With our bug-out bags and water supplies overstocked, we hit the road for another research adventure. (I have been increasingly adding many things I hope to never use for potential emergencies. Yes, even if it’s a simple day trip.) I like saguaros. I didn’t really honestly until about a year or two ago. I believe I took them for granted in many ways. Being in a relationship with Blanc exposed and awakened numerous things within me, which has happened ever since people from different backgrounds came together and bonded. She loves plants and cultivates her own garden. I found it was therapeutic for me to take care of plants and watch them grow.
As we traveled on the I-10, we chatted about random things and theories as usual. Then we arrived around 9 am. We had briefly stopped by the visitors’ center before but never went into the actual park. We were shocked to find it was as big as it was. Miles of protected land to explore for future generations. Disclaimer: I am conflicted because the natives should still be living here if they choose to. On the other hand, I am glad that the land is protected, and developers can’t build there. Nothing is more annoying than seeing sites like the Casa Grande Ruins surrounded by big chain stores (I’m tempted to say names, but I won’t.) As I segway back to the topic, I looked on the park map to see trails to explore and was instantly overjoyed! We saw that there was ancient rock art on the land. I have always wanted to see petroglyphs for myself. You may be wondering why I didn’t know, but I like to know as little as I can about certain places we explore. I liken myself to early explorers and like to be surprised, so I can truly experience new things. We drove to one of the trails and began our hike. It was enjoyable, and the weather wasn’t bad. We spent a while on the top of the mountain areas, just taking in the majesty of nature. I got antsy and immediately wanted to see the rock art. We hiked down, hopped in the Fj (named Blanquina), and drove to the next stop. As we walked towards it, my eyes caught some surprising figures. I have good eyesight, so I noticed a large swirl and a weird looking figure next to it. I have seen from documentaries, books, and others the same swirls are found across sites in the desert southwest. Ironically, many natives felt compelled to draw these signs (some have suggested they are the sun, etc., but you can tell the difference between the sun on the rock and these swirls. I subscribe to the theory that they depict portals as described by some natives.) We hiked up to get closer to some of the others and just sat and took them in. I can’t stress enough how impressive the carvings actually are. They have survived for so long. We really take for granted what was left behind by the natives. After that, we decided to hike deeper into the desert. We enjoyed the beauty of the saguaros. We sat on the dead skeleton of one of them and had a small picnic. It’s so peaceful there. I enjoy the fact that in Arizona, you can drive an hour or two (in virtually any direction) and see a different landscape. We had to make it to my niece’s 4th bday party back in Phoenix, so we headed back to the truck around noon. We went to the gift shop area, and I got a new patch for Blanquina. We collect patches from different places we visit, and we put them on the ceiling of the truck. I worked up a nice appetite from our 3-hour exploration, so we went looking for a local spot to eat. We searched for some Mexican spots and decided to try Anita’s St Market. My nostrils welcomed the smell of tortillas, grease, and beans. My bubble quickly was busted when we were informed that the staff was starting their lunch hour. The American in me was disappointed because I came for food and was told I needed to wait. However, the free spirit and human in me respected that they held that sort of tradition still. We left because I had a schedule to stick to. We found another place on YELP named Tania’s 33 or something. They had an interesting way to build a burrito. For example, you can add tater tots!! I was tempted but played it safe and went with my carne asada with rice and beans inside. IT. WAS. YUGE. It was a solid 3 out of 5 in my book overall, which is all I was looking for. I will keep Blanc’s review a secret because she has a higher bar for Mexican food than I do. We headed back to Phoenix, listening to our traditional mix of ABBA and Coast to Coast AM. The next research stop for us is… well, it’s a surprise. All I’ll say is we will be camping and hope to see some UFO’s (cue the X-Files theme.)