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Pointing Southwest Travelers in the Right Direction
UFO Sightings in the American Southwest
Aliens first hit the public radar in a major way in 1947, when Kenneth Arnold claimed to have spied nine silver disks skimming over Washington State’s Mount Rainier. Arnold was trained as a private pilot; he was also a deputy sheriff and businessman. Not the kind of guy who accessorized his outfits with tinfoil.
Wickenburg: Home of the Bola Tie, Jail Tree and Other Oddities
Wickenburg is located fifty minutes from Phoenix on the fertile flood plain of the Hassayampa River (which is usually dry). The small town (population under 7,000) is now most famous for its rehab centers for A-list stars. These centers were once part of large ranches, which earned Wickenburg the title “Dude Ranch Capital of the World”.
Coors is the fifth largest brewing company in the world. The company produces 40 million barrels of beer annually (17 million of these barrels are bought by U.S. customers). If that weren't enough, Coors bought the Canadian-based Molson Brewery in 2005, and then merged with Miller in 2008. So... pretty much whatever you’re guzzling at the moment is owned by Coors. The entire Miller line, Milwaukee’s Best, Coors line, Killian’s Irish Red, Blue Moon, and the Keystone products... Yeah, ALL under this one company.
Today, six stately beauties will compete for the coveted title of Miss Southwest. I’m sure you’re on the edge of your seat. Personally, I can’t wait to learn which capitol building will continue on to represent this region in the highly competitive, nationwide contest: Miss Comely Capitol.
We didn’t even know the place was there. There was little signage, and trusty Roadside America said that it was “lost.” But, there it stood, in the foothills of the Superstition Mountains in Arizona: Apacheland.
After navigating the remote and twisting Trail of the Spirits, I was craving a little R&R when we entered sun-scorched Truth Or Consequences – a town named after the classic 1950s TV game show. Our destination was the Sierra Grande Lodge and Spa, a 1929 building that earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.
I love a good piece of kitsch. Over the years we’ve braked for giant hammocks, rockers, nickels, and cowboy boots. I can’t explain the allure of garish sculpture but, for me, it is undeniable. So, when I spied a mammoth pistachio in Southern New Mexico, with its green center glowing radioactively, I had to stop.
Once upon a time, Roswell was nothing more than a pit stop for cowboys driving cattle. Today, the town is the UFO capital of the world and hosts an annual UFO Festival.The extraterrestrial obsession began in July 1947. “RAAF Captures Flying Saucer on Ranch in Roswell Region,” screamed the headlines of The Roswell Daily Record. But what really happened that summer?
Just nine miles from downtown Phoenix, an oasis nestles inside Papago Park. This 50-acre garden is home to over 21,000 desert plants – 139 of which are rare and endangered. Six thematic trails weave through the garden, including the Sonoran Desert, Wildflower, and Herb Garden trails.
This 95 mile scenic byway in southwest New Mexico takes you through forests of Ponderosa pines, across the Gila River Wilderness, and through an area where 337 bird species have been spotted. Other highlights include crossing the Continental Divide (twice), exploring Native American ruins, and experiencing a panoramic view of the largest open pit copper mine in the country (the Chino/Santa Rita Mine).