped along at high speed, on a treacherous looking trail, above us. The trails are a bit rocky, not slick rock sandstone high traction type trails. I tried to get pictures of the mountain bikers, but that did not work out. Seeing those guys mountain biking made me want to mountain bike.

Scorpion Gulch Is At The Entry To
South Mountain Preserve Park
I'd love to return to South Mountain and spend a day, or two, hiking. I don't think that will happen on this trip.

When we left South Mountain we spent a very short amount of time looking for the Mystery Castle before continuing on to find food.

We were unable to locate any of those cool McDonald's Restaurants we've been finding the past few days and instead found something called Taco Bell where we had something called a Gordito Combo. This came with a bag of Doritos. I think this place may catch on. Those Doritos were delicious.

After leaving Taco Bell I was in the mood for some more Mexican culture, so my dad navigated me to the town of Guadalupe. Apparently most Anglo things are banned in Guadalupe, including the aforementioned McDonald's. I rather liked the small town of Guadalupe. I felt like I'd left Arizona and had crossed the southern border.

Leaving Guadalupe mom mentioned my nephew JR, saying he worked in the area and I should drop in and surprise him. Keep in mind dad was still navigating. Apparently, we were nowhere near where JR worked, when mom suggested we were. Dad then directed me to drive many miles north, past the very cool downtown of Tempe, and then to Cowtown Skateboard where my nephew runs the store's online operations.

You in Fort Worth reading this, Cowtown Skateboard has nothing to do with the Cowtown known as Fort Worth. Years ago when I was told JR got a job at Cowtown Skateboard, I thought this meant he was moving to Fort Worth.

I walked in to JR's store where a guy asked if he could help me. I told him who I needed to see, sounding as ominous as I could. The guy led me to the back of the store, then walked ahead of me and said "Whitey, some law enforcement dude needs to talk to you."

I have no idea why the kid thought I was law enforcement or why my nephew is called Whitey.

When Whitey saw it was me he stood up, gave me a hug and showed me photos of his girl friends. We then walked outside so Whitey could see his grandma and grandpa. Whitey informed us he would be seeing us on Wednesday. My mom, dad and me had not been informed of this, til Whitey told us.

Soon we left Whitey and headed back to Chandler where my mom took over navigating. This led us to the biggest Sprouts Farmers Market I ever been in, where I was able to find yet one more illusive turkey leg.

Then it was back on the road again, til we stopped at a Basha grocery store to hunt for Tillamook Vintage Extra Sharp White Cheese. This cheese had previously proved as illusive as the formerly illusive turkey legs. But my mom has determined that I have some sort of preternatural knack for finding illusive products in grocery stores.

This once again proved true when I located the illusive Tillamook cheese.

After getting the cheese we were on the fast track back to Sun Lakes, but not before passing the multi-billion dollar Intel project, with its world's tallest Japanese cranes. My mom is my info source for the Intel facts.

From Intel on I was able to navigate to my mom and dad's homeport with no additional directional assistance.

I have no idea where I will be driving tomorrow. I suspect turkey leg hunting will happen at some point in the day.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So why is your mom collecting turkey legs? Or does she need a reason? Maybe she just enjoys having her son out searching for them?

Oh, and one more thing.
You were talking about look outs. What were they looking out for? You really need to develop more curiosity.

Oh, and you do come across as parental, and bossy. You are probably an eldest son or something. Poor kid mistook your nature for law enforcement. Have you ever considered a career in law enforcement?