Friday, December 12, 2014

Yuma Territorial Prison

January 2014

From 1876-1909 the Territory of Arizona operated a prison in Yuma.  3,069 prisoners were incarcerated there, and today it is a tourist attraction.

Their crimes:
The conditions:

Despite the looks of it now, it was considered a model institution in its time, and called the "Country Club on the Colorado", because it was one of the few places that had electricity, running water, and flush toilets.  After the prison was closed, it was used as a school.  The Yuma Union High School Criminals played 4 seasons from this home after their previous building burned down.

They had an innovative way to do mug shots, saving 50% on film

 There was a famous escape attempt:

Some of the more interesting inmates:
 Related to Senator Flake, I wonder?

And in the courtyard, some humorous decorations

More pictures.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Las Noches de las Luminarias

December 2013

Every year the Desert Botanical Garden has a series of evening shows, with live entertainment.  Last year, it also featured lighted glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly.  Very large, elaborate, lighted glass sculptures

More pictures and movies of the bellringers.

Colorado River Oasis

November 2013

A park we've stayed at twice now, as it's a day's drive from PHX toward California, is in Ehrenberg, AZ, on the banks of the Colorado River
and across the street from it is a pioneer cemetery

Not as fancy as Boot Hill in Tombstone, but a fascinating piece of the Old West.

More pictures.

Bonita Falls

November 2013

While staying at an RV park in Lytle Creek, CA, north of San Bernadino, we took a hike up the wash
on a "trail" that wasn't marked at all, using instructions that said things like "when you see a big rock with red paint on it, ..." to a cute little waterfall called Bonita Falls

More pictures.

Napa Valley

October 2013

We went on a wine-tasting tour of the Napa Valley.  The only way to do it.  After 7 wineries with 4 tastes at each one, driving yourself around is no longer a good idea.  Vicki and I split our tastes, and skipped the last one completely.

The views were pretty
we got to see the grapes during harvest time
some interesting sculptures
a very interestingly named bottle
and of course the cellars
one was in an actual cave

California was looked down upon by French winemakers until a California Chardonnay beat them all in a blind taste test in 1976.  The winner was made by a Croatian immigrant named Miljenko Grgich.
Two of our fellow tourists brought their daughter.

Being young and strong, they each had their own tastings and skipped nothing.  And they were going out again the next day!

More pictures.

Santa Rosa

October 2013

I lived in Santa Rosa for 3 years (age 5-8), so we went to see my old haunts.  The house I lived in seems now to be occupied by the Clampetts, before they struck oil.  You can't see the 6 cars parked in the driveway, maybe one of them could start.

Here's what's left of the walnut orchard that was in our back yard.

The church and school I went to is still there, but the ball field is gone.
Santa Rosa's favorite son was Charles Schulz, so they have a museum for him.  What a fun place!

It was almost time for the Great Pumpkin to arrive
and there's things for kids to do there

Santa Rosa also has an obelisk, called the cyclisk, made out of bicycle parts
More pictures.