Showing posts from May, 2013

Lake Mary in Flagstaff

Flagstaff, AZ

Black Canyon Greyhound Park

If you drive north from Phoenix on Interstate 17, you will run across the small town of Black Canyon. Sitting in the northern part of the settlement is the Black Canyon Greyhound Park. This abandoned building was once bustling with crowds of fans watching the dog races.  In 1982, it closed its doors for good.  Today, the only thing running through its hollowed walls are desert critters.

Although Sharon and I did not go inside the building to explore, I heard that once you pass through the large glass doors the building appears much bigger from the inside. The sky and desert surroundings are apparent through the missing walls and ceiling. From the debris on the ground to the yellowing lights above, this enormous building is one to explore.  The next time, we are checking out the inside.

Mummified Bodies

The Arizona desert might not be the first place you would think a mummified body would be found. In fact, on several occasions throughout history a carcass was discovered buried or lying on the desert floor in a dried up condition. One such mummy was that of a cowboy found near the town of Gila Bend. It was in 1895 when a couple of rough-riders traveling on their horses across the desert came across an unusual site. It was a body of a man which appeared to have been lying there for a brief period and looked well preserved. The cowboy mummy was given the name, Sylvester, and was thought to have once been a 19th century rancher or perhaps a gambler. Hypothetical stories started circulating about how Sylvester was probably caught cheating, then shot, and bleed to death trying to escape. They go on to say that while fleeing, he fell off his horse, landed on the desert dirt, and was covered with blowing sands. The sands dried his body overnight preserving the corpse resulting in the mummif…

Remnants of the Hohokam

History tells us that the Hohokam tribe migrated north from Mexico and settled in southern Arizona. The name Hohokam derives from the word Hoohoogum, given to those living in that region of the southwest desert and means, “Those who have gone”. From the Hohokam ruins we can see they were a skilled group of farmers who built elaborate canals that went on for miles. Not much was known about this tribe nor written about their demise. We are able to study them through the well engineered canals, ruins, and written stories on rocks known as petroglyphs which were left behind.

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument are located one hour southeast of Phoenix in Coolidge. These well preserved remains are where the ancient Hohokam once lived. The main building, or Great house, is four stories high and 60 feet long. The first floor is on a mount and the walls are a mixture of a concrete-like combination of sand, clay, and calcium carbonate or limestone. The Great House took 3,000 tons of Caliche mud…

Arizona Travels: Tombstone

(The Town Too Tough to Die)

If there was any town in the Arizona Territory which had a number of reported notorious events in the 1880’s, it would be Tombstone. Like many of the other mining towns, Tombstone was founded after a rich vein of minerals was discovered by a prospector. This particular miner was named Edward Lawrence Schieffelin who arrived in the San Pedro Valley in the summer of 1877. He lived at Camp Huachua (wa-chu-ka) scouting for Apache while searching the Mule Mountains on his days off and hoping to strike it rich. He was often asked what he was doing up in “them their mountains” and he would reply by simply saying, “to collect rocks”. One soldier told him, “If you keep fooling around amongst the Apaches, the only rock you will find will be your tombstone”. Finally, his persistence paid off when he discovered a large vein of silver near the area known as “Goose Flats”. He named his claim “Tombstone” and by early 1879, the City of Tombstone was built. The lots along ma…

Strange Creatures Found in AZ

When you drive around the state, you will notice the many changes of scenery. You will see the desert with its ample cacti and a mile or two down the highway, the cacti seem to disappear. The further north and east you drive in the state, you will come upon a thick forest. The lakes in those areas may be abundant with water while the desert lakes and rivers are died up. Along with the many different types of foliage adoring the scenery, there are critters and creatures as well. Typically, snakes, scorpions and lizards can be seen roaming the dry desert floor, while larger animals have been seen in the forests. Once in a while a rare creature or its remains has been discovered in the state.
Blowfish & Mermaid

In the Wild West town of Tombstone is where a couple of bizarre creatures lie in a display case at the Bird Cage Theatre. When you first walk through the back door of the Bird Cage’s museum you will first see a glass box sitting on a shelf. Inside the box is a mummified small cr…

Arizona Travels: Sedona

There are many ancient Native American ruins all over the state of Arizona. Many of these “houses of spirits” were built strong and we see the evidence in the partially found remains of their dwellings. From those ruins we get an understanding of how they survived. In central Arizona sits an entire mysterious city where many have referred to it as being “spiritual”. The city of Sedona spans to some degree in the Verde Valley, between Coconino and Yavapai counties. Surrounding the downtown are vivid orange-red sandstone rock creations as vibrant as Sedona’s sunset. There are many places to hike and enjoy the breathtaking scenery this place has to offer. People come to this serene settlement for the mountainous hiking trails, spiritual healing powers of the vortexes, and even for some UFO hunting. Sedona has it all. The city was named after the wife of the first postmaster, Sedona Miller Schnebly, who was known for her generosity and sincerity.

One of the main characteristics of this tow…