A Family Cruise on the Dolly Steamboat
By Meg Brunson
With all the rain that Arizona has been getting in recent weeks, we were a bit apprehensive about going on the Dolly Steamboat. Would the experience still be worth it even in soggy conditions? We had been on expeditions before and although we were promised views of animals, we know animals can be skittish and uncooperative.
What can I say? Not only were we far from disappointed, it turned out to be a perfect day in spite of the rain. In fact, the rain itself even added to the experience when it created numerous waterfalls throughout the cruise that had us oohing and ahhing at the natural wonders. It also wasn’t enough to deter the bighorn sheep or even the bald eagle from coming out to be seen. The staff were right on top of it: Any time we came into range of seeing the animals they were right on the spot offering binoculars to the kids. It was amazing to actually see the bald eagle perched atop the ridge resplendent in all its majesty.
To both my children’s and my husband’s delight, when the cruise came to the part where we could see the petrified trees and the exterior of the geodes, a member of the crew came along with a piece of geode that was cut open and a piece of petrified wood to show all the kids on the cruise. I would say that I didn’t know who was more excited, my kids or my husband, but it was pretty clear that my husband was tickled pink at both. The captain was great in describing what the outside of the geodes looked like, since my girls were looking for the purplish crystals that are in the inside, but being able to point out the rounded lumps that indicated the outside of the geodes produced lots of fascinated looks.
I was so thankful that the ship itself has a snack bar on board. It was an hour plus drive for us to get to Canyon Lake, and with the 1.5 hour cruise my young ones were getting hungry. I was pleasantly surprised that this snack bar even has movie style popcorn buckets, my absolute favorite! They also had soda and even alcohol, although we didn’t partake of either. It definitely helped to fill that void, especially for my younger kids.
On the way to Canyon Lake we saw an actual ghost town which we will definitely be back to explore. After seeing all the wonders on the Dolly Steamboat, the girls were all abuzz with what wonders an actual ghost town would hold! Dolly herself actually recommended the Superstition Restaurant & Saloon and we weren’t disappointed. It was a perfect way to wrap up an outstanding day trip.
© 2018 Meg Brunson
Meg is a mommy blogger, Facebook marketer, and much more. She is a mom to four daughters who live in Peoria, AZ and is the local Editor of KidsOutAndAbout Phoenix - helping parents and caregivers find free and affordable things to do with kids, out and about in Arizona! As a former Facebook employee, Meg remains a Facebook addict and handles KidsOutAndAbout.com's Social Media Marketing in addition to providing freelance services for other small businesses on how to best leverage Facebook as a part of their marketing strategy. Meg also hosts the FamilyPreneur Podcast, a podcast for parent entrepreneurs raising entrepreneurial children. Learn more about Meg at MegBrunson.com!