Category: Arizona Living.

Arizona is an interesting place (and I’m not just talking politics and Spring Training).  The lowest point is just 70’ above sea level on the Colorado River in Yuma and the highest point is 12,633’ on Humphreys Peak near Flagstaff.  I wonder when the last time that was checked.  Seems like erosion might have knocked a couple feet off since it was last measured. We have 6 distinct climate zones.  Friday 5/5 it was 108° for the high, Sunday 5/7 it was 74°.  Someone won the annual “First 100° Day” contest on the Wednesday before.

Because of late winter rains, it has been a pretty good year for wild flowers. We got out a bit and saw many varieties.  Poppies, lupine, brittlebush, hedgehogs, saguaros and more.  Many are actually right in our yard. Below are some from an outing two weeks ago.  I’m not going to attach a lot, but, you can see much more in a quick web search for Arizona Wild Flowers.

Many people picture Arizona like this:

Barren, dry desert

My version of the state looks more like this:







Or like this:

Mogollon Rim

Maples near Bear Canyon Lake.

Of course, the last one was fall.  That doesn’t mean those red-leafed maples aren’t just as pretty in the spring when they are leafing out.

Traveling the state, I often wonder what early natives’ lives were like. Tribes stretched from those lowest elevations in Yuma up to over 7000’.  I’ve been to dozens of prehistoric sites in Arizona. Like us, they strived for a summer and winter home.  But, unlike us, they didn’t have the benefit of turning on their air conditioning for that first 100° day or have the heater running when it got cold. They followed the food sources rather than having it shipped to the local supermarket.  I wonder what they were thinking about while sitting up on a ridge pecking out messages for me to read hundreds of years later.

Find it if you can

Petroglyphs near Brooklyn Mine Hotel

Nice Buck!

I guess we’ll never know.  But, it’s pleasant to sit on the porch with your favorite beverage and think about them.

Best wishes for your spring!

Last weekend was a wonderful time for a May outing in Central Arizona.  Typically, we would be expecting 100+ days in early May.  Just warm enough to make one uncomfortable on a long outing.  Saturday was a beautiful day on Perry Mesa starting in the low 50’s and reaching the 70’s.

Susan and I love to explore Arizona.  It has remarkable diversity and beauty.  Often, we go with friends.  This time it was just us.

11209651_1616137765339402_4880326652968974690_nPerry Mesa rests just East of Sunset Point (Black Mesa) along I-17 and is largely a part of Agua Fria National Monument.  From the Interstate, it looks desolate and foreboding.  In reality, it is ripe with ancient culture and wildlife.  Tens of thousands of Hohokam Indians inhabited that prairie, mountains and canyons. Hundreds of miners, ranchers and pioneers traveled the dusty roads, living and dying in the area.  Evidence is everywhere. If you know where to look.

11243456_1616136858672826_4601028119845553121_nMost of the following pictures were taken in and around the Brooklyn Mine in Brooklyn Basin.  The mine operated sporadically from 1907 to 1970.  The mine was established for copper, but gold and silver usually occur in the same areas.  (Note the turquoise in the stone hearth.) The mine was also subject to one of the early mining scams in Arizona.  One of the owners went to New York to raise significant funds from shareholders.  I read the incorporation document and it was somewhat entertaining for someone with a geology background who is intimately familiar with Arizona.

This area also has some extremely good petroglyphs.  We took pictures of some of the more interesting ones.  There are literally hundreds more.  I doubt you can walk a canyon wall in the area without encountering this Stone Age art.  In fact, I’ve encountered petroglyphs in most parts of the state.  Some are obvious, others are not.  Why don’t you see if you can figure out what the artist was trying to say?




rick100Richard Oxford is an avid outdoorsman who loves to hike and camp in Arizona. He is also a master barbecue chef. Rick is an Investment Advisor Representative with Richard Oxford Financial, and affiliated with Sowell Management Services. He is also a Certified College Advisor, with College Funding Solutions. His offices are in Scottsdale, Arizona. He may be reached at, or 602-697-7657.

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