Monday, September 28, 2015

Dateland



The tiny town of Dateland, AZ, can be found along Interstate 8, flanked by Phoenix and Yuma.  It was founded in the first part of the 1920’s, and started out as a water stop located alongside the railroad lines.  People traveling along the highway would stop in Dateland to cool off from summer’s scorching heat and swim in the town’s irrigation pond.

In the 1940’s, the settlement was used by General Patton as a desert training camp, Camp Horn, and was one of two he utilized in Arizona.  By 1942, they constructed three landing strips in Dateland to train the military for B25 Bombers.  After two months, the military quit using the airstrips and the buildings were then operated as an Italian confinement camp.  Nowadays, all that is left is the footings of the buildings and landing strip.

When Highway 80 was changed to Interstate 8 in 1965, the town relocated slightly north of where it was first built.  The original building was abandoned for years before they decided to pull it down in 1997.  Today, they have the Dateland Travel Center with gift shops, places to eat, and their famous Date Shakes.  Next to that is a gas station, RV Park, and the Date Grove.  Occasionally the military will train their troops in the deserts of Dateland preparing them for deployment to Afghanistan.

Sharon and I stopped in Dateland on our trip from her place in Chandler to Yuma.  We needed to stretch our legs, but what we really wanted was to try their Date Shakes.  They are yummy!









Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Photography: Abandoned Trailer

This was one of those finds along the highway which required us to make a u-turn to photograph it.  It was worth going back for.











Monday, September 21, 2015

Lake Pleasant Regional Park



Cruising down the Carefree Highway while listening to Gordon Lightfoot’s song with the same name, it seems peaceful.  This highway is one of the roadways you must travel in order to get to Lake Pleasant Regional Park.  The lake is just north of Phoenix and where many like to head out for relaxation, fun, and escape from the heat.  It was in 1927 when the Waddell Dam was completed, and water from the Agua Fria River formed Lake Pleasant.

Lake Pleasant Regional Park envelops over 23,000 acres with mountains, desert landscape, and water.  Many love the lake for boating, water skiing, jet skiing, scuba diving, sailing and windsurfing.  There aren’t many places to swim, but lots of places to fish.  Along with the many water activities, the park offers other amenities.   There are several places for mountain biking, camping, hiking, and picnics.

Like many places, Lake Pleasant has its share of tragedies.  Maybe with the overwhelming amount of deaths from sudden rising waters, unfortunate cliff diving, or carbon monoxide from boats motors might be why bodies have been discovered and paranormal activity has been witnessed at the lake.  Some say it is the ghosts of those who drowned there or Native Americans who once lived on that land who haunt the area.  Whatever the reason for your visit, you will enjoy what the park has to offer.