As promised, I will share about our add-on adventure in Payson from a couple weekends ago. But first, I need to thank mom. She really didn’t feel like helping me today. She’s very sad and tired from a tough weekend. I have no words yet, so I’ll tell you about that another time.
After we completed the Water Wheel (by the way, we misnamed it as the Wagon Wheel trail. Mom had wagon wheel on the brain!) trail off of Houston Mesa Road, we decided to go back the way we came on Houston Mesa because we saw a sign for some ruins.
Just about 3 or 4 miles down is a sign for the Shoofly Village Ruins, and you’ll turn left coming from the Water Wheel trail. It’s a flat, gravel road that leads to a parking lot. There is no fee for this National Monument, and dogs are welcome.
You will immediately see a sign that describes the area, and we encourage you to read it. Apparently around 1000 and 1200 AD, Indian tribes called this area home. They used rocks to build about 80 rooms, and in its hay day, the community had 250 people living here. I must say they picked an incredible spot with amazing views!
We felt like we were in the wild and could see the rim in the distance. Unlike the Water Wheel trail, which got busier as the day went, this paved path was quiet and peaceful. It is a very easy walk that is appropriate for wheel chairs.
The short loop takes you around the village and offers more insights and education into the people and their lifestyle. Mom wasn’t surprised to read that they relied heavily upon the Mesquite tree beans as they are chocked full of protein when grounded down. They are also gluten free. How did they know that? Mom has made the bean powder and used it for cooking in the past from our very own Mesquite tree. It has a nutty flavor with a nasty aftertaste, so I am told. Dad says you wake up the next day and swear a horse pooped in your mouth. So why exactly would I want to try that??
The clouds were really rolling in now, and the sky was getting dark. We headed back to the car to drive home. Dad wanted to do a loop, so we got back on Houston Mesa Road up toward the Water Wheel trail and then continued on to hook up to the 260 through Camp Verde. Whether you take the 87 through Fountain Hills or the 260 through Camp Verde, the time is about the same: 2 ½ hours. It will depend upon what part of Phoenix you live.
We got rained on during our drive home but thankfully didn’t have to contend with any flooding. I’m sure the Wagon Wheel area got flooded again, and I hope everyone got out safely. At Camp Verde, we connected with I-17 south for our last stretch home. It went pretty smoothly, especially for me. I just nap the whole way home so that I can then run around the house like a crazy dog, howling at the top of my lungs. What am I saying? “Adventures are great, but there’s no place like home.”
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!