Friday, June 20, 2014

Trip to Arizona, Part 6: Goldfield Ghost Town

Friday was John's golf day, so the kids and I found some fun on our own.  We first did a little Geocaching in Scottsdale. This turned out to be one of the coolest caches we have ever found!  The GPS location lead us to a pile of rocks on the embankment of a water spillway (which was, of course, dry as a bone). We then found a fake rock with a small container.  The container only held one thing:  a doorbell!  It said to ring the doorbell, and find the main cache.  Amelia and Ryan took turns ringing the doorbell.  Fortunately, my daughter has very good hearing, and was able to hear a faint "ding" right away.  She echo-located the source quickly, and we found the main cache tucked underneath some rocks.

Amelia and Ryan happy with their latest geocache.

After we finished up our geocaching, we headed East of Phoenix to a "ghost town" named Goldfield.  It is an authentic ghost town that was abandoned in the early 1900's after a local gold rush.   The town is next to "Superstition Mountain."  The town has been rebuilt as a tourist attraction.

Superstition Mountain

After arriving at Goldfield, we checked out a few shops and took a ride on their narrow-gauge train.

Waiting for the train.

Another view of Superstition Mountain and an old mining train.

A view of Goldfield from the train.

After our train ride, we had a "mine tour" (not a real mine -- but a nice replica only a few feet underground). The kids also "panned for gold" at Prospectors Palace.  They mostly found fool's gold, but they still had a good time.

Our mine tour guide explains what at "honey pot" is.  Ewww.


The sillies continue.
Trying to escape.

That's one large cactus!  We found out that it is likely a few hundred years old.

We had lunch at the ghost town, and had an old fashion picture taken. We headed back to the resort in Scottsdale shortly after lunch.

To my delight, the resort featured a bagpiper at sunset.

Nice kilt!
We dropped the kids off at the resort's evening kid program, and John and I were able to get in a nice evening for ourselves.  We wandered the resort for a bit after dinner (no need to pick up the kids early!).

Date night!

The resort had rattlesnakes in the lobby!  I'm not kidding!  Fortunately, they were contained in aquariums.
On Wednesday night, John went down to one of the restaurants to have a drink. When he came back to the room, he told me that he was *sure* he had seen Dr. J (Julius Erving) at the restaurant as well.  We got a confirmation that John was not imagining celebrities when we checked out the agenda for a conference going on the resort:

Dr. J was at our resort!
After enjoying our evening without the kids, we picked them up and headed back to our room.  Our vacation is almost over!

A view of the back of the resort.

The kids accumulate a herd of stuffed animals on the trip.  We continued our traditional of giving the kids a "vacation allowance" for souvenirs.  I think most of the cash was spent on stuffed animals.


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