Ocean to Ocean Bridge – Connecting a Cross-Country Highway

Yuma, Arizona.

A truss bridge that spans the Colorado River at Yuma is the final highway bridge to connect a road between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Construction completed in 1915, and in 1926, the highway became part of U.S. Route 80, the primary east-west transcontinental highway in the depression era. For a time, the bridge’s deteriorated state resulted in it becoming a pedestrian and bicycle bridge, but after a reconstruction project in 2002, it was restored to vehicle use. Continue reading

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Under the Sun

The Arizona Deserts, Arizona.

This week, Amy’s challenge for us is to focus on life under the sun. Actually, that’s a broad category considering that all earthbound things are under the sun. She writes that her inspiration came from the title of a book, “Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy.” You can read her entire challenge post here.

I’ve decided that my response to the challenge will feature images from my adopted state, Arizona. Though most of the images here come from the Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona, the opening photo is from Monument Valley, part of the Colorado Plateau, a desert environment with hot summers and cold winters. Wild horses inhabit the desert that is part of the Navajo Nation. As you can see by the photo, life for them is hard. Continue reading

McCormick Stillman Model Railroads – Trains Too Small To Ride

Scottsdale, Arizona.

In early May, I wrote about the miniature trains and the railroad museum at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park (here) and promised that I’d feature a post on the model train displays housed in a separate 10,000 square foot (929 sq m) building.  Hosted by four clubs, there are three displays and several other railroad oriented exhibits. The opening photo features a sculpture of a train engine breaking through the building wall. Some of these images may look familiar as I featured a sampling of theme for the May 21, 2020, Lens-Artists Photo Challenge here. This post features more facts about the museum, and photos not previously published as well. Continue reading

Yuma Territorial Prison State Park – 3:10 to Yuma

Yuma, Arizona.

Notice: This post is being written during the COVID-19 pandemic and at this time, the park is closed to visitors. Please stay safe and follow your state or country’s guidelines for travel in your region. More information on the park’s current status can be found here.

Looks like they finally caught up with me. They put me on that train featured in the movie “3:10 to Yuma” and I must serve my time in the Yuma Territorial Prison. My “sentence” would only last a few hours visiting the once-notorious prison that is now a state park. That “mug shot” of me features a mirror that allowed prison officials to take a front and side view mug shot on a single exposure. The mirror is set up for guests to don a quick-change striped jacket, grab one of the prison numbers, and get someone to snap your photo. The Yuma prison is one of the first to use a mirror in creating prison record photographs. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 31 May 2020

Buckeye, Arizona.

It was Spring 2020 in the White Tank Mountains. Even on our hikes, we were social distancing, single file, group photos taken in the line we’d formed as we hiked down the trail instead of gathering around a single person to grab a “group selfie.” The cactus flowers were plentiful, the day warm and sunny and I had plenty of opportunity to capture those rarely seen flowering cactus. One family of cacti, the Cholla has several varieties. The two that I’ve found most hard to distinguish are the Staghorn and the Buckhorn. For this post, I ended up looking for a definitive source to describe the difference here. The short synopsis of the difference is that they “are sometimes hard to distinguish.” They have similar blossoms, but the most obvious distinction is in the fruit. Well there you go. I’ve never seen a fruit on either variety. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 24 May 2020

Buckeye, Arizona.

In March of this year, the desert was awash with spring flowers near our home in Buckeye. There was no shortage of opportunity to capture the bright yellow brittlebush plants that are plentiful in the Sonoran Desert. On one of our Saturday hikes, I was still learning about the new Samsung S20U phone that replaced my personal S6 and the “work” phone that was provided to me from Civil Air Patrol (CAP). That phone, a Samsung S7, captured many images that I shared here because of my 4-year tenure as North Dakota Wing Commander in CAP. As of April 4, I would rotate out of that job and the S7 would be retired as I no longer need a CAP-provided cell phone. Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge – Pastimes

Scottsdale, Arizona.

This week, the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge is being hosted by Sue (Mac’s Girl) from her blogging site, The Nature of Things. She writes, “With so much time being spent at home, many of us have been looking for new pastimes or taking up old ones in order stay occupied or even sane…. It could be something that you are trying for the first time or a hobby or interest that you have enjoyed for many years. Feel free to dig into the archives or take a picture to illustrate a current pastime.” You can read her entire challenge post here. I could have focused on some of the pastimes that have occupied my time over the years, but instead have decided to focus on a hobby that has always interested me, but I’ve never taken the time or had the space to get started. Continue reading

Colorado River State Historic Park – Former Military Depot Turned Museum

Yuma, Arizona.

Notice: This post is being written during the COVID-19 pandemic and at this time, the park is closed to visitors. Please stay safe and follow your state or country’s guidelines for travel in your region. More information on the park’s current status can be found here.

Where the Colorado River crosses from Arizona into California, Yuma became a crossing point into the Golden State, never more true than during the gold rush days starting in 1849. One year later, a military post was established at Yuma and by 1858, Yuma experienced a boom as gold strikes on the Colorado River started another gold rush. In 1864, the U.S. Army established a Quartermasters Depot on the site that is now the grounds of the State Park. Materials and goods were delivered from ocean-going vessels to the mouth of the Colorado River where they were carried by steamboat to the depot. From there, supplies were transported to serve fourteen military posts in Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Southern Utah, and West Texas. Continue reading

McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park – Little Trains Equal Big Fun

Scottsdale, Arizona.

Notice: This post is being written during the COVID-19 pandemic and at this time, the park is closed to visitors. Please stay safe and follow your state or country’s guidelines for travel in your region. More information on the park’s current status can be found here.

In early January, Lynn and I visited McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in Scottsdale, Arizona. During the Christmas holidays, the park is all decked out with lights and features evening train rides through the park. On any given weekend, the park is quite busy (in normal times, anyway,) and there are lots of activities for kids and adults alike. Though the engine and train cars in the opening photo are full size, the fun happens on little trains. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 3 May 2020

Buckeye, Arizona.

As this is being written on Thursday, April 9, for publication in early May, Lynn and I are just starting our preparations for traveling from Buckeye back to our home in Fargo, North Dakota. Even though I thought last Saturday’s hike would be our last, the warm, sunny day this morning beckoned us to the hiking trail. We chose to hike part of the Quartz Mine Trail in Buckeye’s newest mountain preserve, Skyline Park. Right now all of the park facilities are closed due to the potential for COVID-19 exposure, however, the walking trails in Skyline, and throughout the city for that matter, have been kept open so that people have some place to get some exercise and fresh air.

Continue reading