Virginia Savage/ Casa Grande Ruins/ Lost Dutchman

Trip Start Feb 09, 2013
Trip End Jun 30, 2013

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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wednesday, April 10 Today we had a busy day.  We drove north and stopped at Casa Grande Ruins located in Coolidge, AZ.    The settlement here was built in prehistoric times by the Hohokam Desert People.  The Big House was constructed of layers of caliche mud.  There was a walled village, a prehistoric ball court, village center and a number of buildings.  They lived in the area and because the rivers had water not like now when everything is dry because of all the dams in the area – they were experts in irrigating their fields.   This village may have become too big and when the water started to dry up and they could not feed everyone, groups broke away and left and many of the tribes we know are all related to this beginning (Hopi, Apaches and other tribes).  There was a movie in the Visitor Center and a lot of the pottery found here was exhibited.  The Overland Stage used to stop here so there was a lot of vandalism with settlers moving west writing their names inside the dwellings.  The roof over the Big Room was built to help preserve it from the sun.

   We then headed for Chandler, AZ for a lunch date with the daughter of my babysitter Martha Savage.  Martha was in her late teens and early twenties when she took care of me on North Road, Kingston during the 1940's.  Everyone loved her and she lived across the street being a daughter of a professor at URI.  She married and moved away to CA and I have never seen her again but had contact with her and then some of her children.   She died about five years ago and when her daughter, Virginia, who is about seven years younger than I am found out we were traveling through AZ she ask if we would contact her.  We did and met at a mall and had a nice lunch at a BJ’s.  A grill and bar and very good.  My oldest sister Natalie had kept in contact with her mother and even visited her over the years in CA since they were very close in age.  It was an interesting lunch and we caught up with the history of both families.  We also found out that Elizabeth, daughter of Pam Shwartz, who taught with George and I also lives in Chandler but she was in Florida visiting with her mom and sister.  I lived with Pam for two years.

    Left Chandler (we will be back tomorrow to spend three days with George’s brother Ronald and his wife Gloria who also lives in Chandler) and headed up the mountains to Apache Pass to Lost Dutchman State Park.  This state park is named after the famous Lost Dutchman lost gold mine that has still not been found in the Superstition Mountains.  No one knows if the mine really exists, but eight men were killed and many others have died searching for it.  Jacob Waltz was the prospector who allegedly discovered the mine.

    The park is really beautiful and with blue skies and the sun shining it was a great day in the 70’s.   George decided to hike up the mountains and he looked like an ant walking up there.  He has been sleeping every since!  It will be good to see Ronald and Gloria tomorrow.

Glad we are not in Arkansas and Mississippi with the tornado watches!


      Wednesday, April 10 – Lost Dutchman State Park, Apache Junction, AZ     This park is off the Apache Trail in the Tonto National Forest.   There are 68 sites in three loops that interlock.  Some have water and electricity but no full hookups.  Bath houses were clean and convenient.  It is a beautiful campground and the some sites can hold the big rigs.  The mountains surround this area and there are 320 acres of hiking trails, camping and picnicking areas.  The rangers even offer moonlight hikes and guided hikes but the schedule should be checked. The cost is $25 but if you make a reservation the fee is $30.  We had a beautiful site 43 looking out over the mountains.  This park is close to Goldfield Ghost Town and Mine Tours, Superstition Mountain Museum and Superstition Mountains.  The Apache Trail climbs past the mountains through Fish Creek Canyon and edges of Apache, Saguaro, Canyon and Roosevelt lakes. 
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Linda on

This place is beautiful--the sky is so blue and there is green vegetation!
I can see you have spent quite a bit of time in Arizona--wish I was there!

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