Skip to main content

So This Is Arizona

Greetings from Phoenix, Arizona. After a treacherous drive in the snow to Scranton, and having to dash my way through the Detroit airport in order to catch a flight, I am visiting the Grand Canyon State for a few days with the intent of watching the New York Islanders face off against the Phoenix Coyotes in hockey. While I am out here for that, I decided I would do some sightseeing along the way.

I spent yesterday afternoon checking out the scenery in and around the Phoenix area. While looking for Papago Park, I found Tempe Beach Park, which is situated along a dammed portion of the Salt River. While I did not see any actual beach, there are plenty of recreational activities to be had. There were even people fishing, which was about the last thing I expected to see in Arizona.



I did go to Papago Park, which also features plenty of recreational activities, plus the Desert Botanical Gardens, the Phoenix Zoo and a number of neat red sandstone buttes, such as Hole-In-The-Rock. There are also some small ponds that look like oases in the desert, and yes, I saw more people fishing as well. Apparently, trout and other fish are stocked into the pond every other week during the winter, and it is more than just catch-and-release. I would definitely recommend Papago Park if you are visiting Phoenix and want to go hiking.




I then set out towards Apache Junction to go take a hike around parts of the Lost Dutchman State Park, which is near the Superstition Mountains at the beginning of the Apache Trail (AZ Route 88). While I didn't get to see much of the Apache Trail, it is supposed to be very scenic. On the way to Lost Dutchman State Park, I stopped at the Apacheland Movie Ranch. Apacheland was a movie set built to look like an Old West town, and was the set used for the 1968 movie "Charro", which starred Elvis Presley. Unfortunately, the ranch has seen better days, and only a portion of the ranch still remains. This includes a church that was converted into an Elvis shrine.




Back to the Lost Dutchman State Park, it does offer plenty of hiking opportunities in a desert landscape. The park gets its name from a miner who disappeared into the Superstition Mountains. Moonlight hikes are also offered, but I decided to just stick around during the waning hours of the afternoon.




Today, I will be going to Sedona, followed by the hockey game back in Phoenix. But first, I will mention some of the road related things I had seen.

I am not sure if road construction is a year round activity in the Phoenix area, or if it is primarily done during the cooler months due to the high summer temperatures. I did notice an extensive widening project on the Loop 202 in Tempe. I also spotted a number of colored Loop 101 and Loop 202 shields that still remain. With the Loop 202 shields, once the brown color fades, the shields have a blue-green hue to them.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

California State Route 88 the Carson Pass Highway

Between 2016 and 2017 I drove the majority of California State Route 88 from CA 99 in Stockton east over Carson Pass to CA 89.






CA 88 is a 122 mile state highway from CA 99 in Stockton east over the Sierra Nevada Range to the continuation route Nevada State Route 88 at the Nevada State Line.  CA 88 is known as the Carson Pass Highway.  Carson Pass at 8,574 feet above sea level along CA 88 is an all-year Mountain Pass in the Sierras and on occasion designated as Temporary US Route 50 when conditions are bad over Echo Summit. 

CA 88 was not one of the original Signed State Highways.  CA 8 was the original designation over Carson Pass which can be seen on the 1938 California State Highway Map.

1938 State Highway Map

CA 8 was substantially different than CA 88 west of Jackson as it largely follows the current route of CA 26.  From US 99E in 1934 and later US 50/99 in 1936 from Stockton CA 8 originally used the following route to reach Jackson:

-  Legislative Route 5 from US 99 in Stockton …

California State Route 49; The Golden Chain Highway (CA 41 north to CA 16)

Last year I traveled California State Route 49 from CA 16 north to CA 89 in one continuous trip.  This year and in early 2016 I traveled the rest of CA 49 south to CA 41 in Oakhurst.  This blog post consists of photos of the highway from those time periods and historical information about the southern part of CA 49.


This blog post is meant to be a continuation of the previous one I did regarding CA 49 from CA 16 north to CA 89.  A link to said blog post can be found below:

California State Route 49; The Golden Chain Highway (CA 16 north to CA 89)

As stated in the previous blog post; CA 49 is an approximately 295 mile long north/south highway which traverses the traditional Gold Rush Country of California.  While I intend to discuss county level historical alignments of CA 49 as I did in the first blog post I thought this would be a good place to discuss the backstory of highway.

CA 49 was first signed in 1934 along a series of Legislative Route Numbers ("LRN") that were large…

Caliente-Bodfish Road/Kern County Road 483

Back in 2016 I took Caliente-Bodfish Road south towards California State Route 58 while leaving the Sierra Nevada Range after looking for the town site of Old Kernville.






Caliente-Bodfish Road is also known as Kern County Road 483 which I believe is an internal designation for mountainous roadways within the Sierra Nevada Range.  Caliente-Bodfish Road begins at Kern Canyon Road (Old California State Route 178) at the southern extent of Bodfish and climbs over the southern most extent of the Sierra Nevada Range approximately 35 miles to Bena Road near Caliente.  Caliente-Bodfish Road is a full two-lane road despite traversing some narrow terrain in the Sierras.  The high point on Caliente-Bodfish Road appeared to be near 4,000 feet above sea-level and I would estimate that there grades as high as 10% in places.

South of Bodfish Caliente-Bodfish Road ascends quickly above the community on a series of switchbacks.  There is no official overlook but there is a hell of a view of Bodfish an…