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Dankworth Pond State Park, Safford, AZ

Louise Speaks:  As most of you know, we are trying to visit all the State Parks in Arizona.  Our list was almost complete, UNTIL Arizona decided to add new parks to the list in 2018.  At this rate we may never get this project complete.  At any rate, this park does not offer camping so it was just stop, look around, take pictures and we were on our way.




This new park is only 3 miles from Roper Lake State Park.  We’ve been to Roper Lake before, but that is where we are camping tonight after visiting Dankworth Pond State Park.  The park itself is very small but perfect for day outings.  There are ramadas, bbq grills, fishing and a playground.  The park has a fishing dock, and you can kayak or boat.  There is no boat launch available, so you  need a small trailer to get close to the waters edge to launch.  The Dos Arroys Trail and the replica Indian village are also nearby.

The pond and park are very small, but being that today is Sunday was very busy.  With Roper Lake being just 3 miles away, I don’t see any reason to stop here.  Roper Lake offers all that this park has and is much larger with dock and swimming beach.  So Dankworth Pond State Park, is not much to talk about, but we’ve been here so we can cross it off the list.


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Quirky Things, Benson, AZ

Louise Speaks:  After leaving Tucson and on our way to another State Park,  we decided to stop and see some Quirky things along the way.  Benson is a town in SE Arizona and is home to  several Quirky or out of the ordinary things to see.  Some are Quirky, and some are just  worth the stop.

As you approach Benson, the first exit is home to McDonalds.  No this is just not just any McDonalds.  Where most McDonalds have plants and bushes around the building this McDonalds has a Dinosaur and Dinosaur artifacts along the drive thru.  I’m sure we were not the only people stopping to take pictures


Once in the town of Benson,  we came across was a Veterans Memorial.  Now this is not quirky at all and we are noticing more and more towns are erecting these memorials for the Veterans in their town.  Benson is no different.  We don’t go out of our way to find the memorials, but when we see them we always stop.



Right across the street from the Memorial, is the cutest Ice Cream Shop.  The building and decorations looks like something out of the 50’s.  I couldn’t find  anything on the ice cream shop, but I’m guessing it has been here since the 50’s.  We felt like we were still on Route 66.


Just as we were about to leave the town of Benson, we came across a small park with Rebar Cactus painted green.  This was a very interesting piece of art to support the desert town of Benson.


Benson is also home to the Kartchner Kaverns (see seperate posts), so if driving through south east Arizona, Benson is a place to stop to see some really cool attractions and some Quirky things as well.

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Holy Trinity Monastery, St. David, AZ

Louise Speaks:  After leaving Tucson we decided to see some places on our list of things to see.  St David, Arizona is a very small, rural town, and is home to the Holy Trinity Monastery.  Our main purpose for stopping was to see the huge Celtic Cross.  But once inside, there is so much more to see.  The cross is 70 feet high and can be seen from Hwy 80.  The cross appears to be guarded by two lions perched on a pedestal.  At the base of the cross is a sign designating it as the “Shrine of the true cross”.

Just past the Celtic Cross is the Meditation Garden.  There is a walking trail around a pond that has large colored fish swimming along the edge.  With the beauty of the large, tree lined pond, visitors attain a peace and solitude that is difficult to find in a busy world.  The Oriental garden has an oriental bridge and lovely flowers to lend its feeling of serenity.  We found a large Peacock sitting up in the tree, and no matter what we did we could not get the peacock to come out of the tree.  

The Lady of Guadalupe Chapel is the most prominent building on the  property.  Mass just happened to be ending as we approached the chapel.  The inside is simple but beautiful.  There is even an organist and the stations of the cross were very nicely done.  The enclosed court yard around the church is a gardener’s delight with the rose garden, flowers and plants of many varieties. The lovely fountain, surrounded by benches, gives the visitor an opportunity to just sit and soak in the peace.  Another rose garden is down in the plaza near the gazeboes and library.

In 1992, the Bureau of Land Management helped dedicate a 1.3 mile Bird Sanctuary trail that borders along the property and is on the other side of the Chapel.  In 1993 the monastery received the “Conservation Co-operator of the Year” award presented by San Pedro National Resource Conservation District. There are other critters roaming around the property and there were some very large trees.  While we were walking the trail, there were artists sitting around the lake painting.  The entire area is very serine.

On the 132 acres, there is not only the Lady of Guadalupe Chapel, living quarters, offices, library, museum, dining hall, Father Louis Hall, and conservatory, but guest houses for the retreats.   The grounds are simply beautiful.  The church seems to have an active following, although many leaving the church today were saying goodbye as they were heading home after spending the winder in St. David. 

In 2017 the Monastery had been ordered to close it’s doors after more than 40 years of serving their community.  However, from what I’m seeing today, the church at least, seems to have a loyal following.  They are still offering retreats and the gift shop and thrift shop are open daily for business.  We found a few things to buy as well, including baked goods.  The grounds are full of pecan trees, and the pecan provide a means of income. 

It would absolutely be a shame if the doors were to close permanently at the Holy Trinity Monastery.  There are so many possibilities here and you  can feel how special this place is the moment you get out of your car.  We stopped here for the cross, but left seeing so much more.  The Holy Trinity Monastery gets an A rating.  I love visiting churches, especially when the grounds surrounding the church are so beautiful and serenity just fills your heart.