Showing posts from August, 2012

Welcome to Mayer

On our way to Sedona, we took a detour to Mayer, AZ to get shots of the cemetery (which will be my next post).  I did get some nice pictures of this sweet little town.

Bizarre Trees of Oak Creek

This week I will be relaxing under some of Mother Nature's interesting creations, the trees of Oak Creek in Sedona, Arizona.

Petrified Forest

In northeastern Arizona and in the heart of Navajo and Apache country lies the Petrified Forest National Park.  This over 146 square miles of desert/forest land is partially in the Painted Desert and got its names from the large deposits of petrified wood which covers the area.  In 1906, the site was declared a national monument and in 1962 a national park.  Inside the park you will find over 400 different types of plant life along with 200 various species of birds and other animals.  Half the park is designated wilderness. 
The Petrified Forest has many fossils of trees which existed around 225 million years ago.  The colorful sediment from the fossil logs are what give the Painted Desert its name.  the earliest human inhabitants lived in the are over 8,000 years ago.  About 6,000 years later, they were growing corn, building pit houses, and above-ground homes called pueblos.  The climates changes made it hard for the people to continue living in the area and eventually they all lef…

The Thing?

What is the Thing?  Along Interstate 10, from Tucson, Arizona to El Paso, Texas, you see billboards with messages to tickle your interests.  One will say, "The Thing?", and a few miles more you will see "What is it?" and down the road a ways another might say "Mystery of the Desert".  

Located on a hilltop between Benson and Willcox, Arizona, you will see a large red, yellow, blue filling station and gift shop.  Inside you will find the typical southwest roadside gifts such as bows, arrows, moccasins, baseball caps, turquoise jewelry and The Thing? shot glasses, T-shirts and other items with the logo on it.

What is it?  I sounds like a novelty which peaks enough people's interest to get them to stop and check it out.  For a dollar, you walk past the register and into a tiny outside courtyard.  In the courtyard is three prefabricated corrugated steel sheds full of odd exhibits.  You will see unusual wood carvings, framed lithographs, saddles, rifles, a c…

Mogollon Monster

He is known all over the world as different names, and has slightly different descriptions.  The hairy beast called Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Skunk Monster, or Yeti, just to name a few, has been seen by many but very little is known about this ape-like creature.

In Arizona, we have many sightings along the rim country stretching from Prescott to Williams, Winslow to the Herber area, and into Payson.  (This is where the Finding Bigfoot team went hunting for Bigfoot.)  It got its name from the many sightings along the Mogollon Rim.  People have describe what they saw as around seven feet tall, hairless in the face, but with its body covered with hair.  The hair has been noted as being dark or reddish brown.  This creature has enormous strides when it walks and runs, leaving footprints that have measured around twenty-two inches. Those who had an encounter while in the forest have said there was a dead silence, and a foul odor right before seeing the Mogollon monster.  Some claim they didn…

The Attack Cactus

I remember when I was in high school and my friends and I decided to take a hike.  It was winter in Arizona which is spring in many other states.  We picked one of the hiking trails on the mountain to take us to the top.  I was following my friend Deb when she slightly veered off the trail.  All of the sudden she started screaming.  She had cactus embedded in her ankle and it was hurting.  She barely brushed next to a cactus known as the "jumping cholla" when it attacked her.

The jumping cholla, Cylindropuntia fulgida, is also called the "hanging chain cholla" and is usually found in the southwest portion of the United States and northern Mexico.  This cactus has tiny stems with spikes and eject off the plant when you get too close.  It gives the illusion that the tip has jumped onto the person and attached itself to either their skin or clothes.  Many of the desert critters can be seen running around with the cactus attached to their bodies.

I have not been atta…

Along the Highway

You always see interesting things along the highway in Arizona.  Here are some of the things that caught our eyes on our recent trip to Gila Bend.

Historic Stout's Hotel

Located on the main drag of Gila Bend, Arizona is the historic Stout's Hotel. I could not find any information on when this hotel was built, but did find a 1939 picture of the outside, cafe, and lobby of the hotel.

Check-In Time: Never!

This motel in Gila Bend was booming in its heyday but now sits deserted and lonely.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio

From Wikipedia:
"Joseph M. "Joe" Arpaio was born on June 14, 1932 and is the elected sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona.  First voted into office in 1992, Arpaio is responsible for law enforcement in Maricopa County.  This includes management of the service of process.  Arpaio styles himself as "America's Toughest Sheriff".  He is well known for his outspoken stance against illegal immigration.  Arpaio has become a flash point for controversy surrounding Arizona's SD1070 anti-illegal immigration act.  He is also know for his investigation of President Barack Obama's citizenship.
Arpaio was once widely popular among voters in Arizona.  His popularity has waned since 2007, notable among independent and Republican voters, but he still has a 57 percent positive job rating among Republicans; he has been re-elected five times."
Love him or hate him, he will go down in history as one of Arizona's most colorful sheriffs.  What do you think of Arizo…

Abandoned in a Small Southwest Town

Some sad little homes and business that used to have life within their walls now sit empty, quiet and dark in the southwest desert.