Land of the year-round sun

Trip Start Jan 01, 1975
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14
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Trip End Jan 01, 2010


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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Sunday, April 14, 1991

I visited Phoenix in the spring of 1991 after a business conference in Tucson. I actually flew into Phoenix, drove to Tucson for the conference, then visited Deadwood (can you imagine me in a VFW Bingo hall on a Friday night in Deadwood, wearing the red Liz Claiborne dress I'd had on at the conference earlier? Suspicious stares, but someone finally handed me a marker and explained the system to me) and Bisbee (you're almost in Mexico here), and Saguaro Cactus National Park where the prickly plants grow.

I drove north to Flagstaff, and the Grand Canyon -- the famous why-am-I-alive flight over the canyon when I DIDN'T get on the plane that crashed. Was that the closet I've ever been to death? I don't know, but it was certainly the time My Life Is Valuable was pointed out to me in such a graphic way! I saw the burnt-up trees around the crash; had a "But For the Grace of God" experience! On to Sedona and the Pink Jeep Tour into the hills complete with spirit-energizing-crystals (so why AM I alive?); even went to Vegas for a night or two, but the best part was driving back to Phoenix through Wiekiup.

What a sense of isolated country! Hearing about life from the 12-year-old girl who played cards with me while her Dad made coffee for my sleepy eyes, at the little roadside stand with Baby Rattlers in a barrel out front, (yes, they were baby toys, not snakes, you discovered as you warily peered in.) This girl wanted to attend high school the next year, a 50-mile ride each way, but her Dad was insisting she be home schooled. I also drove through Nothing, Arizona, pop 0.

I don't have too many memories of Phoenix, it's a large city, I didn't go inside the capitol, it was closed on Sunday but I walked around and got pictures outside.

I also had a trip through Arizona in 1978 with my sons on Rick's HS graduation trip; our BIG event was the visit to Kitt Peak Observatory. Wow! We did not visit Phoenix on that trip, but we did catch Tuscon, the Petrified Forest, and the Grand Canyon. We'd heard so much about the desert heat we had extra jugs of water in the trunk.

Facts:
Arizona was the FORTY-EIGHTH state.
Date: February 14, 1912
State Nickname: Grand Canyon State
Key Words: sun, largest, desert, mountains, pueblo, resort

The sun shines nearly every day in Phoenix, the largest of the capital cities. The land is flat desert, but it is surrounded by irrigated fields of lettuce, melons, oranges, lemons, and olives. And Phoenix Mountains Preserve is a series of city parks that offer more than 23,500 acres of desert mountains - with hiking and biking trails, picnicking areas, and panoramic views of the city.

The capitol is built of native stone and surrounded by a large variety of native trees and cactus; you can see 150 acres of desert plants in Desert Botanical Gardens too. Pueblo Grande Museum and Cultural Park is a Hohokam archaeological site and ruin, occupied between AD 300-1450.

Watch for the Diamondbacks, Suns and Coyotes (baseball, basketball and hockey!) in this informal-but-sophisticated warm and dry resort city. Go north to the Grand Canyon; south to Saguaro Cactus; east to Petrified Forest, the state's three National Parks.

Phoenix, Arizona
Population 1,371,960
Elevation 1,090
Mountain time zone
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