Doggone it. I tweaked my ankle again stepping off a curb wrong walking the neighborhood. Mom saw it happen in slow-motion, and there wasn’t anything she could do. I twisted the same ankle that just healed up for the second time. Boo.
No hiking this weekend, but a scenic drive and picnic would be the ticket. We hadn’t been on the Castle Hot Springs Road in a couple of years and decided it would be a nice, scenic drive and picnic. Mom made and packed our lunch, and off we went.
Off the Carefree Highway or Highway 74 west toward Lake Pleasant, you’ll turn on Castle Hot Springs Road. It is a four-wheel drive, dirt road that is bumpy and rocky in places. A crossover with higher clearance should be okay, but we don’t recommend cars with low clearance.
Note: If it has rained, you will have some water crossings so be careful. If ever in doubt, turn around. Because of all the winter rain, the road was really rutted, but the flowers made up for it! There is still time to see them, and this is a loop. You stay on Castle Hot Spring Road until you come back to the 74 and head east back to I-17.
This is a popular road for razers so keep your eyes out for them. They are usually speeding along and leave you in their dust. We are quite happy to be in our air-conditioned truck with comfy seats and stereo. Driving around inhaling that dust in the heat doesn’t appeal to me. Different strokes for different folks.
You start off with views of Lake Pleasant, and we saw the wild burros out grazing. Mom just loves donkeys. Down the road a bit, a couple young ones were rough housing it on the road. We had to keep our distance for a while until they ran into the desert. Crazy beasts!
Once you pass the lake, it gets remote. You are truly out in the middle of the desert, which is so very green right now. We enjoyed seeing more flowers amongst all the cactus. Just when you think you might be lost forever (not really…it’s a loop), you come across the Castle Hot Springs Resort. True story! Palm trees, a pool, and gorgeous grounds out in the middle of nowhere. Dad says we won’t be staying there any time soon since it is expensive.
We continued on and found a nice spot to have our lunch about half way or 1 ½ hours. Other than a few vehicles driving by, it was quiet and peaceful. I got to stretch my legs a little without hurting my foot. I just love how my Mom and Dad are up for a big hike or a leisurely picnic and anything in between. They are the best!
After a while, we hopped back in the car. Well, Dad picked me up and put me in. My jumping days are over, especially since he lifted his truck up high for better ground clearance. Mom has to grab the inside handle and pull herself in, and she has long legs!
Although the entire loop is about 36 miles, it does take about three hours as you can only drive so fast. It’s quite scenic, so why rush it? We stopped often to take pictures of the flowers, and Dad would allow the razers to pass.
This loop shows you the beauty and ruggedness of the Sonoran Desert, and it is so close! Remember to have extra water on hand just in case. Dad brings air should his tires need it along with some tools just in case.
We made it back to the 74 and all the traffic. When you are in the wilderness, you get away from the city and all its noise and people. That is our favorite part of adventuring. Don’t get me wrong, I love you all! A dog and his family need some nature from time to time, and we are grateful to live in a place where we can do that.
We are warming up by the weekend, so it should be perfect for getting outside. Enjoy and have a hoppy Easter. Bach, bach, woof!
My mom, Lorraine Bossé-Smith, is kind enough to help me share my Great Adventures, big and small. My mom is a motivational speaker, corporate trainer, executive recruiter, business consultant, coach, fitness expert, and author of nine published books. More importantly, she’s the best doggy mom ever!
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Get outside! You never know what you’ll discover, and our paths just might cross. Happy tails!