Monday, October 31, 2016

Slide Rock State Park 2016

A wonderful place to visit all year long is Slide Rock State Park. I have visited this place many times throughout my years as a child and an adult. Slide Rock got its name from the natural water slide formed by the slippery bed of Oak Creek.  It is located in Oak Creek Canyon and only 7 miles from Sedona.  

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Phoenix Trotting Park

The Phoenix Trotting Park was constructed in the 1960’s by the Dunnigan family.  James J. Dunnigan moved to Arizona from New York and acquired 640 acres of land near Perryville for his “harness racing track”, the Phoenix Trotting Park.  In the 1960’s, there was no highway or paved roads leading to the outskirts of Phoenix, so getting to the race track was difficult.  This did not deter Dunnigan, he collected money from his trotting friends to build an enormous grandstand.  This seating area would hold an audience of 5,400 people.  They began erecting this vast edifice in 1964 at a final cost of over $9.5 million.

The doors for the park opened on January 12, 1965 and over 12,000 people were present at the event.  Things started out well for the park, but soon afterwards things began to go downhill.  It stayed open until December 7, 1966 when it closed its doors for good.  What went wrong?  There were a few factors that caused the demise of the park.  They say that the dwindling turnout, faraway locale, cost ravages, and rivalry race tracks made it difficult for the park to succeed.  After the closure, they transformed the name to Arizona Equestrian Center.

In 1998, during the filming of “No code of Conduct”, they used the structure for several different frames.  At the end, they set off a massive explosion scene where numerous pigeons were eradicated or maimed during the detonation.  Many were outraged over this.

What will become of this iconic structure which sits abandoned near Interstate 10 in Goodyear?  There are talks of it being sold and torn down.  The park, which sits on 194 acres, may have been sold and awaiting escrow.  Many of the nearby residents would like to see the structure stay where it is and not be demoed.  It is an iconic edifice that many enjoying seeing while cruising along Interstate 10.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Devil Dog Road

If you are driving along Interstate 40 in Arizona, you will come across Exit 157 which is about 40 miles west of Flagstaff.  The sign on the exit displays the name “Devil Dog Road”.  The story of the name centers on Dr. Olive Goddard who was a preacher in the early 1900’s.  Goddard was a “self-proclaimed prophet and theologian” and known as “Dr. God” and “The Prophetess of Devil Dog Road”.  Her unconventional theology caused lots of debate among the followers of her parish.  In the 1920’s, Goddard grew an unsavory reputation throughout American culture.

Olive Goddard was born in 1881 in New Orleans.  As a young lady, she was taken with the Pentecostal Movement of 1901.  They spoke in varies languages, but Goddard never did.  A remarkable octogenarian known as “Madam Eve” would speak mumbled drivel for hours while prompt by the Spirit.  No one seemed to know what was being said so Goddard decided to attend the Divinity School of Holy Ghost Bible College to try and decode the glossolalia gibberish.  She got this idea to record Madam Eve and play the recording backwards.  To her surprise, what was said was lucid American English.  Her deduction was that the Holy Spirit spoke an inverted language. 

In 1921, she bought property in the Arizona desert and started the Palindromic Church of God.  Her sermons were transposed and she was skilled enough to understand the words in reverse.  This ability steered her towards proclaiming herself a prophet.  Only a minority of followers bought into her accusations of being a spiritualist.  It wasn’t until 1939 when she was accepted by the Corps of Phenomenal Explorers, that she finally felt understood.

It was her critics who labeled her “Dr. God” and old-school evangelist, Vernon Forge who branded her “Prophetess of Devil Dog Road”.  He campaigned against her “so-called” religious beliefs saying it was no more than satanic insinuations.  She had a cabin on Devil Dog Road, but only used it as a divine sanctuary.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Fear Farm 2016

Fear Farm ( has five spooky houses with different themes and the largest corn maze in Phoenix.  Along with the houses, they added a haunted hayride this year.  Fear Farm sits on 30 acres and is the "largest outdoor haunted attraction in the valley".  This fun frightening horror allure has many running and screaming to get away from the creepy creatures inside each building.

Sharon and I saw this place in the daytime a couple of years ago while participating in FearCon. (Fear Farm Daytime Tour).  We decided to check it out at night to be a part of the scary excitement.  We decided to forgo the Slaughterhouse and the Undead house.  We just were not in the mood to be chased by zombies or a mad butcher.

The first house we checked out was Mouth of Madness.  The large clown at the front of the building was intriguing.  Besides, who isn't scared of clowns?  The walls were painted with florescent paint where clowns were jumping out at you everywhere.  It was a long walk though a crazy circus.  I did jump a few times, but it was the damn chainsaw at the end that got me running.  It was a good start to our night.

Our next stop was the Haunted Hayride.  This I have to admit was my favorite attraction.  A small group of people pile in the back of a wagon filled with hay.  We were entertained by the host with a southern accent who told us the story of the cornfield where he once lived.  We all had to sit with our back against the bar facing inward.  It was creepy not knowing if someone or something was going to be right behind you.  This happened to me a couple of times, and yes, I did let out a scream.  We cruised throughout the cornfield coming across small homes, crazy people and the goatman.  The ride was fun, scary and totally worth the extra $10 to ride it.

After the hayride, we walked through the cornfield next to it.  The lady said it should only take 20 minutes to walk through it, but that is if you are lucky.  Muwahahah!!  It is dark and has many trails.  I don't know how long it took us to get out, but we sure did have fun taking pictures while wandering around.

The next place was The Bunker.  A creepy man at the door tells us that aliens were experimented on and many of those went horribly wrong.  We were to keep walking and not to interact with the creatures inside.  This place had steps up and some down.  Thank goodness there were people in front of us so we knew when the steps were coming.  It was an interesting attraction, but the best part was the creepy alien sounds.  Some sounded like Predator.

The last place had a creepy church you start out in with a goatman theme.  We walked or ran through buildings, cemeteries and dead bodies.  It was a fun ending to our night of horror.

I give Fear Farm two enthusiastic thumbs up.  It is a great place to be scared and get in to the Halloween spirit.