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Posts tagged ‘Arizona’

Red rocks

I forgot how beautiful Sedona is. The 23-mile drive along Highway 89A from Flagstaff around and down the Oak Creek Canyon dropping a couple of thousand feet into Sedona rivals many of the best drives in the United States.

Towering trees line the beds of the Canyon’s mountainsides, whose natural springs are said to have healing powers. There are plenty of stop-off’s to get closer to the beautiful rock formations, and Midgely Bridge, is one. The steel bridge that arches gracefully over the canyon is a proper Kodak moment, or a less fussy iPhone moment if you will.

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Mr Popular

Mr popular at home this morning as I crashed and banged out of the house at dusk lugging a suitcase for a work trip. I leave behind a family and an island that is bracing it for its first major hurricane in three years.

Hurricane Humberto is moving east-northeast at 7mph and then is due to take a sharp right turn as it finds Bermuda’s warm waters and will roll very close to us as a Cat 2 storm on late Wednesday night.

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Travelogue: Scottsdale, Arizona

In 1888 a United States Army Chaplain called Winfield Scott bought 640 acres of Sonoran Desert for $2,240. Now Scottsdale has some of the most expensive real estate in the country.

The area was named as Orangedale after the huge orange groves that were planted by Winfield and his brother George, who cultivated the land to great effect. The town was renamed Scottsdale after it’s founder in 1894.

The Old Town retains much of it’s 19th Century Wild West flair. It’s more than a little kitsch, with it’s tourist souvenir shops selling cowboy boots and indian jewellery. It is also the centre of much of Scottsdale’s nightlife with many bars and restaurants. The oldest saloon in Scottsdale, the Rusty Spur has to be worth a stopover for a pint.

One building with genuine history is the 1909 Little Red School House, now home of the Scottsdale Historical Museum. Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is Arizona’s only permanent showcase to modern art and is very cutting edge. Also worth a closer look was the beautiful Adobe Mission Church. A white building made of 14,000 individual adobe blocks. Someone was inside willing to answer questions.
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Travelogue: Sonoran Desert

We hired Jesse, a self confessed cowboy with an off-road jeep for a tour of the northern part of the Sonoran Desert. Jesse strapped us all into his slightly battered and bruised open sided jeep and took off down the highway, and as the wind took our breath Jesse talked of indian reservations and bikers conventions and how in this part of the desert the valleys are narrower, the mountains are higher, the winters are colder and the summers are warmer, and we were going to see it all.

The Sonoran Desert covers the southwestern part of Arizona, part of California and the northern part of Mexico and is approximately 120,000 square miles in size.

Jesse drove us slowly away from the busy roads to a point where hundreds of mail boxes were bundled together on dirt, and the track moved from gravel to sand.

“This is as far as the mailman comes,” Jesse announced and then with a steep drop we were off.

What amazed me was for miles tucked away amongst the terrain of cactus, trees, flowers and nothing were houses, big houses. All with roof top gardens. No one is safe in there own garden Jesse told us, that land belongs to the snakes and scorpions, so people sit on the roof. Interesting I thought as I peered over the side of the jeep.
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