Kayaking Canyon Lake and Tortilla Flat

Several years ago I was trying to decide what I wanted for my birthday.  I was torn between going sky diving and buying myself a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes.  A very wise friend told me to “go for the experience”.  I took her advice and have followed that advice ever since.   Life is for living, what better day to really live than the day of your birth?  I am very lucky that the husband seems to understand this concept and in the past two years I’ve not once received an actual birthday gift from him, I’ve received birthday experiences.  This year I decided that his birthday’s should be treated the same as mine.  No more gift wrapped presents for him!

I try to not duplicate experiences when planning my adventures.  Not to say that once I’ve done something I’ll never do it again, but I try to make the birthday experience unique.  Fortunately for me,  this year the husband’s birthday surprise was a new experience for both of us, kayaking.

I booked us a half day kayaking trip through the Just Roughin It Adventure Company.  We met our guide John at Canyon Lake at 7am.  Canyon Lake is an oasis of beauty an hour and a half east of Phoenix.  After a very brief how to of kayaking we set off.  We spent the next three hours leisurely exploring the canyon.  At one point we stopped and the boys took a brief swim.  I do not like to be cold, so I just waded in the water.  Our wildlife sightings were limited to only vulture’s and crane’s and an occasional fish.  Being on the lake made being outside in the relentless heat of a Phoenix summer not only tolerable, but also enjoyable.

Canyon Lake

As I’ve mentioned, never do we go to our planned destination and come home, there is always a side trip or two, ALWAYS.  Today was no exception.  Our guide told us about the town of Tortilla Flat, just up the road from Canyon Lake.  Tortilla Flat has a population of six, I had to go.

Museum at Tortilla Flat, Arizona

Tortilla Flat started out as a stage stop in 1904 and is now presumed to be Arizona’s smallest community with a post office and voter’s precinct. The town has a small museum, a gift shop, restaurant and saloon and a country store.  After walking the boardwalk, we stopped for lunch at the restaurant and had ice cream for desert from the country store.  It was the perfect end to this year’s birthday adventure!

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