Just looking at the picture makes you feel an allergic response coming on? Never fear, it’s not the Goldenrod that people are actually allergic to! At the same time that Goldenrod blooms so conspicuously, the Ragweed often found in the same area is the usual culprit. Ragweed has tiny green flowers that go almost unnoticed, but create huge clouds of very irritating pollen. So enjoy this golden beauty.
An easy and enjoyable hike near Flagstaff, Arizona, Rocky Ridge trail is actually a section of the Arizona Trail. It is 2.8 miles in length and climbs from 7,191 feet to 7,587 in elevation. The trail begins at Schultz Creek parking just off Schultz Pass road and passes through warm south-facing juniper and pine forest with an interesting mix of cacti. Along the upper reaches of the trail you find Gambel Oak and more Ponderosa pine. Besides hikers, this trail is a frequent single track route, connecting to Oldham trail, Brookbank trail, Mount Elden Lookout road, and can be used to access Flagstaff through Buffalo Park.
For a quick hike today, I entered the trail at the 2.3 mile marker, partway up Mount Elden Lookout road, and headed south toward the Schultz Pass trailhead. The trail lives up to its name, and although having some very smooth stretches, passes through many rocky areas as it follows the base of the Dry Tanks Hills near Mount Elden.
If you drive a car on I10 in southern Arizona, you will undoubtedly see sign after sign asking “The Thing?” In fact, a miracle in advertising, the first signs begin near El Paso, TX, traveling west. By the time you arrive at exit 322, in the middle of the desert between Willcox and Benson, Arizona, your curiosity should be aroused. For a whole dollar, you can find out just what The Thing, the Mystery in the Desert, is. And you can buy an ice cream cone, or other tourist delights.
In the same southeastern corner of the state you will encounter beautiful Texas Canyon, rich in the history of Arizona Territory, the Butterfield Stage Route, ranching, and Apache country.
A few minutes driving will take you to famous Tombstone, Arizona. In 1877 Ed Schieffelin announced to cavalry stationed in Fort Huachuca, Arizona, that he intended prospecting in the valley of the San Pedro River. He was warned that he would only “find his tombstone there.” It was a dangerous time in Arizona Territory because this was Apache country. But he persisted, found silver and staked the Tombstone and Graveyard claims. Soon other rich deposits were discovered and more prospectors came and the town of Tombstone blossomed. It was a rough, tough boomtown until 1886 when fire destroyed the pump works and the mines flooded. Tombstone remains as a thriving tourist attraction, complete with shootouts in the streets, busy saloons, stagecoaches and people dressed in the best of western wear.
Way back when automobiles first became common, states created highway publications to alert drivers to the paved roads within their road systems. Arizona Highways Magazine was first published in 1925 by the engineers of the state highway department and has gone on to become a hugely popular magazine world-wide. It showcases everything from the most scenic drives, not-to-be missed hikes, the best Arizona photographs to the best wildflower viewing sites. If you haven’t seen it, click the link above and browse through the site. For many of us who grew up in Arizona in the 1950s, a prized family collection of Arizona Highways Magazines was the centerpiece of the living room bookshelf.
Freeways and stacked interchanges: yes, we have them. But Arizona has done a lot to create freeway art that is symbolic of our state.
In my family growing up, a Sunday drive was fine entertainment. Our 1950 Pontiac covered many miles crisscrossing southeastern Arizona,
and we never flinched at a bumpy dirt road. I still like to do that.
Not all paved Arizona roads are divided highways and many of the two lane roads lead to spectacular places.
And finally, there are always road signs.