Arizona summers are brutal. Two weeks ago, we lost a local who decided to go hiking at Second Water in the Superstition Wilderness. He has not been found. The official search has been called off.
From July through September, we take sanctuary in our air conditioned houses and local drinking establishments. The studio is inhospitable. With no new art or photographs to share, I have little to share here.
This past weekend, tired of being housebound in 100+° heat, I suggested to Liz that we take a day trip to Superior. Superior is 2,888 feet elevation. Apache Junction is 1,722 – and that 1,000 feet make a difference.
The cloud cover added to the cooling effect of the elevation, and it was pleasant all day as we walked the streets of Superior, and stopped into the Silver King Smokehouse and Saloon. Best pulled pork this side of the valley! Continue reading “Superior”
Several years ago I acquired a stash of vintage postcards of the Superstition Mountains at an antiques sale in Superior, AZ. I donated the postcards to the Superstition Mountain Museum. The museum is part of the Superstition Mountain Historical Society.
The Superstition Mountain Museum is a must see if you are ever in Apache Junction, AZ. It has the only two surviving structures of the Apache Land Movie Studios, a working stamp mill, a scale railroad featuring the history of Arizona, mining artifacts and twelve acres of grounds with walking paths all in front of the wonderful backdrop of the Superstition Mountains. All of this is free to the public. The indoor museum is open for a nominal fee, and provides the visitor with in depth history of the wild and weird Superstitions.
Before I parted with the postcards, I made high definition scans and reproduced a limited quantity.
After nearly a year of disability I was able to put my shoulder to the test. For those of you that know me or have been following, I had major surgery on my right shoulder August last.
My arm is still not 100%. My physical therapist cleared me to kayak (not white water) as it is good exercise to help return full motion to my arm.
It is the very end of snowbird season here in the East Valley, so we ventured out to the lakes today. Weekends are usually tough as the locals come out to play. We decided to come out in the afternoon rather than try the early morning, hoping that the early risers would be leaving as we arrived. Our plan paid off, as there was plenty of parking available.
Boulder Creek and Canyon Lake were full of weekenders. On the drive in we passed snowbird after snowbird towing their boats out. Hasta la vista, baby.
I finally had the chance to try out my new camera – not the Nikon D70, that is too expensive to risk a drink in the lake. I bought an inexpensive Polaroid ISO48 compact waterproof point and shoot. At less than $40, it would not hurt so bad if it ended up at the bottom of Canyon Lake. And it takes surprisingly good photos.
I still have to figure out how to change the date stamp. And since it takes two Double-A batteries, you would do well to have a lot of spares if you are planning on more than a couple hours on the water.
The operating instructions are a bit convoluted but for $40 what do you expect? I am happy with the maiden voyage.
The water level on the lake and creek were much higher than I’ve seen in the past. Ducks swam past us, unafraid of people. My guess is that they get fed a lot. Fish jumped from the water around us.
The water was a bit choppy, and gusts of wind made for an interesting afternoon. All in all it was good to be back on the water after well over a year.
Cleator, AZ is a town with about 8 year round residents. Established in 1864 as a placer mine railroad station named Turkey Creek, it is now a tourist stop on the way to Crown King.
The town boasts a general store and bar, home of the Cleator Yacht Club. Situated at the edge of the Prescott National Forest, Cleator is a quirky place.
The bar owner/bartender is friendly, and happy to talk to you for as long as you are willing to listen.
We made a detour on our way home from Sedona because I had heard a lot about this town, and wanted to see what $999,000 would buy. Yeah, that’s right, the entire town is for sale.
We arrived shortly before 11am on a Monday morning. We were a bit concerned that the bar might not even be open. As I started taking photos, the owner came out and said that taking pictures in the bar was free!
We ordered cold beers, and wandered around the back patio area. In short order, five locals and three tourists arrived. Not bad considering you have to drive a half hour over unimproved roads to reach the town. Immediately upon exiting I17, the pavement ends, and you pass over a series of cattleguards as you traverse property owned by cattle ranches.
Switchbacks, a lack of guardrails, a one lane bridge and washboard roadway makes for slow going. However, it is possible to take a sedan to your destination, and that cold beer waiting at the end of the journey makes it all worth it.
Last weekend we attended the Mining Festival and burro races in Superior, AZ.
Superior is a town that has had its ups and downs. Many times a ghost town, Superior is rising again.
The day’s events included a parade, live music, a beer garden, food tents and more.
We arrived early to get some photos before the crowds arrived. We visited our favorite gallery, ate some fresh handmade donuts, listened to the music and had lunch at the Silver King. Continue reading “Feeling Superior”