The drive from Pima, over the pass above Cottonwood Canyon, past the radar towers, down to Klondyke Rd is simply spectacular. I enjoyed the drive from Globe down to Thatcher, and later along Cascabel Road ( [ photoset ] ), but this was even better. My favorite, so far, in Arizona. Like Randy said, just bladed, so doing 35-45 is not a problem. (Except for slowing down on some curves, in case someone was coming the other way.) I assume the speed limit is 35?
I checked the Fourmile Canyon Campground, but Randy wasn’t there, so I continued further west into Aravaipa Canyon. I spotted my very first wild turkey not too far from the Salazar Family Church. I was able to get a picture. As I drove away, despite the tires crunching gravel, I could hear multiple other turkeys gobbling.
I stopped at the church, which was unlocked. It was a real Catholic church, complete with altar, pews, stations of the Cross, etc. In a bit of disrepair inside, but still very interesting. Who would have said Mass in a family church? My wife is in Lourdes, with her sister who has cancer real bad, so I said a prayer for her. I signed the guestbook — real name, Haz alias would not have been appropriate — before leaving.
Randy showed up as I was parking at the Aravaipa latrine / info kiosk. I had worn my shorts, as my hiking pants were so muddy from the day before, so before we started out, I switched back into the filthy pants. My SUV could have made it the 1.5 miles to the Aravaipa TH, at the mouth of Turkey Creek, but no further. Though not technical, heading up Turkey Creek is strictly high clearance.
Calling this a “cliff dwelling” is unfair to places like the Tonto Cliff Dwellings. Turkey Creek is more like a Salado condo. Seriously, You could not fit more than a family in there, and there’s no real sign of any outlying structures.
But, it is a lush area, and would make for good camping.