Monday, July 30, 2012

Tonto Natural Bridge

Part of our trip and family reunion in Arizona was a trip to the Tonto Natural Bridge.  I think it was also one of my favorite parts of the trip.  I think that the Arizona Desert, the true desert, not what you see in town, is beautiful!

As I mentioned before, Justin's grandparents, Glen & Eloise Randall owned the natural bridge when their children were young. Justin's dad, Mark Randall remembers spending his summers working and exploring all over the natural bridge. In fact, I think that he and some of his sisters, if not all--(I'm not sure, I will have to double check) were baptized here in the old swimming pool that is no longer in use.

This is one of the many beautiful "Century Plants" that were blooming all throughout the area.  They are part of the Agave plant family. It's rumored that they only bloom once a century--hence the name. However, that is not true. They only live 10-30 years and flower once in their lifetime. After they have bloomed, the plant dies, but not before putting out "sucker" plants that grow into new ones.

One of the first sights of the bridge, as you get closer to the entrance.

I think this picture is a little deceiving, because it makes it look kind of small. It's truly huge!! In fact, Justin' s "Crazy Uncle Bob," Bob Fuller, at one point flew an airplane through the bridge many years ago.

With over 100 people in our group all wearing matching blue shirts, it looked like an army of blue ants climbing through. :)

So beautiful!! And amazingly cool. Under the bridge it had to be 20+ degrees cooler. If we weren't helping kids climb through, I would have spent a lot more time down there.

After hiking through the bridge we enjoyed listening to Justin's Dad, Mark, and his sisters, (l-r) Dixie Oveson, Sally Bridge, Glenell Fuller, Jane Wright, & Martha Hoopes, share stories and memories of what life was like at the Natural Bridge. My favorite...Jane & Sally convinced that an Indian Chief was buried there with gold and treasure so they spent hours and hours digging to find it. Who convinced them that he was there?  Their big brother, Mark! :)

Part of the festivities also included foot races and tug of war. Here's the youngest group of runners. I'm proud to see Kenzie out front! ;)

It was a wonderful day full of memories that we will not soon forget!


Justin said...

BEST POST EVER! (Laugh, Tear)

Thank you for blogging, you are such an amaziing writer! Your posts mean to world to me when I am out on the road.

Love you,

Your Biggest Fan!

Patty said...

What a great family you guys have. We unfortunately do not have that close of a family but are trying our best so that our kids will have something like this when they get older and start their own family reunions :)
That waterfall looked SO good as I sit here sweating in my office.