Arcosanti: an urban laboratory

Arcosanti is a projected experimental concept of community living in Yavapai County an hours drive north of Phoenix. The creative concept was designed by the Italian-American architect, Paolo Soleri (1919–2013).

He broke ground and started construction in 1970, to show the world his vision of an urban community.

His goal was to improve the quality of living while minimizing the destruction of earth.

Newsweek magazine in 1976 voted his creation as “the most important urban experiment undertaken in our time”.

Some of the interesting features of the city is the grey matter water system. This new system is under construction.

One can be a guest for a small fee to rent the guest room, sky suite or dorms. The fee includes breakfast.

There is a shop to purchase interesting one of a kind art and have a snack. The view in the restaurant and shop will not disappoint.

Take a tour and capture the unique designs of the arches and creative use of 25 acres of the 4,060-acre land preserve.

We took Star Wars figures and were practicing with perspectives.  Plan on 2-3 hours if you want to take a tour, photos and have a snack.

The site is open 9 am to 5 pm for visitors.
The street address: 13555 S. Cross L Rd. Mayer, AZ 86333

Two Guns Arizona a Shakespearian tragedy

Dating back between 1050 and 1600 AD. Two Guns was the site of a mass murder of Apaches by their Navajo enemies in 1878. A group of Apaches had hid in a cave at Two Guns to avoid detection, but were discovered by the Navajos, who lit sagebrush fires at the cave’s exit and shot any Apaches trying to escape. The fire asphyxiated 42 Apaches, after which they were stripped of their valuables. The murder site is referred to as the “death cave.,_Arizona

Two guns also has ties to Billy the Kid was said to have taken cover in the ruins.  Four men robbed a train and legend has it the loot is buried in the canyon rim.

The ruins are impressive against the desert background.

We found this to be a target rich environment for photos.  I used my favorite muse.  This location is in the middle of nowhere and worth the drive.

We spent the greater part of the afternoon walking around the property.  This is a fun place to get your steps in.  There is nothing near to bring plenty of water.

Meteor Crater in Arizona

The site was formerly known as the Canyon Diablo Crater and fragments of the meteorite.  The center of the crater is filled with 210–240 m (690–790 ft) of rubble lying above crater. bedrock.

Scientists estimate that the meteoroid was traveling at the speed of 71000 km/h upon impact.  Upon hitting the ground an explosive force thousand times greater than the power of  the Hiroshima atomic bomb. This is thought to have blocked the sunlight.

The museum takes an hour or so to walk through unless you are reading every article with great concentration.  We walked around mostly viewing the photos before walking to the main attraction. There is a Subway connected to the attraction otherwise located 70 miles in the middle of nowhere.

   Hours: Open Daily 8am-5pm

Meteor Crater in Northern Arizona

Interstate 40, Winslow, AZ 86047

Flagstaff, Arizona

Did you know?
– Flagstaff is the 2nd highest located city in the US (with a population over 25,000)
– Pluto was discovered at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff.
– Flagstaff is located in the world’s largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest.

We stayed a cozy cabin rental.  There are couple of local cats who will come by for a quick pet.  Breakfast is included and is the perfect place to stay for a rustic cabin feel.  

6355 N. Highway 180, Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Ski Lift Lodge

The lodge is located close to the birch forest.  This is the location for family photos.

This is remote and we almost turned around when suddenly the birch trees appeared.  I followed the instructions below.
Take US-89 about 12 miles north of city center. Turn left directly across from the turn to Sunset Crater. The left turn is on to a Forest Access Road (FR 420). Take this ½ mile to a T and turn right onto FR 522. This goes 4.6 miles on a very bumpy, some areas washboard grated, ascent. Road is narrow with areas to pull out every few 100 yards in case another car is coming the opposite direct. This was a little nerve wracking as you can’t see ahead very far. I wouldn’t do this again without AWD or 4WD. After 4.6 miles of painfully slow driving you come to a pretty clearing of yellow flowers and grass = Locket Meadow. Signs take you to day parking, which is free and located near an outhouse.

Be sure to take advantage of all that Flagstaff has to offer.  The downtown is quaint and perfect for bringing out your festive holiday spirit.

Take a stroll with your hot tea or chocolate and enjoy the lights.

If you are looking for a holiday gift that is unique and one of kind then stop in the local shops.  Check out local artists at:

120 N Leroux St, Flagstaff, Arizona 86001, United States

Round off your trip with a hike into Coconino National Forest lava cave.  It is often crowded to be prepared to practice your patience. The further into the cave the crowd thins out.  It is a warm hike so bring water.

Location: About 14 miles north of Flagstaff on paved highways and graveled Forest Roads. Travel time is about 45 minutes.

One of our favorite watering holes:

It’s not just about the altitude it’s all about the attitude.

5 S. San Francisco St.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001

John Dillinger

Earlier that evening, Dillinger had been taken into custody by three Tucson police officers at the bungalow at 927 North Second Avenue.


In the early morning hours of January 21, a fire broke out in the Hotel Congress. Firemen swept through the building, banging on the doors of the sleeping guests. Oddly, a resident of the top floor seemed more concerned about his luggage than himself, and he put up a fuss when ordered to leave the building. Out on the sidewalk, he persuaded two firemen to re-enter the burning building to retrieve several expensive-looking bags.

Three days later, one of the firemen noticed a strong resemblance between the man who had been very protective of his luggage and a photo in the lineup section of a detective magazine he was reading. The face in the photo belonged to Russell Clark, a member of the John Dillinger gang.

Meanwhile, the same man and two of his friends had attracted the attention of a couple of tourists who had crossed paths with them the previous evening in a nightclub. He was boasting how easy it was to make a living robbing banks.

The tourists went to the police, who began an investigation. It was determined that Harry Pierpont (the man in the middle), “Fat Charlie” Makley (the one on the right) and Russell Clark — all notorious members of the Dillinger gang — had come to town. And police surmised that Dillinger himself was not far behind.

In quick order, Makley was arrested in a downtown radio repair shop. Pierpont, said to be the most dangerous of the gang because he killed for pleasure, was stopped at the intersection of Sixth Avenue and Nineteenth Street for a “routine” check of his automobile papers and arrested.

Clark was the most difficult to arrest. Traced to a rented house on North Second Avenue near the University of Arizona, he put up a vigorous fight that left him with a lacerated scalp. A search of the premises revealed the expensive looking bags firemen had rescued from the Hotel Congress. In them was an assortment of machine guns, pistols, ammunition and bullet-proof vests.

With the members of the gang in custody, the search now focused on the elusive Dillinger. Confident he would eventually show up at the Second Avenue house, the police placed it under surveillance.

Meanwhile, Dillinger had registered under an assumed name at a tourist court on South Sixth Avenue. At 6:30 p.m. on January 25, he came to visit his cohorts. As he made his way up the walk, three police officers sprang into action, and Dillinger was arrested without incident. Caught wholly off guard by the stakeout, his only words were, “Well, I’ll be damned!”

Excitement swept the city and the nation at the news: without firing a shot, the Dillinger gang had been apprehended in a small Southwestern city. The public treated Dillinger more like a celebrity than a notorious outlaw. Fox Movietone News rushed in a camera crew from Hollywood. Some 2,000 people converged on the county jail, hoping for a glimpse of the man. His meals were catered by a nearby restaurant, and he was allowed to have his terrier puppy in jail with him.

Local authorities knew that wherever Dillinger was, trouble usually followed, and they were anxious to get him out of Arizona as quickly as possible. Among several states vying for the right to try Dillinger, Indiana was chosen, at least in part because it was holding a murder warrant for the killing of a man during a bank robbery in East Chicago. Dillinger was extradited on January 31 and delivered to the Lake County jail in Crown Point, Indiana. The jail was dubbed “escape-proof” by Sheriff Lillian Holley, but she soon had to eat her words. On March 3, 1934, he escaped from the jail. Accounts differ as to whether he was armed with a submachine gun or with a piece of wood painted black and carved to look like a gun.

Dillinger went back to robbing banks. In July of that year, he was shot and killed by FBI agents as he tried to escape from a trap they had set outside the Biograph Theater in Chicago.

Dillinger Arrested In Tucson

Garlic Festival Dragoon, AZ

8th Annual Garlic Festival

Triangle T Guest Ranch 4190 E Dragoon Rd, Dragoon, Arizona

Step back into the Wild West for a fun weekend of garlic, food, arts, live entertainment in one of the last few ‘dude’ ranches left in the Old West.

The food was amazing we bought garlic pickles, horseshoe decor and a garlic seasoning.

Jerome AZ Ghosts and more

Jerome, AZ

Jerome’s known as America’s Most Vertical City. In 1875, the first mining claims near the Town of Jerome at the base. The hills were later name Cleopatra Hill and Woodchute Mountain. The camp was named Jerome for Eugene Jerome, a major financier of the United Verde Copper Company. The town thought to have been lost to abandonment is a unique weekend get away. The city was home to more than 10,000 people in the 1920’s and as of 2010 census, its population was 444. Jerome made news in 1917, when strikes involving the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) led to the expulsion at gunpoint of about 60 IWW members, who were loaded on a cattle car and shipped west.

Haunted Hotel
Founded as the United Verde Hospital. The Jerome Grand Hotel is well noted to be the highest commercial building in the Verde Valley,
being at a height of 5240 feet above sea level.

The hotel is said to be haunted. Many guests and hotel staff have heard and seen what appears to be a 4 or 5 year old child running down the hallway on the 3rd floor, sometimes crying or laughing. Rumor has it that this child also likes to appear at the foot of the bed in various rooms, staring at the bed’s occupant.

Many guests have reported seeing the apparitions of two ladies, one in a white gown, and another one in a nurses outfit, as well as someone who appears to be a doctor or nurse, in a long lab coat carrying a clipboard, roaming the halls.

A Spirit Cat is a frequent visitor to the hotel. Its origin unknown, the cat has been heard meowing, hissing and scratching at
doors and walls.

Room 32
One former miner confined to a wheelchair reportedly climbed over the balcony railing to this death, and a businessman Thomas Taylor shot himself there.

The trip would not be complete without dinner at the Asylum.  The Rocky Point Shrimp with the Tomatillo Salsa is a 5 star hit.  Plan ahead and reserve a table with the view.

Other fun facts Bobby D’s is in a historic English Kitchen building, the oldest operating dining facility in the state of Arizona.



Fort Thomas, AZ

The earliest military presence in the area was former Camp Goodwin, constructed in 1864 and named for Arizona’s first territorial governor, John N. Goodwin. The camp was abandoned after a short time due to failed buildings and malaria from a nearby spring. In 1876, the current site of the community was chosen as a “new post on the Gila,” selected to replace Camp Goodwin. Initially, the site was named Camp Thomas in honor of Civil War Major General George Henry Thomas. Until 1882 the area would be known by several names including Clantonville, Camp Thomas, Maxey and finally Fort Thomas.

At its peak, the fort consisted of 27 buildings, all constructed by the occupants of the fort and made of adobe. Malaria remained a problem throughout the occupation of the area, and led to Fort Thomas being called the “worst fort in the Army.” The fort also had no government funding until the year 1884. After the capture of Geronimo in 1886, the Army gradually removed the troops stationed there until the fort was handed over to the Department of the Interior in 1891.

The early town had a poor reputation, and was home to several houses of prostitution and saloons. In 1895, the community grew significantly when the Southern Pacific railroad’s construction in the area was halted due to native Apache people refusing to let the railroad continue construction through their reservation.,_Arizona

Haynes, AZ Gold King Mine

The Haynes Copper Company dug a 1200-foot-deep shaft in search of copper instead the miners hit gold. Population of 301 in 1901 it had its own post office. By 1914 only 14 called this place home. Today there are several buildings including a blacksmith shop, a 19th-century sawmill and adorable farm yard animals. This gem is located 1 mile from Jerome and will not disappoint. Plan on spending an hour or 2 walking around and visiting the past treasures.

Amado, AZ

The opening “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'” sequence in the 1955 film Oklahoma!, with Gordon MacRae singing the famous song while riding a horse past the stalks of corn “as high as a elephant’s eye”, was filmed in Amado.

From Spain and Mexico the family moved north, settling about 1850 into Southern Arizona, then part of Mexico. In 1852, Manuel Amado began ranching south of Tucson between the Canoa and Otero Spanish land grants. With no fences, his cattle roamed from the border to north of Tucson. The railroad opened a station nearby in 1910. In 1919 the Amadoville post office was established. A year later, the name was changed to Amado.  Information courtesy of:

Stop and dine at The Firefly Restaurant.  The menu rotates and serves delicious seasonal plates year round.  The patio is the perfect place to savor the flavors of wine and savory dishes.  My favorites are the Irish Beef Stew and the Autumn Kale Salad.

3001 E. Frontage Rd.,
Amado, AZ 85645
Phone. 520-398-3028