On December 1st, my family and I decided it would be a ton of fun to go exploring. During the Winter months in certain areas of our state we all go hiking to make up for not having a white Christmas. If we want snow we just head up to the high country here in our state. On this particular day there was snow coming in up north and on the drive up to our mini adventure we could see snow clouds off in the distance.
We were headed towards the Boyce Thompson Arboretum. This was going to a be a second visit for us at the garden. The first visit was during a warmer month and we started kind of late so we missed some of the garden.
This garden is huge, there is a lot to cover. They also sell plants and souvenirs at their gift shop. One trip isn’t enough, especially for a family of photographers.
A special place filled with beauty on every corner. I will have to do a more detailed post later on the history of the garden. For this post I will be focusing on the High Trail.
Before you get to the High Trail you have to pass through several areas of the garden.
You can get lost in the beauty of this garden and time disappears.
We had to be very careful of that happening. We also had ancient ruins to visit later that evening with the Apache Indian tribe singing, dancing and telling old folk tales around a huge fire pit. It was going to be a whole Arizona Christmas experience.
It was very hard to remember that we were limited on our time.
I mean look at these plants, there was so much to see and photograph.
I thought we would have better views if we did the High Trail from the back way. There is a bridge if you go the front way but I wanted to walk facing the back of the bridge, figuring the photos would be more striking from that view. The photos down below are from the front of the trail.
The High Trail is pretty easy but you should remember to wear the right shoes and always bring water with you.
There are large boulders and cliffs that you will be walking on or by.
While you walk the High Trail there is a river bed down below with beautiful mature trees everywhere.
I love moss on boulders and this trail had a lot of that.
Some parts on the trail are kind of flat and some parts are up high on the side of the cliff.The views are breathtaking in person. When you get pretty high up on the trail there is a little bench to sit on and just take in all that beauty from nature. It is like being in an old cowboy movie.
You can see the big beautiful trees down below by the riverbed. If you are afraid of heights then this part of the garden is not for you.
My son made me laugh at one point asking me where we were headed and I pointed off in the distance to a beautiful yellow/orange tree. I told him we were headed to that tree by the bridge.
Looking way off in the distance my son saw the tree and realized we still had a ways to go.
But this was an easy hike/walk so the time flew by.
Again, this is not a difficult trail. We ran into children, dogs and senior citizens out enjoying the first day of December out in nature along with us. My daughter usually takes videos for her social media accounts. Here she is getting ready to record the sound of the water down below where the river was.
When we got to the little orange/yellow tree I realized I was pointing to the wrong tree. Whoops I said to my son. I guess we still have a little more distance to cover. We were still up on the cliff and had to get around it in order to get to the bottom where the bridge was.
Up and down this trail takes you. It is so fun to see the views and wonder what’s at the end.
There it is, the bridge.
Even though there was snow in the forecast up north at Our Little Red House, at the garden it was all about Fall.
We had to cross the bridge in order to get back to the parking lot.
There was a little bit of water in the riverbed but not much, maybe in the Spring it will be different when the snow melts up north.
We barely had enough time to make it back to the truck to head to the ancient ruins which were in the area but a bit of a drive away to get to. It was hard not getting distracted again by the beauty in this garden. We were back on walkways, flowers and exotic trees and plants from around the world. The garden was closing in less than an hour by this point and we needed to get something to eat before heading off to our next adventure. We really were short on time. This garden is an all day adventure and you still will end up coming back because of missing a lot. Just sitting down on one of the benches watching the birds will make time disappear.
Finally we made it back to the entrance and we headed towards Besh Ba Gowah ancient ruins, but first we stopped of to have dinner at Nerd Burger for some Arizona cheesesteaks (just like a Philly but with lots of green chilies) and a grilled chicken sandwich for me, oh and lots and lots of french fries. Nerd Burger is for all us nerds out there that love Star Wars, comics, superheroes and all those nerdy things. There was a fire going in their old stove. You could feel the cold coming down those mountains. There was definitely snow out there waiting to make a visit. So glad I packed Hot cocoa and lots of sweaters, jackets and gloves that were waiting for us out in the truck.
After we ate we headed to the Besh Ba Gowah festival of lights. There are thousands of luminaries lit up everywhere around this old pueblo. I am talking about the real luminaries not electrical ones that most places around the city put on where they charge a ridiculous price to walk through. Thank you Globe and all the people at the museum who put on this free event every year, it was so kind of you all to do this for your town and also to share it with anyone else out there in the world
There were more than 3,000 luminaries that were hand lit for this event…that’s a lot of candles.
It was so peaceful and an amazing thing to see.
The Apache Indian tribe were there singing and telling stories passed down from their grandparents. What a beautiful day we were gifted with.
On our drive back to the city my husband turned to me and said “ Hey, we aren’t too far from Our Little Red House, want to spend the night up there” I gave him one of my crazy looks like he had lost his mind.
“There’s a storm coming in tonight and I do not want to be on the south road when it hits” I couldn’t believe he was actually thinking about driving up late at night. The south road into town is what I call the mini Grand Canyon. The cliffs and drop offs are so scary. I always warn people about it when I talk about exploring our state. We have been on the south road many times, even when there was snow and every time it always freaks me out.
There is one drop off, that is on a corner and the first time we drove it we didn’t know what was coming up, it was like a Selma and Louis scene where they drive off a cliff. I think I still left parts of my heart back there. I lost my breath for awhile…very scary. Turns out a couple did go off one year and they did not make it. So “NO WAY” was my answer to my husband and his idea of a sleep over at the little red house during a Winter storm.
Hope you all enjoyed this Arizona adventure with us. Stay safe out there in your own travels. Remember what the holidays are about, don’t stress, don’t get into dept, don’t over do anything. Just spend time with your family and love ones making memories, laughing and exploring, oh and spreading kindness. May God bless you all and keep you all happy and safe.
The rest of this month I hope to gift you all this holiday season with a new post everyday, we will see if this is possible. I just want to let you all know, I know how hard it is to keep up on blogging, so thank you for sharing your life and also for stopping by my site for a visit now and then.
Oh, and before I forget…Thank you MarDean for the beautiful snowman ornament. I just got it today in the mail, I love it. It is up on my tree now for everyone to enjoy. Now, every year when I put it on I will think of my cousin (half sister) in Oklahoma.