Well, Dawn says it’s time to go home now. I’ve protested, I’ve cried, I’ve pleaded, and even tried to bribe, but alas, my protestations are falling on deaf ears. One of our daughters, very inconsiderately I might add, decided to schedule having a baby right in the middle of our vacation. I asked if they could delay this blessed event until sometime in May, but I have reached that point in our family where I am kind of just merely tolerated and usually ignored, having reached insignificant status. Dawn will not listen to any attempts to stay in the sunny south. I just talk to the hand. So, tonight I’ll be leaving on a jet plane, bound for the Great White North, which I understand is going to be living up to its reputation when I get there. How is my sunburnt face going to look in snow?
Well, anyway I took a nice bike ride out to Bartlett Lake Dam, 50 miles northeast of Scottsdale, on Thursday. My last bike ride in AZ for a while. So, I thought I’d share the beauty with you, as it quite spectacular.
But first, the facts: the dam was built between 1936 and 1939 for irrigation water supply. It was named after a government surveyor, Bill Bartlett…as opposed to something that might have anything to do with the people who paid for it, the native Indians, or the surrounding AZ desert. It is one of six storage dams that make up the Salt River Project, which also includes canals and reservoirs that provide water to the Phoenix valley. It is said, without that project, there would be no Phoenix.
As usual, the sky was a perfect blue without a cloud. The temperatures were in the 80’s, and there was virtually no traffic to run over me and my bike. The roads were a little rough, lots of dips, and plenty of curves, so as to keep your mind on the road, which I almost learned the hard way. Rubber-necking is not encouraged out there.
Lake Bartlett is as high as it’s ever been with water. That would be indicative of having had lots of rain, more so then at any time in the past 7 years. Ironically, that coincides with how long I have been coming down here. Suffice to say, it has been a wet winter here in the Valley of the Sun, so the Sun seemed to have taken the winter off. If it sounds like I am complaining, please note…I am.
Although I could not see the dam from my vantage point next to that railing, I was told that they are actually in the process of draining the dam of some of its excess water. Right after that picture was taken one of the boaters reeled in a really big fish. To his friends, I bet that fish grew quite a bit since Thursday. This area supposedly also has a beach, aptly named Rattlesnake Beach, nearby. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I want to doze on a beach named after a no-necked reptilian.
In one picture, you will see there is actually a marina. As I am not much of a boat enthusiast, I did not care to get any closer to the boats, and the picture was more or less taken as an afterthought. I will say I was surprised by the amount of boats docked there, and it did appear there were a few expensive ones at that. OK, I’ve talked enough about boats!
This area is part of the Tonto National Forest area and there are lots of areas to hike through. I saw several cars parked next to the trails, indicating people were, for reasons I’ll never understand, off hiking in the desert and up the hills. You will recall I mentioned sun, heat, and rattlesnakes previously in this blog.
Well, just know that the next time you see or hear from me, I’ll be freezing my keaster up north, while fighting for a spot in line to hold that new grandbaby, which will be our sixth. And a special shout out to my daughter – the one having the new papoose - I was just joking about this being inconvenient. You know I love ya, but I’m beggin’ ya, please have the next baby in June like your mother did you.