I love taking Sunday drives, and this morning's proved to be another exceptional one.
Since moving to Florence earlier this year, I try to get out a couple of times each month and explore the terrain near my home. This morning, I chose the Florence-Kelvin Highway. Arizona Highways has a nice article that highlights what you'll find on this picturesque road. To reach the highway, take Highway 79 south from Florence and turn left at the sign post for Florence-Kelvin Highway.
Florence sits at an elevation of approximately 1500 feet, which is conducive to many species of cactus, most notably, the Saguaro. I found this interesting specimen while heading southeast. The strange growth at the top of the cactus is commonly referred to as "crested" or "monstrose" and usually occurs due to some type of damage suffered by the cactus.
|Crested "Monstrose" Saguaro|
In the general area, I happened to stumble (literally!!) upon a geocache. My daughter and I are planning on revisiting next week to see what's inside. I have to be honest. With the recent Paris bombings, I had no intention of opening that container without someone else who is more experienced with geocaching to check it out first.
|Geocache somewhere on the Florence-Kelvin Highway|
I came across this beauty of a ranch gate just west of the Cottonwood Wash. So, are they ranching large black mountain lions on this ranch? >^..^<
|Black Cat Ranch|
My final stop on the highway was at the boulders located at the intersection of Florence-Kelvin Highway and Cochran Road. If you continue past Cochran, the highway is no longer paved, and it's a bumpy trip to Kelvin from that point on. I'm saving that for another day. We had a big rainstorm heading into Florence and the last thing I wanted was to have to deal with flash flooding.
|Boulder Site at the intersection of Cochran and Florence-Kelvin Highway.|
|Another view of the Boulder site with the Superstition Mountains in the background|
I have no idea what type of flower they are, but saw these gorgeous teeny, tiny, yellow flowers near the Stop sign. They're no bigger than a dime and are such a vibrant yellow. The creeping plant near the flowers is a common weed known as "Spurge" or "Sand Mat".
A suggestion for a place to stay in the area is the Gotno Morgan Ranch Resort. Near as I can tell, the street to access the ranch is Biznaga (there is a sign showing where to turn off of the highway). From their website, it looks pretty interesting. I think I'm going to have to check them out before too long.
I'm looking forward to heading back out next week with my daughter for further exploration. If you find yourself in Florence, AZ, be sure to check out the Florence-Kelvin Highway. You won't regret it.