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 152

Circumstance had me out in the Monterey Peninsula again this week.  Generally I try to take a route like California State Route 198 or ever County Route J1 to get across the Diablo Range but time had me in a slight bind.  That being the case I took the popular way across the Diablos on California State Route 152 via Pacheco Pass.  152 is one of infamy given it is really the primary route for truckers to get from I-5 west in San Joaquin Valley to US 101 in Salinas Valley.  After zig-zagging some accidents on/off California State Route 99 near Madera in the rural outskirts of the County bearing the same name I began my westbound trek on 152.




CA 152 is called the William Whitehurst Highway, at least it is west from CA 99.  The entire route of CA 152 in San Joaquin is an expressway aside from a small portion in the city of Los Banos.



The first junction on CA 152 is with CA 233 which is a small 4 mile highway that travels northeast to CA 99.






Next westbound CA 152 encounters the junction w…

The story on how the unbuilt US 40 Expressway in Brownsville took 40 years to complete.

For nearly four decades, the four lane US 40 just east of Brownsville came to an abrupt end - shown in the photo above - at Grindstone Road in Redstone Township.   In the late 1960s, what was then the Pennsylvania Division of Highways (PennDOH) extended a new four lane alignment of US 40 eastwards from Broadway Street slightly over one mile to Grindstone Road where an incomplete diamond interchange was built.  Earlier in the decade, PennDOH had built a four lane US 40 in Washington County into Brownsville complete with a new crossing over the Monongahela River known as the Lane Bane Bridge.  This new highway and bridge allowed US 40 to bypass the older Intercounty Bridge and downtown Brownsville.

After this new highway opened, nothing would happen to it for nearly forty years.  US 40 traffic would use the ramps for this planned diamond interchange and then jog on Grindstone Road briefly before continuing towards Uniontown on the original National Road. 
What was unknown (at least to…

The National Road - Ohio - Muskingum and Licking Counties

As it travels from Zanesville towards Columbus, US 40 goes through numerous small towns, changes from two to four lanes and back numerous times, but most importantly the old road keeps its rural charm.  Between Zanesville and Gratiot, there are four former alignments of the old road that can be found: just west of Zanesville, Mt. Sterling, Hopewell and Gratiot.  Most stretches are very short and can be easily recognized with names as "Old US 40", "Old National Road" or some combination of the two.

Zanesville:
Just west of US 40's interchange with Interstate 70 (Exit 152) runs an old alignment.

Mt. Sterling:
Another old alignment goes through this small Muskingum County village.
Hopewell:
Today, US 40 passes south of the community of Hopewell.  The old two lane road is known as Hopewell National Road.
Gratiot:
Old US 40 is known as Main Street in this tiny village of 200 or so residents.  The old highway at times seems forgotten through here.
Just west of Gratiot, US 40 …