Arizona Flowers/Gardening Road Trip Journal Weather/Nature

Picnicing at Gila Box Canyon

Summer road trip. Day 20 Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Picnic! I cannot remember when last we had a picnic, and I was eager for it to come around. I took our small ice chest from its place in the bay the night before and cleaned it so that it was ready in the morning when I filled it with soft drinks, cold chicken, cheese, tiny tomatoes, strawberries and grapes. I stuck cookies, chips, sourdough bread, paper plates and such into another bag I keep in the motor home for such events. We were ready when the Keyes arrived. They loaded their things into our Jeep, Brother Keyes took the wheel and we headed to the Gila Box Canyon area, where he served as our gracious tour guide for the afternoon. He spent many years of his childhood in this area, and is very knowledgeable of its terrain and its history.

First, though, before we left town, we drove to a facility here in town that interests them as a site for a new church building. We couldn’t get inside, but we peered through the windows, and Brother Keyes has a call in now to check on its availability. If you are reading here, and care about the effective spreading of the Gospel, pray for this pastor and the church congregation here in Safford that God will direct them to a new building.

Sanchez was at one time a thriving settlement, which now has little to show except for an abandoned school house, a cemetery, and a few scattered houses. There is a strong Mormon influence in this area.

The scenery was spectacular, and even though this whole area is suffering from lack of rain, the river bottoms were lush, and the Gila River was flowing.

This picnic table was situated perfectly. Although it was hot, this beautiful tree provided great shade. The river was close by, and after we had feasted, three of us walked down to the water. I waded in–shoes and all. Sister Keyes was neater than I; she removed her shoes.

Despite the dryness here, the profusion and beauty of wild flowers was amazing. A tiny bug was exploring this yellow one.

Can you believe these are weeds? So beautiful.

This last two flowers are my favorites; they look like water color paintings.

Pastor and Mrs. Kris Keyes, my friends!

By Shirley Buxton

Still full of life and ready to be on the move, Shirley at 83 years old feels blessed to have lots of energy and to be full of optimism. She was married to Jerry for 63 years, and grieves yet at his death in August of 2019. They have 4 children, 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren...all beautiful and highly intelligent--of course. :)

3 replies on “Picnicing at Gila Box Canyon”

So thrilled you are having such an enjoyable time ! The creek looks especially inviting.
Love and miss you.

Miss you, too, sweet Becky. Wish you and Nathaniel were with us. We’re having a wonderful time.


Hi Shirley. I was just looking back at my very first post, five years ago, and you were one of my first commenters. I’m so pleased to see you’re still blogging! These are beautiful photos, as well. “Weeds” are only a matter of opinion; one man’s trash…

Thanks for visiting and commenting here, Jason. I wish you continued blessings on your life.


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