Arizona Facts and Visitor Information
|Prickly Pear Cactus
Prickly Pear cactus represents about a number of species of the Opuntia genus in the North American deserts. These cacti have a series of arms that are made up of fleshy pads that look like large leaves. These pads function as a means of water storage, photosynthesis and flower production.
The fruits of most prickly pears are edible and sold in stores in a variety of candies and jelly. Prickly pear pads are also cooked and eaten as a vegetable. Because of the glochids (spines), great care is required when harvesting or preparing prickly pear cactus. Both fruits and pads of the prickly pear cactus are rich in slowly absorbed soluble fibers that may help keep blood sugar stable. Many of our products are made with prickly pear nectar including Cactus Candy,Prickly Pear Marmalade, and Cactus Salsa.
The northeastern Sonora desert spreading across the Arizona landscape is home to the giant saguaro. The Saguaro cactus has become the symbol of Arizona and its white flower blossoms are the official state flower. The white-winged-dove plays a major role in the pollination of these flowers.
The Saguaro cactus is very slow growing - it takes about 15yrs for a saguaro to reach one foot and 40yrs to reach ten feet in height. They continue to grow for 100 years and are known to live for over 200 years.
The saguaro has a perfect mechanism for storing water in its accordion-fold structure. During dry periods the folds pucker into ridges and when there is plenty of water available the cactus absorbs it until it becomes plump and round and the ribs almost disappear. A wide-spreading network of shallow roots harvests the desert rains; a mature plant may soak up as much as 200 gallons of water during a storm. The fruit and seeds of this cactus provide food for wildlife, and both living and dead plants are frequently used as nesting sites and shelters. Birds that may live in saguaros include woodpeckers, elf owls, pygmy owls, flickers, and cactus wrens.
Travelers: If you are visiting the Tucson area, you can see these plants at the Saguaro National Park! Visitors can enjoy scenic hikes and drives. The western park is near the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum and is also great for watching other wildlife.
Antelope Canyon is a small but exquisite geological formation in northern Arizona. Antelope Canyon is located a few miles east of Page, Arizona near the Utah border. Actually there are two antelope Canyon's located on either side of route 98. Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon are both owned by the Navajo Nation. Unfortunately, they charge separate entry fees of about $18 per person for each part of this attraction. Since the upper and lower canyons are very similar, you need visit only one.
The sandstone bedrock has been intricately carved by the infrequent but often violent flow of water. It has been sculpted into beautiful curves and hollows that vary from one to three meters wide by up to 50 meters deep. The sunlight filtering down from above produces a myriad of soft colors and shadows. We carry a variety of sandstone coasters
and rock art
made from a similar type of luminous sandstone. The Lake Powell recreational area is in the same community as well as Glen Canyon Dam. Other attractions such as Monument Vallery, Zion National Park, and the Grand Canyon are roughly 2 hours away.
The sandstone we use for our coasters is mined near Snowflake and Show Low, Arizona and has classified by the US Government as “locatable and identifiable.” This
means that this particular sandstone has unique characteristics that can be classified (for mining purposes) in the same category as gold and silver. The black layers in the sandstone are iron oxide, which is unique to this sandstone. When the sandstone boulders are cut in half, there are concentric circles in the sandstone, similar to tree rings. There have been no signs of fossilizing in the sandstone, which might mean that it was formed before life was created on Earth.
The Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon National Park encompasses over 1.2 Million acres of land and lies on the Colorado Plateau of northwestern Arizona. This stunning landscape consists of raised plateaus and structural basins including functional drainage systems that have cut deeply through the rock, forming steep- walled canyons. Forests are found at higher elevations while the lower elevations are a series of desert basins.
The Grand Canyon is one of the most studied geologic landscapes in the world - offering an excellent record of three of the four eras of geological time, a rich and diverse fossil record, a vast array of geologic features and rock types, and numerous caves containing extensive and significant geological, paleontological, archeological and biological resources. The Canyon, incised by the Colorado River, is immense, averaging 4,000 feet deep for its entire 277 miles. It is 6,000 feet deep at its deepest point and 15 miles at its widest.
The Park contains several major ecosystems including presence of five of the seven life zones including the Lower Sonoran, Upper Sonoran, Transition, Canadian, and Hudsonian. This is equivalent to traveling from Mexico to Canada. The Park also serves as an ecological refuge, with relatively undisturbed remnants of dwindling ecosystems (such as boreal forest and desert riparian communities). It is home to numerous rare protected plant and animal species. Over 1,500 plant, 355 bird, 89 mammalian, 47 reptile, 9 amphibian, and 17 fish species are found in the park.
The town of Tombstone, Arizona is often described as "the town too tough to die." Its name was coined by founder Ed Schieffelin who set out to find the source of the silver ore traces found in near by dry river beds in the year 1877. He struck rich and found a vein of pure silver worth roughly $2000 a ton.
The City of Tombstone was built on a flat mesa, surrounded by the Whetstone, Mule, Burro, Huachuca, and Dragoon Mountains. Early in 1879, Allen Street lots sold for $5 each and the town had forty cabins and a population of 100. A year later. in 1880, four town sites were thriving in the mining district. Tombstone, the largest, was near the Toughnut Mine; Richmond was one and a quarter mile southwest, and Charleston and Contention were on the San Pedro River, eight miles away.
Tombstone quickly transformed into a boom town with populations to soar to over 5,000 people in less then 2 years. Around the same time , the Bird Cage Theatre, the Cochise County Court House, five local newspapers, the Crystal Palace and Oriental Saloons were built, and the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral had taken place.
With the rapid growth and cut-throat claim stakes on gold and silver lands days of lawlessness and violence, which nearly had then-President Chester A. Arthur declaring martial law in Tombstone and sending in military troops to restore order, climaxed with the infamous Earp-Clanton battle, fought near the rear entrance of the O.K. Corral, on October 26, 1881. Over the course of 7 years the mines produced millions of dollars in silver and gold before rising underground waters forced suspension of operations.
Cowboy Code of Ethics
The principles of cowboy ethics or the code of the west were established during a time when governing law had little to no affect on cowmen or the range. The lack of written law made it necessary for there to be rules or code by which a man lived by. The list of unwritten standards or expected moral behavior is now known as the code of the west. Operating more as guidelines, these home brewed laws were adapted to each cowboys creed. These are some examples taken from the code of the west:
Live each day with courage
Take pride in your work
Always finish what you start
Do what has to be done
Be tough, but fair
When you make a promise, keep it
Ride for the brand
Talk less and say more
Remember that some things aren't for sale
Know where to draw the lineLegends of the West, Famous Arizona Natives
(1829–1909) was leader of the Chiricahua Apache Indians. In 1876 the Chiricahua Reservation was abolished and the Apaches were removed and transferred to San Carlos in New Mexico. Geronimo led a group of followers into Mexico where he was captured and sent back to the new reservation. In 1881 he escaped again with a group (including a son of Cochise) and led raids in Arizona and Mexico. He surrendered in 1883 to forces under Gen. George Crook and was returned to the reservation. In 1885 he fled again, and after almost a year of war he agreed to surrender to Crook, but at the last minute Geronimo fled. His escape led to censure of Crook's policy. Late in 1886, Geronimo and the remainder of his forces surrendered to Gen. Nelson Appleton Miles. They were deported to Florida as prisoners of war and were not allowed to take their families with them. After a further period in prison in Alabama, Geronimo was placed under military confinement where he settled down, adopted Christianity, and became a prosperous farmer. He became a national celebrity when he appeared at the St. Louis World's Fair and in Theodore Roosevelt's inaugural procession.
(1815–1874) was chief of the Chiricahua group of Apache Indians in Arizona. He was friendly with the whites until 1861, when some of his relatives were hanged by U.S. soldiers for a crime they did not commit. Afterward he waged relentless war against the U.S. army and became noted for his courage, integrity, and military skill. His friendship with Thomas Jeffords became the key to peace. In 1872, Gen. Oliver Otis Howard the Indian commissioner, requested Jeffords to accompany him to Cochise's mountain stronghold. As a result of the peace talks, Cochise agreed to live on the reservation that Howard promised would be created from the chief's native territory. After the death of Cochise, however, his people were removed to another reservation. The southeasternmost county of Arizona is named for him.
Wyatt Earp (1848
) was a law officer, gambler, and gunfighter of the American West, b. Monmouth, Ill. After serving as police officer in Wichita (1874) and Dodge City (1876–77), Kans., he became an armed guard for Wells, Fargo & Company in Tombstone, Ariz. There, with his brothers Virgil and Morgan and a friend, Doc Holliday, he was involved in the controversial gunfight at (actually just outside) the O.K. Corral (Oct. 26, 1881), in which several men were killed. Leaving Tombstone in 1882, Earp traveled widely, operating saloons in San Diego, Calif.; Nome, Alaska; and Tonopah, Nev., before settling in Los Angeles.
Wright, Frank Lloyd (
1867–1959) was an American architect, b. Richland Center, Wis. Wright is widely considered the greatest American architect. After studying civil engineering at the Univ. of Wisconsin, he worked for seven years in the office of Dankmar Adler and Louis H. Sullivan in Chicago.
Goldwater, Barry Morris
(1909–98) was a U.S. senator from 1953–65 and 1969–87. He studied at the University of Arizona, but left in 1929 to enter his family's department-store business. After noncombat service in World War II, he won election to the Phoenix city council. In the U.S. Senate, Goldwater advocated state right-to-work laws, a reduction of public ownership of utilities, and decreases in welfare and foreign aid appropriations. He attacked subversive activities and opposed the senatorial censure of Joseph R. McCarthy
. Goldwater became the acknowledged leader of the extreme conservative wing of the Republican party. In 1964, as the Republican presidential nominee, he was decisively defeated by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Nonetheless, many believe that Goldwater initiated a conservative revolution in Republican politics and American public opinion that ultimately led to the election (1980) of President Ronald Reagan. Goldwater was again elected to the Senate in 1968, 1974, and 1980. In his later years, Goldwater, basically libertarian, often clashed with cultural conservatives. He wrote The Conscience of a Conservative
(1960), Why Not Victory?
(1962), The Conscience of a Majority
(1970), and Goldwater
(1988) with Jack Casserly. His son Barry Morris Goldwater, Jr.,
. 1938–, b. Los Angeles, was a U.S. congressman from California (1968–83)