Arizona Vacation: October 2016


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Sunday, October 16 - Sears Kay Ruin and Lookout Mountain

Photos of the view from our balcony at The Boulders (7 images)

The Boulders hotel gave us a list of nearby hiking trails so we picked the Sears Kay Trail since it said you could see some ruins, and headed out. This hike is located in Tonto National Forest and is not very long. We needed a short hike due to meeting some old friends for lunch. There were indeed some ruins, though really they consisted of a handful of 2 foot walls showing where houses used to be and some plaques explaining what the place had probably looked like. Here like around our hotel are indeed boulders that stand out from the sandy/pebble like ground around them. After taking in the small trail and linking up with another that led back to the car, we headed for lunch.

Photos of the drive to and hike at Sears Kay Ruin (22 images)

Our friend Jeremy was an usher at our wedding and has since moved to Phoenix. He recommended a restaurant called El Encanto that is in Cave Creek, about 15 minutes from the hotel. Because we'd finished our hike in plenty of time, we had some time to kill so we visited a shopping center in Carefree, and Frontier Town in Cave Creek across from the restaurant. The "town" is a collection of old buildings with shops that are both touristy and not. You can get things from a $3 stuffed animal to a $1500 leather bench. Ginger did make a few purchases for Christmas gifts at a delightful sock shop. When we got the text that Jeremy and family were close, we walked over to the restaurant. It's a lovely place with a pond in the center with ducks and turtles. We said we'd like a table for 6 as we knew there were twin girls. Only after they arrived did we learn they actually have four children. Oops! Still, we got a table quickly and the food was quite good! We took our sweet time talking and eating.

Photos of Carefree and Cave Creek (5 images)

After lunch, our next hike of choice was to Lookout Mountain. Neil headed off to the summit of the mountain. Ginger, however, chose the circumference trail around the base. While the scenery was more of the same (dirt and cactus) it was still an enjoyable time outdoors and did take a good chunk of time in the afternoon to complete.

Photos of Lookout Mountain (4 images)

We drove back to the hotel to clean up and chose Blu Burger Grille for our dinner destination. If you're willing to pay more than you usually do for burgers, this is the place to do it. We had a BLT and a bacon cheeseburger and then split a serving of pistachio gelato. Yum! After a quick stop at Target for a few provisions it was back to the hotel to call it a day.