Daily Archives: March 22, 2013

DAY 21 – Globe, AZ

Globe is a copper and turquoise mining town about a 2 hour drive or 2-day unicycle ride east of Phoenix. My destination today was the Besh-Ba-Gowah archaelogical park and checking out the local antique shops.

Besh-Ba-Gowah is an ancient ruin that was occupied between A.D.1225 and 1400 by the Salado Indians. It was a Pueblo with 44 rooms and parts of it were three stories tall.  Rooms were entered through hatches on the roofs a nd rooftops were the center of traffic flow within the community. Pottery and jewelry made with shells was found that indicates widespread trade and commerce.

Excavation of the site began in the 1930’s and became a WPA project. The WPA (Works Project Administration) was a Depression Era program that put people to work . It was the largest and most ambitious New Deal agency, employing millions of unemployed people (mostly unskilled men) to carry out public works projects,[1] including the construction of public buildings and roads. In much smaller but more famous projects the WPA employed musicians, artists, writers, actors and directors in large arts, drama, media, and literacy projects.[1]   (Wikipedia)  

The WPA preserved our America heritage in ways that still have an impact  today.  I’m always moved when I go somewhere and realize that it was a WPA project.  Examples at home in Ohio include Happy Days Lodge in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and Cain Park in Cleveland Heights.

The drive to pick up Dave revealed some dramatic vistas covered in yellow with wildflowers.  I didn’t expect that we would have such good timing to see so many blooming at this time of year.  At some point, wildflowers turned out to be my “thing”! I was delighted to enter the realm of Gold Poppy Land.

We returned to our Apache Casino park home again for a pleasant time in the pool. I made a shrimp jumbalaya dinner to celebrate Dave passing the 500 mile mark and we enjoyed a quiet evening.

Day 20 – Apache Junction to Apache Gold Casino RV Park

Wednesday I took a day off from my tourist wanderings.  We departed Maricopa for the last time & Dave started riding outside Apache Junction.  I started catching up on blogs at the Mountain Brew Coffee House in Gold Canyon, right on the bike route.  A cozy, independent shop with Wifi, that seems to be be a community gathering place. Time got away from me & it got to be 12:30 way too soon.  Time to find The Rider.

The road started climbing as the terrain changed to rock outcroppings and winding turns.  One tunnel & 6% grades. In hindsight, it would have been a good day to be nearby (and probably nervous), but I did meet up with Dave.  He rode almost 32 miles, climbed about 3400 feet & descended 1000 feet. Tough day on a unicycle. The rugged scenery was impressive, without many opportunities to stop for photographs.

I met a crosscountry cyclist who took my picture because he had seen Dave but didn’t get a photo.  Vicarious celebrity status for me. Bruce Miller’s son went to Case Western and his daughter-in-law is from Chesterland.  Small world stuff at every turn!

Not many camping choices in this area, so we went to the Apache Casino RV Park 4.5 miles east of Globe.  A $10 bargain for “dry camping” i.e. no water or electricity. Plus – a pool & jacuzzi. The website says no tents, but a church group doing work on the reservation camped there.