Saturday, January 26, 2013

Tender Palm Shoots Reach for Freedom

You always expect something new up at the Chamber of Commerce. 

You might get news of a business launch in Wickenburg, maybe a schedule change at the  Del Webb Center for Performing Arts , even some chit-chat about the movers and shakers here in the Hasseyampa Valley.

I was blessed with a different kind of experience last week when I came across the photo subject to your left.

Green against grey. Nature rebirthing. Tender shoots of palm breaking through granite boulders as old as time itself.

I wish I'd taken more than one shot, but I got the light and contrast, and gritty reality I was looking for.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Honda Trail 90: Cherry.

Came across this impeccable example of a cherry Honda Trail 90.  Parked under an eave near the Desert Caballeros Western Museum ... licensed in the State of Washington .... could possible be carrying original paint.

Back in 1964 my brothers Joe and Charlie owned a Honda '50' Cub. I'm thinking they would have loved to have had the extra displacement,  torque and the knobby sure-footedness of this baby.

Me too.  One can reminisce, agreed?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Mass Murder - Arizona Territory - 1896.

The Martin Family of Wickenburg, Arizona Territory, was brutally murdered on July 22, 1896. The  assassins were never apprehended, and remain unknown.  A modest grave site has been built on the Hassayampa River Preserve bearing silent witness to the heinous end met by the hard-working Irish immigrant family. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Everett Bowman, World Champ Cowboy.

Everett Bowman and his trusty steed are captured for eternity in Wickenburg.  There's a statue on the promenade outside our Municipal Building -- quite a show stopper, I'll tell you.

When you read the accomplishments and tributes to this "cowboy's cowboy," you can't help but wish you'd known the old gent when he was ridin', rustlin' and trainin' mules!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Hassayampa's Helpful Host, Barbara.

Visitors to the Nature Conservancy's Hassayampa River Preserve get red-carpet treatment..

Volunteer Host Barbara will walk you through the Trail Guide -- some 3 miles of neatly groomed self-guided loop trails.  She'll advise on fauna and flora, exotic birds and wildlife.

And give you a head's up on javelinas and stray cows that occasionally share this remarkable natural desert oasis with us human beings.

GPS coordinates:  N 33 56.164    W 112 41.579

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Trans-America Bike Tour "Season" Begins.

Wickenburg is home to Trans-America bike trippers about this time every year.

Generally moving west to east, along the so-called "southern route" from CA to FL, and traveling 3-5 or so in a group, young guys like my new BFF in the pic here dedicate as many as 120 days for the "crossing."

This intrepid pedaler started out last week in San Diego, where he was joined by a velo buddy who'd ridden from Kansas (!) to California -- just to turn around and head back east.

And these two guys had met originally in Alaska --climbing mountains and kayaking raging rivers.

My young friend -- never even asked his name -- was chilling out front of the Safeway when I met him. He was happy to talk bikes, and open to suggestions I had to make about where to chow in style in Wickenburg, and the must-see exhibit at the Desert Caballeros Western Museum.

The possee heads out to Phoenix Friday.  It's a 55 mile ride east on US Hwy. 60 -- decent pavement, managable traffic, but the guys take no chances.

Ride Single File and Keep the Shiny Side Up is every cyclist's motto.

OMG !! Almond Toffe and Jalapeno Jelly!

Sugar Rush Update.

Found a little jar of Jalapeno Jelly in the fridge this morning.  It had not been opened.

When I scooped out the seriously sweet, sinful and sublime innards of the jar, I could scarcely believe my good fortune.

Ever had jalapeno jelly?  Then you know that that stuff rocks!

Wait, there's more.

As if the jalapeno carb encounter weren't enough for one man in one day, the FedEx delivery truck just brought a box of Almond Toffee from our friends the Withers in Steamboat Springs.  It's their annual Christmas present, and the toffee arrival keeps the Spirit of Christmas alive well into 2013.

I'm taking a carb break for now.  I'm a sweet-tooth monster, but enough is enough.  I'll let you know when the craving passes, and I move on to protein.

Tofu instead of toffee  :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Bikers Fave: Horseshoe Cafe.

There's a sign in the window of Wickenburg, AZ's Horseshoe Cafe (which I regret you can't see in this foto) claiming that bikers love the restaurant, and that the folks at Horseshoe love bikers!

Indeed, most days there are plenty of Harley's, Gold Wing's and Beemer's, and maybe even a Vespa or Kimco, parked out front while the riders chill inside, and chow on the best breakfasts in the entire Arizona Territory.

This afternoon as I pedaled up on my Giant Hybrid, the 'Shoe was closed for the day. Chairs were stacked on tables, floors had been swept, wait and kitchen staff were on R + R before the hash gets slung tomorrow, and jacks get flapped again,  at the start of another perfect day.

There is a two-wheeler in the pic, if you look long and hard.  Peek through the main window, right under the word "Cafe," and out the rear window.  You'll spot my ride.

Garcia School House, Wickenburg, AZ.

One of the earliest, and best preserved, one-room school houses in what was then Arizona Territory.

Originally made of logs, but later moved and upgraded in materials, the school was donated by the Garcia family, prominent in these parts, and citizens of Wickenburg then chipped in for the renovation.

Today Garcia Little Red School House is on the National Register of Historic Places, and keeps its Rich-History doors open as a museum in downtown Wickenburg.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Circular Shadows in Wickenburg.

On an iPhoto mission today in downtown Wickenburg.

Stopped the bike when I saw the screwy shadow trick with the circular stair case.

You never  quite get a photo that's as good as what the eye can see, but I think this is fun, and representative of reality.

You get the picture.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Cowboy Crooner, Chaparral Style.

In the heart of Wickenburg, where Tegner intersects Hwy. 60, some smart lady runs a bakery and ice cream parlor like no other. 

The place is called Chaparral. The ice cream is home-made, the baked goods contain the finest ingredients, and sandwiches and soups on the impressive menu leave hardly any room for the desserts you have to taste to believe. 

As if that weren't enough, there's great service, positive and energetic attitude, fair prices, and, generally, a cowboy crooner on stage, singing his old, lonesome, trail-hardened heart out. 

You can't see it in the picture, but patrons stop and put tips in the cowboy's jar on their way out the door. The measure of success, of course, is whether customers keep coming back. We've been in town for five days, and in Chaparral three times!  Yummm.

From Barbara Kingsolver, "Living in Hope."

Living in Hope
Barbara Kingsolver

Here's what I've decided: the very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof. What I want is so simple I almost can't say it: elementary kindness. Enough to eat, enough to go around. The possibilty that kids might one day grow up to be neither the destroyers nor the destroyed. That's about it. Right now I'm living in that hope, running down its hallways and touching the walls on both sides. I can't tell you how good it feels.
Source: Animal Dreams

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Old-time Wickenburg, Arizona Jail Tree.

Back in AZ frontier days the white hat good guys would round up reprobate black hat bad guys, and chain them to the jailing tree.

Must have been a shortage of cell space back then, or maybe a civic budget shortfall?

Whatever.  The point is:  the town of Wickenburg, AZ used resources at hand to lock up crooks and drunks while they waited their turn in front of a Circuit Judge.

This remarkably life-like statue was cast by iconic sculptor A. Seward Johnson, and gifted to the city by the DeVore Foundation.

There are another 12 sculptures around town -- dance hall girl, cowboy, Mariachi singer, Diamondback Rattler, miner and burro, etc.  You really need to see these exquisite statues for yourself!