Thursday, October 31, 2013

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunset over Phoenix

If you go to Phoenix, you should also go to the top of a mountain and watch the sunset.
You won't be sorry you did.

Friday, October 18, 2013


 It must be six years since I have seen Michigan's fall colors.
I know they say it's nice in other places, too, but I have a hard time believing these colors can be beat.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

State capital museum

Arizona out grew its capital building after the territory became a state, so when the legislators and governor moved out, part of the building was turned into a museum with all sorts of state trivia.

Winged Victory, a seventeen foot weather vane sits atop the building.
The room where the state congress used to meet looks sort of like a school room.
The Arizona state seal--incorrectly designed--is at the center of the building.
This was an interesting display.
There was a law that to enter town, a man must be wearing pants.  Some of the native tribes didn't have the custom of wearing them.  So there was a pair of jeans which hung on a tree outside the town.  A man could wear the jeans into town and put them back on the tree branch when he went home again.

Arizona state capital

I visited the state capitol building of Arizona.
Inside is a museum, outside is a nice park.

Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza is the stretch of park between the Arizona state courthouse and the capitol building museum.
The park holds numerous different war and veteran memorials.

As a plus, Arizona's blue sky makes a fantastic backdrop to it all.

A mountain

Among the high rises of Tempe, there's a mountain with an A on it.  It's also known as Tempe Butte or Hayden Butte, but the 58 foot A gives it its local name.

The A has been put there by the Arizona State University and it is very dear to the student population.  During athletic rivalries, the A has been painted by other schools.  To protect it, students will stay up all night guarding it.

If you've not come to paint anything, it's also a nice place to go for a view from above.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Saguaro mountain

They're like sentinels, standing tall all over this mountain.

Desert landscape

It's deserty out there, isn't it?

Superstition mountains

The Superstition Mountains, home of stories stretched beyond the reaches of history.  They are the setting of religious shrines for Pimas and Apaches, of sanctuary for Apaches who refused to go to reservations, of violence between frontier prospectors, of treasure hunting for those who know the tales, and of a formidable rugged beauty.

The ruggedness of the mountain range means much of the region is still untouched wilderness.
With rumors of gold and treasure yet to be found, the mountain range still turns normal people into treasure hunting crazies.
I just thought they were pretty desert mountains.

Lost dutchman mine

Alleged belongings of the dutchman
The legend of the Lost Dutchman mine is a treasure-seeking tale of the old west.  One that still draws people in even today.
People have disappeared or been found dead in the area, causing theories and stories to develop around all the different possibilities of history and what treasure is really out there.  The conflicts to be found in it are the claims to accurate history, the claims to land and mines, and the claims to treasure found.

The legend goes that a German immigrant named Jacob Waltz, the "dutchman", found a wealthy gold mine in the Superstition Mountains in the mid 1800s. He died leaving a drawn map which gave only hints to the mine's location. Since then, treasure hunters have come from all over to search but no one has found anything.  Mixed throughout the legend are details of violence and beheading among those searching for gold

The mining museum of their belongings left behind
Today there are hikers, campers and horseback riders instead of suspicious gold hunters--but they are still out there, too.

The real treasure, though, is probably the mix of fact and fiction in the story of the dutchman's mine, and the hunt--the one for the truth of the characters involved amidst all the legend.
Superstition mountains

Prickly pear soda

Here's a good use for prickly pear:  soda.
And getting it from a bottle is way easier than from a cactus.

Goldfield ghost town

Welcome to Goldfield, Arizona, mining town established in 1893.

That blue sky is not a Hollywood special effect.
The town is real, even if it is a junk yard, of sorts, turned tourist trap. 
They've gathered some old west treasures together to attract people.
"Treasures" like Doc Holiday's suit coat. 
In other places out behind the main buildings things look just like they did when the miners abandoned them.

Probably the cacti have grown up a bit taller.
A cemetery in an abandoned ghost town...

...sort's hard to see the abandonment with all the tourists walking around with ice cream.

Monday, October 7, 2013

South mountain

South Mountain in Phoenix is an easier mountain to "climb", because I could drive up to the top.
I went at sunset time, to see the city lit up by the last rays of daylight.

It was just the right day to go, too, because the clouds were spectacular.

Climbing Cathedral rock

There in the distance is Cathedral rock...waiting for me to climb it. 

I don't climb mountains, so it posed a challenge to me.

Yet those heights still beckoned.
Even half way up, the view over Sedona valley was beautiful.

I made it!
Just look at what you can see from way up here.
A beautiful day in Arizona.