Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Phoenix, Arizona 2015

Before we left Quartzsite we went to the Pit Stop and emptied the holding tanks and filled up the fresh water tank. The $ 20.00 cost gave us peace of mind.
I did not know whether we would find a site with hook-ups in the Phoenix area. When we arrived at the Elks Lodge in Tempe they had two sites available. We could have saved the $ 20.00.
After setting up the motorhome we took it easy. Doris was reading most of the afternoon and I spent time on the computer.
Later we went for a long walk and checked out a Laundromat.

At 9:30 AM we were at the Heard Museum, one of the best museums exhibiting the arts and crafts of the Native people.

Outside the museum are statues and plagues honoring Indians who enlisted in the military, and fought for their country.

A colorful Art Fence greets the visitors. The fence posts are made of colorful glass.

There are many statues explaining the religious beliefs of the Native Americans. 

There are several Katsina doll collections. Barry Goldwater donated over 400 dolls. 

In the courtyard are more statues made by famous Indian artists.

Beautiful Navajo jewelry is displayed.

There is also a rug and basket collection.

In display cases are beautiful, colorful dresses.

The O’odham basket collection is outstanding.

There is a lot of Apache clothing.

We left the museum at 1:00 PM, and had lunch at the museums court yard. They serve a fantastic chicken fajita wrap.
This was a wonderful experience. We were able to take two guided museum tours. Both guides were excellent.
Our next stop was the Pueblo Grande Museum.

The grounds are in the city of Phoenix and are located next to the airport.
Part of the ruins are on a man made mount. It took an enormous amount of labor to create this mount.

A ball court is near the mount.

Inside are displays .

The people who lived here were desert farmers. They built irrigation canals, some were twenty miles long, twenty feet wide and ten feet deep. This took more labor. They had only baskets and tools made from stone.   

Today we visited a high school friend of Doris. The friend and her husband had moved two years ago from Utah to Show Low, Arizona.
Some of the WINs have lots up there and stay there sometimes in the summer. At 6,500 feet altitude the weather is bearable there when it is hot down in the valley.
We drove the 167 miles by car instead of using the motorhome and stay there. It was a nice day trip.
The husband of the friend did not feel well so the three of us went to the Sweetheart Café and had lunch. It was a wonderful experience. The couple, who run the restaurant, greet everybody like neighbors and the food was home cooked. I highly recommend this place to anybody.

On the way up we went through Globe and on the way home we went through Payson, which is easier to drive.

This was a super fun, busy day.
In the morning we visited the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.

The Chihuly glass plants are at the entrance of the garden. They appear to be real .

In the garden are most cacti growing in the Americas and some other countries.

The garden is divided into different sections which are easy to follow because of the color of the markers. The Garden for Life has plants Native Americans used and plants we use today for food and medicine.

Statues are located in different areas .

This cactus looked like a snake.

Photo taking areas are also provided.

In some areas are cacti forests.

In one loop are buildings representing Indian dwellings. Corrals were built using mesquite wood.

Houses were simple structures.

Kitchens were always in the open.

Different cacti were around every corner.

A cactus made from pick heads was very interesting.

There was no sun, but we were lucky that it did not rain. It was actually perfect for walking.
For 3:30 PM I had signed up for a tour at Frank Lloyd Wright Taliesin West in Scottsdale. We had a very good guide and the rain waited until we were almost done with the tour.

Taliesin West was the winter home of Wright and his wife and the school for architects. The summers they spent at Taliesin East, in Wisconsin. 
In the buildings are Chinese scenes incorporated.

This rock was found on the premises.

The structures are typical Wright, but for many years there was no running water and electricity on the property.

There is only raw desert around the perimeter. Wright fought the power company when they installed towers for the power lines but he lost and had to change the buildings so he did not have to look at them.

The living room is large and most of the furniture was designed by Wright.

His bedroom was larger than his wife’s. He used to wake up and put ideas on paper. So he had a desk in his bedroom.

The buildings are constructed by students with rocks found on the property and cement.

The student dining room is very modern.

There is a large concert hall for showing movies and live shows.

The last few minutes of the tour we had a light rain.
From Scottsdale we drove to Mesa to the Organ Stop Pizza.
Highway 101 was a nightmare in the rain. It was 10 miles per hour traffic.
I had to show Doris this unusual pizza restaurant.
It is a giant place. Their pizza is one of the best and the entertainment is out of this world. They have the largest Wurlitzer pipe organ in the world. It has 6000 pipes.

The atmosphere in this giant place is unbelievable. Last year when Bertie told us that we would go to a pizza place I did not want to go. I was told I had to go and I was glad I did. It is an experience.
On the way home we stopped at the Laundromat but it was closed. In a way I was glad. This was a long exciting day. Doris loved every minute of it.
I had told her son if I come back alive we have it made. So far we had no problem living together in such a small place. Even in the first week when we had no hook ups it worked fine.

In the morning we did laundry and went to Walmart. The rest of the day we watched the rain hit the window of the motorhome.
We vacuumed and cleaned the inside of the motorhome and then rested.
On TV the stations all have specials about the Super Bowl, which will be played here in Phoenix. For us it is boring.

Today we drove to Tortilla Flat, the last surviving stagecoach stop on the Apache Trail. It looked like it would rain any minute and once in a while we had a drizzle. Still, the drive was very scenic.
The men’s and women’s rest rooms are adorned with scantily dressed women.

The walls and ceiling of the restaurant and bar are covered with dollar bills tourists leave behind. There are also some foreign bills.

There is a legend about the Lost Dutchman Mine. Nobody found the mine yet and the search goes on. Jacob Walz seems to be the person who had the mine.

A replica of the old school house is also on the premises.

The store and restaurant are in a beautiful setting. On a sunny day the pictures would have come out terrific.

Our next stop was the Goldfield Ghost Town. It is a tourist trap with a tour of the mine. Some rough characters greeted us.

At the little church a trio was playing instruments and singing songs.

Above the store is the bordello museum. We paid it a visit. Men wanted women on the heavy site. Skinny women were thought to be sick.

The rooms were very small.

The madam’s room was large and had a bath tub.

At the full hour there is a gun fight in the street.

After the fight the actors reloaded their weapons.

This is our last day in Tempe. 

We moved 70 miles south, to the Escapee RV Park in Casa Grande. We had fog most of the way.
 Glen Gill came to the park and brought us our mail. We had it sent to his house.
After lunch we went to the Casa Grande Ruins. 

We spent some time in the Visitor Center and watched a movie about the ruins. When we came outside to take part in a tour, we had blue skies. The dark clouds were all gone.

In the structure live two owls. They are sitting on each side of the beam. Their nest is in a steel basket not far from where they are resting.

There is a square hole and a round hole in the building. Both were used for observing the cycle of the sun and the inhabitants of the community knew when to plant the seeds for their crops.
Signs along the walk ways inform visitors about the way the Native Americans lived.