Ah, Picacho Peak State Park, one of our favorite spots! It was less than a 30 minute drive from Casa Grande so we stayed at High Chapparal as late as we could so we wouldn’t be too early for check in at Picacho where check in time was 2:00 p.m. As we approached the State Park, we were excited to see off in the distance the 1500 foot peak! When we arrived at the ranger station, there was no problem checking in early.
Funny that somehow we ended up making a reservation on the same site, A17, we reserved back in 2017. Love this site! I think the huge saguaro standing guard at the site smiled when it saw us.
Except for one sightseeing expedition, our main activities were sitting by the campfire, enjoying the gorgeous sunsets, assigning personalities to the saguaros and watching the moon rise in the dark night sky. Awesome!
First order of business on the day of our sightseeing expedition on the February 8th was breakfast at Big House Cafe (no record of what we ate or if the food was good or not) in Casa Grande.
Our next stop was more exciting! I can’t say how many times during our travels that we had driven past a cotton field and wondered how the crop was planted and harvested. On this particular day, we would experience a fascinating tour at Caywood Farms, a fourth-generation, family-operated farming business which produces Pima cotton and alfalfa. The owner of the farm, Nancy, a 3rd generation member of the farm, has a PHD in agriculture and used to be an elementary teacher. She was the perfect guide, knowledgeable, very personable and funny! Maybe she should have been a stand up comic!
The tour started off inside the main building where she gave a presentation on agriculture in Arizona, how cotton is planted, harvested, ginned, classified and used. Some of the slides are included in our photo album (see below). After the presentation, we walked over to see a cotton picker and module builder. Then it was time for a hayride on a wagon being pulled by an antique tractor. Wow, what a great tour! If you want to learn about the tour, be sure to watch the YouTube video below or better yet, take a tour if you are in the Casa Grande area.
Also learned some of the sad issues facing farmers – lack of water and the financial implications. Many of the local farmers have already started selling off their farms which Nancy doesn’t want to do as it has been in the family since the 1930’s. She made the comment that she doesn’t really know whether the farm will exist in five years or not.
Here’s a YouTube video of the fascinating tour we took.
And here are more of our personal photos.