Central Arizona – September 2021 – Wanderings

A 3 day weekend of wanderings resulted in a number of topics for a posting, and a few random shots that weren’t enough for a single posting.

Jerome, Arizona – What was once a medium sized town for a large copper mine, the town went nearly extinct, but has returned to life as a tourist attractions as … a ghost town full of people.

Another mountain town is Superior – east of Phoenix.

Roosevelt Lake is located near the Tonto National Monument. The reservoir supplies water to Phoenix.

Central Arizona – September 2021 – Historic Native Dwellings

The long weekend provided a great opportunity to explore the many historic dwellings that are scattered around Central Ariona.

We started at Montezuma’s Castle. The Europeans who first visited the remnants in the mid 1800s were mistakenly convinced that Montezuma had lived there, hence the name. This however is inaccurate – it is believed that Hopi, Yavapi and Hohokam lived here.

Nearby is Montezuma’s Well. Much like the Castle, it was the home to numerous local cultures. This natural limestone sinkhole produces 1.5 million gallons of water a day from an underground spring.

Tuzigoot Is a 3 story pueblo ruin at the summit of a ridge near Clarkdale, Arizona. It is very large, with 110 rooms, as a home for Sinagua people.

The final stop of the weekend was at Tonto National Monument. Home to Salado culture more than 800 years ago, it sets high up on a hill above what is now Roosevelt Lake.

Usery Mountain Park, Arizona – September 2021 – Sunset Interrupted

An internet search of best sunsets in Phoenix suggested Usery State Park – just east of Mesa. We headed off for the short drive out, but in the end sunset was not to be as storm clouds moved in. While disappointed about the sunset, the clouds provided a great backdrop not often seen in Phoenix.

The drive back into town also provided some great shots

Before you knew it we were back in Mesa.

Phoenix – August 2021 – Architecture Tour on a Sunday Morning

While much of Phoenix is a vast suburban landscape, there are a number of architecturally interesting buildings in the area.

Tempe Municipal Building
What was once the Santa Fe Freight Depot is now the Maricopa County Assessors Office.
The Arizona State Historic Preservation Office in one of the few remaining old houses downtown.
The Arizona State Capitol
An Arizona State Government building.
What I thought was an observatory is a church.
Side view of the historic Maricopa County Courthouse, with a streetcar stop.
The Luhrs Tower dates from 1929. The building made an appearance in the movie Pyscho, and is thought to be haunted.
Arizona State University Music Building – Designed by Wesley Peters, son in law of Frank Lloyd Wright (more below on him). This is known as the Birthday Cake building.

Frank Lloyd Wright lived and worked in Phoenix for many years. There are a number of his designed homes, churches and public buildings in the area.

Gammon Auditorium – Designed by FLW but completed after his death.
First Christian Church
The Arizona Biltmore Hotel
The Norman Lykes House

Tucson – August 2021 – Saguaro National Park

The Saguaro Cactus is present throughout much of central and southern Arizona. The Saguaro National Park has two areas around Tucson, one west of town, and one east – we visited the eastern one.

Saguaro cactus can live to 150 years old – the older they are the more arms they have, although they can grow old without growing arms.

In addition to the Saguaros there are numerous other natural Sonoran Desert plants, all of which were at their peak color because of recent monsoon rains – probably the greenest desert you will ever see.