Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch, Picacho Peak, Arizona
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Feed the lorikeets! Feed the ostriches! An AZ road-trip stop worth making
As you speed through the desert on I-10 between Tucson and Phoenix, consider getting off at Exit 219, especially if you have kids in the backseat... ...and even if you don't have kids in the backseat, feeding ostriches and lorikeets is FUN! This is a classic road-trip must-stop thing to do. Stretch your legs and take a break from dodging eighteen-wheelers while communing with a bit of feathered nature at the foot of Picacho Peak. There are deer and goats to feed as well, and ostrich feather dusters for purchase, along with gigantic eggshells and related desert avian kitsch. The 'rainbow lorikeet forest' is a delight--these Australian parrots fly free in this tree-filled enclosure and will happily land on you to feed from the cups of nectar you'll be offering... I'd passed by this area for years before finally stopping, always curious but skeptical. I can honestly say it's not a rip-off and you'll probably end up spending more time than you thought you would...unless you have a phobia of birds. (Keep in mind--mid-summer mid-day temps can be brutal here, and there are occasional dust-storms in this area. Plan accordingly.)
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