The Dolly Steamboat Cruises with the Roving Ranchers

Sandy and Keith Clarke with June Armstrong.

Jeanette and Lynn Beatty and Hank and Judy Marino

Pat Sand

The Roving Ranchers recently enjoyed a perfect day for boating on Canyon Lake aboard the Dolly Steamboat. On June 24, 115 Ranchers drove to Apache Junction, following the historic, winding, and mountainous Apache Trail drive to the boat. This was the most-attended event the Roving Ranchers have had thus far.

During the 90-minute tour, the steamboat paddled 6 miles on Canyon Lake, which is part of the Salt River system. The day was sunny with temps in the low hundreds and many Ranchers sat indoors watching the view through windows, while others enjoyed the warm breezes out on the decks. The size of our group took over most of the boat. Jim and Carol Ziesman were celebrating 27 years of marriage and appreciated that the Ranchers had such a special trip on their anniversary!

The views of the canyons and mountains were spectacular. The lake was crowded with boaters, tubers, and kayakers enjoying the nice day and cool water. Our group spotted several long-horned sheep who frequent the canyon area, as well as turkey vultures soaring on the breezes looking for food. The saguaro cacti were plentiful and Captain Jeff pointed out various features of the canyon rocks as well as historical stories about the area.

After the cruise, the Ranchers departed to Organ Stop Pizza in Mesa. This restaurant features the largest theater pipe organ ever created that rises out of a pit and 10 feet above the center of the restaurant. The restaurant was great about accommodating our large group by reserving a group of tables all together. While enjoying pizza and drinks, we were entertained by a multitude of songs from “Over the Rainbow” to “All You Need Is Love.” The Wurlitzer has 6,000 pipes and was built in 1927. Everyone was amazed at the number of keys, foot pedals, and buttons the organist played (1,074)! The special effects of bubbles, glockenspiels, cymbals, marionette cats, lights, and disco balls only served to enhance the organist’s performance.

The Ranchers’ next event is our annual trip to Mount Lemmon on July 20. You can sign up on the Roving Ranchers’ site on Or follow us on Facebook at

Linda Grube and Jane Minish