Superstitious? Us?

Northern Arizona has so much natural beauty, a rolling desert bordered to the east by the Superstition Mountains, highways encircled by interested saguaros and seasoned with shy wildlife hiding from the circling birds. Anyone with an adventurous spirit would be drawn to the road here, to find a path and bear down on the gas until you found the end of the highway.

And that’s exactly what we did on our way to Tortilla Flat near the east-central portion of the state. The town was originally founded as one of the many camping spots for gold prospectors along the westward trail in 1904, and has seen a few boom periods, such as during the construction of Roosevelt Dam through the 1930s, but has rarely exceeded a population of 100.

Today, the town of six citizens is considered Arizona’s smallest community with its own Post Office and even its own voters’ precinct. It is wholly owned by the Ross family, Alvin and Pam, who upon hearing that the town was for sale in 1998 jumped at the chance to be a part of history.

This tiny, authentic “Wild West” town has only three stores – a gift shop, restaurant and ice cream parlor. The town still draws visitors from all over the country, but takes only moments to explore. On this particular day, we were lucky enough to see a gun show reenactment by the “Smokin’ Guns for Hire”, an amateur group of five “actors” whose scripts and acting could use a little help. But what did we expect for free?

Of course, the best part was not the destination, but the beautiful journey through the Superstition Mountain Range with many pit stops for pictures along the way.

We stopped at another more “touristy” wild west town called the Goldfield Ghost Town on the drive back. It was loaded with gifts shops, a saloon, a bordello (which was a museum) and more reenactments – better acted with more participants, and a storyline.

Though the history was negligible, the weather was perfect and the scenery beautiful, so all in all, a great day.