Updated: Dec 14, 2021
We headed to Scottsdale on November 11th and parked our RV in the driveway of our cousins, Charles and Suzy, for 3 nights. They have a large, southwestern-style home in a quiet neighborhood with an awesome patio and pool area.
The next day Charles took us to visit the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. This was a great way to see and learn about the variety of plants and cacti that live in the dry, desert environment. There are several trails within the park that center on different Sonoran desert themes. While we were there, they were setting up for a "Chihuly in the Desert" exhibit, so we were able to see a few pieces from this well-known artist as we walked along the paths. We spent a couple of hours touring this beautiful park.
Later that evening, Pat, Alyssa and I went out for ice-cream and took advantage of a photo op in this festive area of Scottsdale. The vegan ice-cream at Creamistry was great, too!
The next morning, Suzy, Alyssa, and I went shopping while Pat and Charles went to a car show and later, along with Myah, hiked a challenging trail called Tom's Thumb with an elevation of 3819 feet.
We said our goodbyes to Alyssa on the 13th and to our awesome hosts on the 14th and headed about 34 miles south to Mesa Spirit RV Resort in Mesa, AZ for a 14 night stay. We enjoyed our time in Mesa. There were several nearby hiking trails to explore. We checked out the neighboring cities of Gilbert and Chandler with their quaint downtown sections and dog-friendly restaurants. One brewery, called O.H.S.O., gave Myah biscuits, and she was even allowed to sit in the booth with us! This dog has quite the life. 😀
On November 21st, we visited with my Uncle Bob and Aunt Barbara in Goodyear, AZ. They have a beautiful home that backs up to a golf course. We spent the day and into the evening catching up and enjoying each other's company.
We hiked the Hieroglyphic Trail on Superstition Mountain on the 23rd. The trail led us to the petroglyphs etched into the rocks on the side of the cliffs left by the ancient Hohokam Indian tribe that inhabited the area about 1500 years ago.
We spent Thanksgiving Day climbing Usery Mountain South Summit and relaxing on the chairs that had been left there by previous hikers. With an elevation gain of 836 feet, we had a great view of Mesa from the top the mountain.
On November 26th, we went to Papago Park, outside of Phoenix. This park is known for its massive and distinctive sandstone buttes that jut up from the landscape throughout the park. We checked out Hole-in-the-Rock, a natural rock formation at the top of a sandstone butte. We climbed one of the buttes and we were rewarded with a spectacular view.