Sunday, April 26, 2015

2015-6 Blythe California to Marana Arizona and Globe


Blythe California
Marana (north side of Tucson) Arizona
Globe Arizona

From Marana to Globe, MAP

Campground:  A-Bar-A Rv Park and Storage.  $12.37 Passport America rate, full hookup, 50 amp.  Water is contaminated with nitrates from local farms.  Rv park provides bottled water for drinking as the water is not safe for consumption.  A real basic park, but it is cheap and close for my needs. Note:  next to busy train-tracks, but no whistle blown at rail crossing.

Campground:  Gila County Rv Park.  $25 Water/electric 30 amp.  Within a block or two of historic Globe downtown.  Great antique shops.  (Passport America rate available during summer months).  Batting cages available.

Before I left the Blythe area, my good friends Kathy and Randy stopped by for a couple days.  I gave them tours of the Blythe Intaglio site which they had never seen.  Intaglio’s are large drawings made in the desert by scraping away the hard desert surface or lining rocks to create large figures that can only be seen from the sky.  Who created them and why are big questions.

Kathy wanted to see more of Quartzite, so we drove over there (16 miles away).  We visited the famous Hi-Jolly memorial to the trainer who took care of the camels that were imported during the Civil war era.  And we also visited the other major attractions, the “naked” book seller.  Unfortunately Kathy didn’t get a chance to see the “naked” book seller as the shop was temporarily closed.  I think the best part of their visit was being able to sit outside after sunset and just talk and enjoy a balmy breeze off of the River.  Oh and a late night swim with the stars overhead and a dip in the hot tub…. After all, we were staying at a “resort” you know.

sitting out in the evening was awesome,
with warm breezes late into the night

Quartzite Arizona

Quartzite has over 200,000 Rv-ers dry camping in the desert
each winter

Distance Traveled:  237 miles

What a spectacular drive through the desert heading east along hwy 10 and 8 towards Tucson.  The Palo-Verdi trees were all in bloom with yellow flowers.  Saguaro cactus poking through the profusion of yellow with their many arms reaching for the sky.  As I got closer to the Phoenix and Tucson area the desert seemed to get much more lush and green.  So glad I had to detour back to the Tucson area before continuing my journey this summer.

I’m back in the Tucson area for my follow-up eye exam after having laser surgery for my glaucoma.  Had a great report indicating my eye pressure is stable at 13 which is very good.  Enjoyed meeting up with friends from Desert Trails, Ron and Ronda and Stan and Judy.  Always great to share some good stories over good food.  They ate my share of the rolls and muffins as I continue my low carb diet.

While staying at the A-bar-A Rv park and storage here in Marana, I noticed a number of posted signs around the place.  Although it’s pretty easy to get a sense of what a place is like, just by driving into a campground, the posted signs often provide a more in-depth look.  See what you can tell by reading some of A-bar-A’s signs.  Out in back in their Rv storage area I found an old airstream motor home.  The license plate indicated that it was last tagged in 2000.  So it’s been sitting here for the past 15 years.

click on any picture to enlarge

the abandonded Airstream motorhome

I’m heading to Globe Arizona on Friday.

Distance traveled:  121 miles

the saguaro with so many arms

I left Marana heading for Globe Arizona along route 77.  The road initially boarders the Catalina Mountain range and as I drove north through the town suburbs of Catalina (a bedroom community of Tucson) I noticed the homes were all new construction and I’m sure quite expensive.  Being built in a setting of beautiful high desert landscapes with the mountain range on the east side.  The road is being expanded to 6 lanes and of all things, they are building high concrete walls along the newest sections of highway, blocking the views of all those new homes along route 77.  It just doesn’t make sense to me, but what do I know, I don’t own one of those expensive homes.... with no view. Fortunately, as I continue my trek north, the scenery expanded to what I’m sure it once was between Oracle and the Catalina area, one of the prettiest western scenes I’ve driven through.  Rugged landscapes of mountains gradually rising in elevation.  Lush green desert vegetation filled with yucca trees and saguaro cactus, many with over a dozen arms and some with arms having arms on their arms… I was really glad to know that my two hour drive was going to be filled with such stunning scenery.  My ears were popping as I the elevation gradually climbed higher.  Two sections along route 77 had 7 and 8 percent descents heading north.  The 7% was very gradual and downshifting made for an easy decent.  The 8% was a bit more of tapping of the brakes along with downshifting, but still well worth the drive.  Passing through small communities with great names like Mammoth, Dudleyville and Winkleman add to the western feel of this route.

Note to Rv-ers:  Route 77 from the north end of Tucson to Globe is a really enjoyable drive.  It’s a two lane road most of the way, well paved and light traffic.  I highly recommend it.

Route 77 towards Globe AZ

considered an invasive weed

Route 77, what a great drive to Globe AZ 

The town of Globe is still an active copper mining town with lots of historic buildings, antique shops and the old county courthouse is now used as an art gallery for all those budding local artists.  Just outside of town, about a mile and a half is Besh-Ba-Gowah, an archaeological park.  The 700 year old pueblo has been partially restored and you are encouraged to go through the rooms.  A good museum is on sight as well. (hope to tour today, it's been raining all night and into the morning)

built in the 1940's as a fast food stand
Globe Arizona

many well preserved historic buildings, Globe Az

built in the shape of Arizona
quilters will love this shop, lots of fabric and antiques
Mid Century Modern

side streets have more antique shops

hard to see the big round windows covered in newspaper

former county courthouse, now arts and theatre

impressive stair case copper accents

top floor, local theatre

The resolution Copper mine found a new deposit of copper in the area in 1995.  One of the largest copper deposits in the world, they have dug down to it’s final depth of 6,943 feet, have spent $1.1 billion dollars to date and expect to invest more than $6 billion dollar before production commences.

Glad I had the chance to tour this western town surrounded by some awesome scenery.

more photos on PICASA

1 comment:

walterterry said...

Thanks Doug for the tour.