What a day – the temperature dropped to the lower 80’s, so it was time to hit the trails! We got there just after 10AM – so it was in the upper 70’s when we hit Superior, Arizona to visit the Boyce Thompson Arboretum. It has the feel of the Huntington Library and Gardens in San Marino, California. For all intents and purposed, the magnates of the early 1900’s had the money to establish plush grounds with themes, collecting objects and fauna from around the world, and they never shied away from not only creating a venue, but also shared it with the public. I doubt you’d ever get a tour of the grounds or homes of Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, or the others of this generation. Me, me, me, mine, mine mine.
Our GPS was confused and wanted to guide us to the State Park – which is a separate entrance, about a mile away. We knew better, and got to the arboretum after a scenic, low traffic drive. This past week, with all the wind and the high temps it’s been really hazy – not too different from the smoggy California days we’ve been so used to for the past 27 years. So while it was still hazy, there was a light and cool breeze that made walking the trails very comfortable. We hit the main trail, then tackled the High Trail, which was not very hard if you’re in shape. Lots of butterflies, many birds and lizards bustling about their business and camouflaging into the landscape in a flash. It’s very easy to walk in a loop and catch something you may have missed during a round.
Boojum trees are so cool. There was an excellent specimen here – much bigger than the ones at the Desert Botanical Garden. I wish I could have one of them in my yard! My guess is that it would cost a fortune, so I will enjoy these sentinels of cool from afar. Each garden has its pluses and minuses. It’s a trek to get the the BTA, but the grounds are more varied and the walk more challenging than the DBG, which is much more urban in its layout and mission.
Part of the mystique of the BTA is the ghoulish shape to many of the rock formations. Boyce Thomas’s home was built to augment, not detract, from the natural landscape (I’d give them a 60% grade on that – it’s nothing compared to the way Frank Lloyd Wright built Fallingwater in Pennsylvania with the water running through it). They certainly exploited the uniqueness of the terrain. Some of the paths would be great backdrops for a sci-fi movie. But that would be a whole other story!