Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wildlife Wednesday

Redwing Blackbird, taken at Cesar Chavez Park.We have more of them than you would expect, especially around the corn and cotton fields.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The WigWam Resort, Part 4

A small sampling of the many
bronze stautes around the WigWam.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The WigWam Resort, Part 3

Here is the top and bottom of the original 1920's fireplace.
The original lobby has beautiful woodworked windows and doors
and hardwood floors. There is also this classic antique
Singer Sewing machine.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

WigWam Resort, part 2

Throughout the WigWam, lizards climb the beams.

They are copper or iron, and
climbing in the strangest of places.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The WigWam Resort

The WigWam Resort is located in Litchfield Park, Arizona.

This is the entry to the main lobby, and a pretty fountain out front. There are extensive Rose gardens on the grounds, as well as a ton of Snapdragons, Petunias and other beautiful, fragrant flowers. All around the fountain are Roses, several different varieties and colors, like the red ones below. All around the pool area are mostly white Roses. The main drive in is flanked with deep-red Roses, that originally I thought were Geraniums. Wrong I was!

This is a beautiful resort, built in the 1920's. Unfortunately, if a new owner isn't found for the resort soon, they will close on May 29, 2009. More pictures tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

City of Phoenix, Maricopa County and some local businesses put on a small Earth Day Expo in the small park outside the old City Hall building in downtown Phoenix. This Phoenix mounted had his flank stenciled with a recycle symbol. I didn't get a look at the other mounted rumps to see if they matched! Very calm and well behaved horses, for all the people that turned out, and all the attention they got. (I think the mounteds were far more popular than the expo)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Park Ranger HQ

This Park Ranger station is one of the many buildings erected by the CCC (The Civilian Conservation Corps) in the 1930's. The men of the CCC, which was formed to mainly create jobs, built most of the structures & trails in South Mountain Park.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Right Next Door

This is Scorpion Gulch! Whatever that is.

I've seen a couple of things that indicate it may have been a bar at some point, but seems to have been part of the South Mountain Trading Post. There are no records that list this as a separate business. Cool little building though.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

South Mountain Trading Post

The South Mountain Trading post, on the way in to the park, at Central Avenue near the Ponderosa Stables. The earliest record I find is from 1938, when a William Lunsford and his wife purchased the store. In 1967 it was sold off to Doyle & Mildred B Williams. After that I could not find much else, except that the owners seemed to have fallen on hard times. I have seen a few other pages that indicate there may have been a fire here, and all that survived are the stone walls and cement floors.

Friday, April 17, 2009

When it rains.....

It's usually pretty dry in Maricopa County, but every few years we get heavy winter rains. This is where the Gila River overflowed across El Mirage road, at a point near PIR in Avondale. By the time this picture had been taken the water had already receded by about 80%, so you can just imagine the amount of water flowing through at the peak of the rains. If I remember correctly SRP and the State had to release water from a couple of the smaller damns that year as well due to the rainfall.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wildlife Wednesday

Horses, Donkeys & Cows, oh my! I believe we were on Elliot Road in Laveen.
So they aren't wild, but they looked pretty happy.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Arizona Harness Raceway (updated 4/15/09)

Phoenix Trotting Track, off Interstate 10 and 135th Avenue, Goodyear Arizona. The legal name of the business I found to be "Arizona Harness Raceway" later changed in 1964 to "Arizona-New York Harness Racing"

Jimmy Dunnigan, an established and well-known harness-racing track developer from New York State (he was inducted into the USHWA hall of fame in 1974) opened the park on Jan. 11, 1965. This track didn't do so well, due to unpredictable monsoon flooding of the track and poor attendance and was closed less than 2 years later near the end of 1966. Going through recorded documents, the bank issued a foreclosure notice on 10/21/1966.

Aside from an unmemorable film ( and the corresponding deaths of over 100 birds that had taken up residence in the abandonded grandstand ), the track has been undeveloped and unused.

Below I have posted a link to an article dated March 8, 1965, which was shortly after the park opened. (Sports Illustrated's Archives)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Phoenix International Raceway

Phoenix International Raceway.

This Nascar Track is actually located in Avondale, AZ a nearby neighbor of Phoenix.
Here's some history from the NASCAR website-
"In 1964, when Phoenix International Raceway was carved out of the foothills of the Estrella Mountains, it was intended to be a new jewel in the crown of American open-wheel racing.
Drivers like Mario Andretti, A.J. Foyt, Parnelli Jones and the Unsers soon came to love the 1-mile paved oval with the unique bend in the backstretch. And they really loved coming to Phoenix, where the tourism industry was just starting to grow and its Western style hospitality was second to none."
"But it wasn't until 1988, when NASCAR's Cup Series racing came to PIR, that auto racing in Phoenix really became a major sporting attraction for the Valley of the Sun. New racing legends and legends-in-the-making like Davey Allison, Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, Rusty Wallace and the rest of the Cup stars found out firsthand what their Champ Car brethren had known for years: Phoenix International Raceway is truly a great place to race, both for the drivers and especially the fans."
"Today, Phoenix International Raceway has a tradition that is unmatched in the world of racing. The IndyCars have made 58 visits to PIR, and the annual fall NASCAR weekend, including Cup, Busch, Craftsman Trucks and Featherlite Southwest Series races, is one of the biggest events in the entire state."
Here's a link to the site, which has more details about the track including a nice map.
I do know that when they have their races, Avondale becomes the biggest city in the state, thanks to all of the race fans that spend millions of dollars in Avondale & surrounding cities.
The next major event is coming up soon- April 16-18, 2009.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Rainy Day in The Valley of the Sun

What a lovely, rainy day in Maricopa County today! Here's a couple of shots around the "Valley of the Sun" whilst getting rained on. The two on top are Downtown Phoenix & the West Side of the Valley from the top of South Mountain Park. The bottom are of the Estrella Mountains, from Broadway Road. (We really stopped for the Egrets, but I took these pics as well)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Manzanita Speedway

Located at 35th Avenue & Broadway Rd in South Phoenix. Not far from us, sometimes we can hear the qualifying runs on Tuesday and Friday nights. It's still very popular, and super busy on Saturdays.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

View of Phoenix

A view of Phoenix, from the South Mountain Lookout. The haze is a combo of clouds, dust and smog.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


After yesterday's post I thought this would be a good follow-up. They are statues in front of the Avondale City Council Chambers. I didn't see a plaque saying who built them or what their name is. But, I think they are pretty cool, don't you? If anyone who reads this knows more about them, please let me know!

Friday, April 3, 2009


Well, I guess if I am going to post some odd-ball stuff, this would be odd-ball alright.
This "Martian Surface" is located at the Gilbert Riparian Preserve. It's right by the parking lot at the entrance closest to the Library.

I wonder if this is even close? Would the Matians actually land here? hmmm....

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Big Baby

Here's the Big Baby & a Tractor on the northside of the I-10, near Cotton Lane. There isn't an offical road to get over to them, but from the tire marks, lots of folks drive up to take pictures.
Sadly, the other plywood people that were supposed to be there are long gone.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wildlife Wednesday

You can tell it's Spring when the ducks are having babies!

This mom had 12. These were taken at the Gilbert Riparian park.