Inside the Discovery Center!
Last weekend was a great few days for Exploring at our house hold! So much so, that it is mid week and I am still trying to post all the pictures and thoughts. With a few more similar weekends, this page will be full of postings super quick! This is a very new page for me---so please share the links if you enjoy what you see here! This is also my third blog series, so I like to hope that I have worked out many of the negative kinks and annoyances and made this series very enjoyable to everyone that follows it or just happens to be a one time visitor. A few months ago all of the kids and I took a great night hike here- led by the full moon. Also lead by extremely knowledgeable park staff. But because we had went so late in the afternoon, the Discovery Zone was already closed. On Sunday afternoon the boys and I were greeted by full on sunshine, and decided to return to the state park and Explore. Again we were greeted by super friendly and knowledgeable staff.
Starting with the attendant at the front gate. Who told us all about the up coming Cave Fest. For more detailed information about this event--please visit the Arizona State Parks pages. She also told us about the monthly guided hikes the park had to offer. Each one has a different theme and course of study. Although the rangers know a ton, and they can keep up with the kids questions, I do not enjoy these led hikes much. To many people in too small an area for my tastes. But the kiddos seem to enjoy them. Again check out the sight for more info! I was hoping that the state parks were following suit of the National Parks and offering free admittance over the long weekend. And in fact some state parks did, just not this one. I know all of the state parks in Washington state offered free days, but that is now a super long commute for us! Entry for the day is only $6.00 a car load---not to bad a deal at all for all of the Exploring this area has to offer. The gate keeper also told us year passes, I believe they were $50 a year and would let you into all of the parks. If one were to be doing a lot of Exploring, this would save money fast. I was in need of caffeine, so not positive on the prices.
Again this trip we did not check out the caves. I have heard they are amazing with over two miles of caves. But I wish to do this when the whole family can be with us. Also on this day all cave tours were sold out. So we headed right to the Discovery Center. Above is one of the many great exhibits inside. Obviously most deal with the joys found inside the caves. There is also a very nice tour guide of near by places to visit. And of course a huge gift shop. Off to the side is a cafe. We had our own snacks and lots of water, so we steered away from this room. The actual hike portion did not turn out as long as I had pictured in my mind, but this time we actually brought a back pack with us filled with snacks and water. I keep saying I am going to do this, and never do.
Could you fit through this tight space?
The museum lets you try.
The Discovery Center from just down the trail.
The area has a lot to offer. With nice and affordable camp sites, many well groomed trails, and great views in every direction. Only the desert can offer such variety in plant life and scenic views.
So many trails so little time!
The amazing height of these is almost impossible to catch on camera
Every place I live -there is one mountain that calls for me to climb it.
It usually calls to me for days upon months.
I have had many such callings across this great land.
Usually it turns into an amazingly difficult climb.
And or not the best idea in the World
Locally -this is it.
We started out on this loop trail.
But soon realized it was the same one we had hiked on our night hike.
After a quick back track trek we were found more great trails to Explore!
Always be aware of your surroundings especially when in the open desert.
Here we spot a rare desert Ninja-ready to bounce on anyone not aware of there surroundings.
Near this windmill we crossed back into state park land.
Always remember to close all gates.
Evidence of cattle were found all around our hike trail.
Time for a quick break!
Very well groomed trails were found every were we went on this fine day. Benches can be easily found for anyone that needs a rest. Not to many people were enjoying the park, sad for them--nice for us. I enjoy the quiet and bonding time with the kids. Or at least the bonding time. We saw a few deer along the trail and of course lots of lizards --but no other wildlife on this day. In the right season, water flows through the area. Although it would have been nice to take a quick dip in the cool liquid, this was defiantly not in the cards on this day. Many covered tables can be found near the huge parking lot. Complete with one of the biggest built in BBQ's I have seen in a long while. What could be a finer back drop than eating here---watching the great views of the surrounding mountains. Waiting for wildlife to pass you. And than watching the sun set.
And we did watch the sun set ---but from home.
Here are just a few more examples of amazing Arizona sun sets.
These are from our front porch.
Lastly I wish to end with a new feature for this blog series.
I have noticed that my other blog page has become increasingly negative in the past few months.
I try to keep all of those vibes out of this page.
In an attempt to balance things out
I want to showcase a local business that I or my family REALLY enjoyed or
stood out in service.
None of these are officially endorsed or know about by the business.
And I hope that each place does not sue me, but enjoys the free publicity.
Although they could enjoy VERY reasonable advertising but that's another story.
I can assure you that Wal-Mart will never be show cased here.
I have marveled at some great business in past posts, but this is the first official showcase for here.
Today's showcase goes to
My wife and I recently snuck off to the local hot spot recently right after the kids got to school.
For our first visit to the place.
Great atmosphere and service with lots to view on the walls during the short wait for ones food.
There is also joke books on each table if you are so inclined.
Add a great bumper sticker supporting the restaurant, on your way out the door.
We just split a huge cinnamon roll and had some coffee.
But both were great with quick service.
Than we were left to enjoy the food, each other, and the down home eatery.
I do have to ask here--if there is any local coffee shop or dinner that has free Wi-Fi?
We have it in our home, but I enjoy typing my blogs from local places while I people watch and guzzle coffee.
Living so long in Washington state, were there is a coffee joint on every street corner has spoiled me.
If you know were I can enjoy free Wi-Fi
Have a favorite local eatery
Want to suggest what business my next showcase should be on
Want to discuss low priced advertising
Wish to brag about were you have been Exploring
Or just want to argue about anything I say
PLEASE check out MY Facebook page!
It also has jokes, rambling, Exploring, coffee love, and links to all three of my blogs!