Archive for the ‘Arizona’ Category

Captain Rick: It was shortly after Donald Trump announced his run for president that I knew in my heart he was going to go all the way. I sensed the strong movement among Americans who longed to ‘Make America Great Again’ way back when FAKE NEWS and the GOP were fast asleep, content with the political cancer in DC.

Unlike todays FAKE NEWS journalists who mostly communicate via social media … Captain Rick, a REAL NEWS journalist actually walked the streets and trails to talk face-to-face with real people to find out how they were thinking and feeling. That is why Captain Rick knew that a revolution was brewing in America. That revolution thrust Trump into the White House and shocked FAKE NEWS and the GOP. It is time for the GOP to learn from its mistakes and promote the election of candidates who support the Trump movement towards Making America Great Again.

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This Atridim News Journal blog on WordPress is accompanied by its companion Atridim News Journal blog on Facebook. It was there in early 2016 that Captain Rick began publishing weekly projections of how the large field of presidential candidates ranked. Looking back, Captain Rick called all of the rankings with perfection, while FAKE NEWS got it all so wrong, week after week. Its all on record for the world to review on ANJ on Facebook. A window is provided in the left column that shows ANJ blog posts on Facebook. Helpful info links are presented below.

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Captain Rick : Fish Creek Canyon is one of Arizona’s hidden treasures of scenic beauty. To experience its magnificence one must travel the Apache Trail (AZ 88) east from Mesa, Arizona. The paved road winds its way thru beautiful desert scenery in the Superstition Wilderness area and then past Canyon Lake, presenting one of the world’s most beautiful lake vistas. The trail continues east thru Arizona’s smallest original town of Tortilla Flat, once a place for workers to rest on their journey up the Salt River to build the mighty Roosevelt Dam that holds the massive Roosevelt Lake, a main source of water for over 4 million inhabitants of the Phoenix Valley of the Sun.

From Tortilla Flat, the trail climbs several hundred feet in elevation to a mountain setting that hosts beautiful wild flowers in the spring. Then the pavement ends. A gravel road continues. After a few more miles the beautiful Fish Creek Canyon comes into view around a breathtaking curve. The road descending into the canyon is narrow and treacherous. Vehicles need to tuck tightly against the cliff to allow those coming up the road to pass without falling off of a steep drop-off at the edge of the road that has no guardrail. This road is definitely not capable of handling anything larger than a passenger car or small pickup truck. A couple small pull offs at the bottom of Fish Creek Canyon allow for parking of a few cars. Great views of this magnificent canyon can be seen within a short walking distance.

 

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Click the photo above to view full screen in high definition via Captain Rick’s Flickr Photostream

The dark stained area running down the rock cliff at left becomes a beautiful, tall, cascading waterfall during and after a heavy rain. It is difficult to catch a glimpse of the waterfall because when it rains the road is closed at Tortilla Flat, due to water flowing over the road. The only access then is to travel the east section of the Apache Trail down from Roosevelt Lake. It is all gravel and a slow trip, however the scenery makes it a very rewarding experience.

Those continuing eastward from Fish Creek Canyon experience a beautiful vista of Apache Lake. The trail then connects with the Salt River. The scenery in the Salt River Gorge between Apache Lake and Roosevelt Lake is spectacular. The trip culminates with an incredible view of the 357 foot tall Roosevelt Dam from below. A series of switchbacks quickly gain elevation to the top of the dam exposing a breathtaking, panoramic view of the main portion of Roosevelt Lake. When full the lake is 2 miles wide x 22 long and 349 feet deep.

Fish Creek Canyon is a special hidden treasure of scenic beauty at the halfway mark of the 40 mile long Apache Trail … the most scenic road within a short distance of Phoenix and one of the most scenic in Arizona.

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Captain Rick : I have seen lots of firsts along the morning trail on my around-world walking/biking trek, spanning 17,000 miles in 15 years. This morning I was passed by a roadrunner doing about 20 mph. Not a car … a bird running. It is the fastest runner of all flying birds. It was about a foot tall and nearly two feet long. It had a bright orange patch running rearward from its eye and a big feathery headdress. It was a beautiful bird, but I was disappointed that it did not go ‘beep beep’ like in the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes I watched as a child.

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I was not expecting to be passed by a roadrunner on my morning exercise walk, so I did not have my camera along. As a Flickr PRO member, I searched Flickr and found a roadrunner that most closely resembled the one that passed me. Click on the image above to view the full photo presented in stunning 4K HD captured by Flickr’s susanloellison.

About the ‘Greater Roadrunner’

The Greater Roadrunner is a long-legged bird in the cuckoo family, prevalent in Arizona and the Southwestern United States and Mexico. Although capable of limited flight, it spends most of its time on the ground, and can run at speeds of up to 20 mph (32 km/h). Cases where roadrunners have run as fast as 26 mph (42 km/h) have been reported. This is the fastest running speed clocked for a flying bird.

Greater Roadrunners measure 61 cm (2.00 ft) in length and wingspan. About half of their length is tail feathers. They measure 30 cm (1 foot) tall. They have long legs and a slender, pointed bill. The upper body is mostly brown with black streaks and sometimes pink spots. The neck and upper breast are white or pale brown with dark brown streaks, and the belly is white. A crest of brown feathers sticks up on the head, and a bare patch of orange and blue skin lies behind each eye. Roadrunners have 4 toes on each zygodactyl foot; two face forward, and two face backward.

This bird walks around rapidly, running down prey. It feeds mainly on small animals including insects, spiders (including black widows), tarantulas, scorpions, mice, small birds and especially lizards and small snakes. Venomous serpents, including small rattlesnakes, are readily consumed. It kills prey by holding the victim in its bill and slamming it repeatedly against the ground.

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Captain Rick : Yesterday was a hot day in Phoenix. Besides smashing a previous daily air temp record, it set a new record of 95 F for the warmest pool temp I have ever recorded. Pool water temp closely trails the average day and night temp. SRP, the power company, registered yesterday’s average temp at a near record of 102F. We have had some very hot nights lately, with temps only dipping to the upper 80s at dawn. I am confident that those elevated low temps are what created the new high pool temp record.

Phoenix pool temps have been making a slow, steady rise over the past couple decades. I attribute that to rapidly expanding concrete and heat absorbing materials that blanket the Phoenix Valley of the Sun which spans across 100 miles of Arizona desert with an exploding population of over 4 million.

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117 F is shy of the all time high temp record of 122 F set June 26, 1990. I missed experiencing that monumental mark. Having moved to the valley in 1996, the hottest I have experienced is the fourth place record at 119 F set on June 29, 2013. It was ‘Dry Heat’, only 2% humidity, a truly unique and wonderful experience that I recorded in a previous Atridim News Journal post complete with a photo of my thermometer at 119 F: Arizona “Dry Heat”: Phoenix set 4th hottest all-time record: 119F (48C) at 2% humidity … Where is the hottest place on earth?

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Thanks for stopping by,
Captain Rick

Captain Rick : The Senna Artemisioides, commonly known as feathery or silver cassia, produces an abundance of beautiful yellow flowers in the spring. Endemic to Australia, it also thrives abundantly in Arizona’s Valley of the Sun.
It is a hardy shrub that can withstand temps into 20’s F and loves dry ground with full sun into the 110’s F, making it a perfect match for the Phoenix Arizona area.

Senna artemisioides is a flowering plant in the family Fabaceae.  It can grow to 3 meters in height, though I keep mine manicured in the shape of an inverted cone about 5 feet tall, which removes the many long flat green seed pods that grow with the flowers. At Christmas time, it becomes one of the many trees, shrubs and plants to be adorned with thousands of lights at my desert oasis. Below is a photo of my Senna Artemisioides before grooming.

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Captain Rick: Viewed through a pair of twisted mesquite trees stands a gazebo in a lush, green, grassy neighborhood park in Chandler Arizona. A patch of yellow lantana highlights the foreground. A couple date palms stand tall on each side of the gazebo. The grassy area beyond the gazebo, which is watered daily with sprinklers to keep it green, actually forms the bottom of a flood basin that lies several feet below the level of surrounding land so that it can collect rain runoff from a storm. Parks like this dot neighborhoods across Arizona’s Valley of the Sun (Phoenix metro). This park served its purpose during the record flood of September 2014 that dropped a half-year’s rainfall (about 4”) in just a few hours, causing most of what is visible beyond the gazebo to be under water for several days.

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Captain Rick: Tortilla Flat, Arizona is a cool little old historic town nestled in a secluded desert mountain valley a few miles east of Canyon Lake, along the Apache Trail (Hwy 88), about 50 miles east of Phoenix.

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Click the image above to view the photo in HDTV format on Captain Rick’s Flickr Photostream

Tortilla Flat is an authentic remnant of an old west town, nestled in the midst of the Tonto National Forest, in the Superstition Mountain Range. Tortilla Flat started out as a stagecoach stop in 1904 and neither fire nor flood has been able to take away this historic stop along the Historic Apache Trail.
Mosey on down the boardwalk and visit the Superstition Saloon and Restaurant. Real saddles serve as bar stools where you can enjoy a cold brew or sarsaparilla. The unique wallpaper is made from real dollar bills from visitors all around the world. The Restaurant serves the biggest burgers, hottest chili and the coldest drinks everyday. After you have had time to walk off the great food, stop in the Country Store and enjoy a scoop of their World Famous Prickly Pear Gelato. Visit the Mercantile/Gift Shop full of amazing treasures including Indian Pottery, Jewelry, Unique Tortilla Flat Apparel and many more unique items.
You will notice that "Population 6" is posted on signs around town. It is not a joke. People really do live there and they thank you for visiting their town.

History … Tortilla Flat got its start because of the road construction to Roosevelt Dam in 1904. There was a need for a stagecoach stop for freight haulers on their way to the construction site at Roosevelt Dam and Tortilla Flat served that purpose. Shortly following the construction of the road, Roosevelt Dam became a big tourist attraction. At that point Tortilla Flat was a stage stop for tourists and mail carriers through the 1930s.

Tortilla Flat took its name from a nearby butte shaped like a tortilla.

Forest Service records show Tonto National Forest being established in 1905 as kind of a "package deal" with the Salt River Reclamation Project. The Forest Service was needed to manage the land and protect watershed for the dams because cattle grazing had denuded the land. The freight camp at Tortilla Flat, as well as the other camps along the road to the dam, were, therefore, on U.S. Forest Service land. Folks who decided to make Tortilla Flat their permanent residence kept up the lease on the land in later years whenever it came due.

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For lots of great topics … check the ‘Categories’ list and cloud in the left hand column