Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Flat Hayden adventure begins...

We finally got Flat Hayden...all the way from Topeka, KS! If you've never heard the story of Flat Stanley, it goes something like this: Stanley gets flattened by a bulletin board. He wants to visit a friend in California but his parents can't afford the plane ticket, so they fold him up and send him through the mail! Now, every year the fourth graders at Christ the King School in Topeka send out a drawing of each of them to a relative or friend in a different state and the recipients of the drawing are supposed to take him/her around to various sites to learn about the state. Our drawing came from Joelle's son, Hayden, so we call him Flat Hayden. Anyway, we will bring Flat Hayden with us during our adventures in Arizona and take pictures of him with us, at our various stops. We have to get the pictures with a little paragraph about each place back to the school by March 15...so we better get busy!

Today we took Flat Hayden, aka FH, to the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, which covers 665,400 acres total and is located between Quartzsite AZ to the north and Yuma AZ to the south. It contains one of Arizona's largest populations of desert bighorn sheep, but other wildlife is limited, including: ground squirrels, pocket mice, kangaroo rats, the desert tortoise (one of the longest living creatures in the US), and several species of snakes (including the rattlesnake) and lizards. We only saw several gecko and what we think are ground squirrels, and thankfully no snakes! Also found here is the rare Kofa Mountain barberry, which is a species of plant found only in southwestern Arizona. Many mines dot the desert, including the most famous King of Arizona mine. There are also remnants of WWII military training conducted by General George Patton, so visitors have to be careful not to step on unexploded munitions that were left behind in certain areas of the refuge. Our final destination was the Horse Tanks, one of many tanks that are natural pools of water and streams where the horses were taken for water and where the bighorn sheep drink. The road into the Refuge is gravel...but once we turned off onto the 'road' (and I use the term loosely!) to the Horse Tanks, it was 2 tire tracks full of rocks and potholes and washes and dips and very narrow...you get the picture! After about 2 miles we parked and then hiked maybe 1/4 of a mile up to the tanks...there were 3 or 4 pools of water up there and it was just beautiful! Everywhere we looked were mountains and desert and saguaro cactus...and pools of water. FH had a ball!

Once we were back on the main road, we crossed the street to a roadside food stand and souvenir shop called the Stone Cabin. The real Stone Cabin, apparently an old miners cabin, was located directly behind the food stand at the caved-in entrance to a mine. The owner of the food stand was very friendly and even agreed to a picture with FH!

There are a few things we'd like to see in Yuma, so we're thinking we'll bring the RV down there for a few nights so we can spend a few days sightseeing...with FH of course!

Tomorrow I think we'll sit out in the sun and read...it doesn't get better than that!

7 comments:

dAwN said...

hee hee.. Rena this is just too cute..Love the flat hayden..and all the places you took him..
But..u may not want to let the kids see that fellas hat...hee hee :)

Rena and Ed said...

I know! I told Ed last night that that picture is not going back to the school! Unless I can blot out the saying on the hat, which I think I can do! We have a ball doing this...we did it for her other 2 children already and everyone that sees us gets involved!

Ann said...

I took a Flat Stanley to Russia back in the '90s - lots of fun.

In Yuma, make sure to stop in at the Visitor Information Center at 201 N. Fourth Avenue, at the Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park. Lots of info, plus park admission is free - there's also a free concert every Sunday afternoon.

Kristin said...

I remember when you had Nicoles Flat Stanley too Dad!!! I am quite sure that Haydens is going to alot more places!!!!

Rena and Ed said...

Thanks Ann! We'll be sure to in at the park for visitor info. We've made reservations at an RV park in Yuma for 3 nights...should be fun! And Flat Hayden will be coming with us! Can't outdo Russia tho...how exciting!

Anonymous said...

Hi Rena and Ed! Kristin told me how to comment without going through Google or one of those others that was such a pain.....This is fun! Love Flat Hayden and I'll bet round Hayden will love the places he went!!!
Mom

Vera said...

I can't believe you put poor flat Hayden in the prickly cactus! Ouch!