Quartzsite, AZ

The last of my weekend travels with Colleen ended in Quartzsite, AZ where Colleen’s hubby met us to pick her up. But before heading on their way we found a few oddball attractions to visit there. Quartzsite is a small town with not much to do. It is a flat desert, some roadside businesses, and tumbleweeds with a population of about 3,500. In the winter, Quartzsite comes alive with thousands of campers and RVer’s that camp out on the desert in primitive desert conditions. The attraction to Quartzsite is the warm winter weather, inexpensive camping and the biggest gem & mineral/swap meet show in January and February every year which attracts well over a million visitors.

On the internet, there is a website called “America Roadside Attractions” and so the few stops we made in Quartzsite were recommendations from that site. One of our stops was to the “Hi Jolly” monument at the cemetery. Hi Jolly was born Philip Tedro, a Greek-born in Syria. He came as a camel driver to America with a batch of camels that the US government was trying out in LT Edward F Beales expedition called the Camel Corp to survey for a wagon road across AZ in 1857. When the civil war broke out the US Camel Corp ended and various circumstances happened with the camels……some were captured and others were auctioned off. Hi Jolly remained in the desert and became a prospector scout and a courier. Hi Jolly died in 1902 in what is now Quartzsite and in 1934 the AZ department of transportation erected a monument over his grave. His grave became the beginning of the pioneer cemetery and is dedicated to Hi Jolly for his service to the U.S. government.

The U.S. Army’s “Camel Corps” Experiment

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20160307_124013Then we had this roadside attraction……A camel made from wheel rims and painted red.

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And at Hassler RV Park, we were able to see all these art features made from horseshoes and other various metals of scrap iron.

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Roadside Attractions-Phoenix, AZ

My friend Colleen loves to take pictures, find whacky stuff and just go, go, go! She told me about this internet site called “America’s Roadside Attractions.” You go to the website, enter the state and city and you will be directed to some interesting places. So on Saturday, March 4, 2016, we headed out to find these attractions in Phoenix. Hope you enjoy the ride:

1). Guitar Tree

Just a local family-owned business that finds, repairs and restores used and vintage instruments.

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2). “Release the Fear” Sculpture

Pistols, knives, rifles and other deadly weapons are fused to the base of the sculpture. The sculpture was erected in 2005 in a tiny park at the corner of Central Ave and East Roosevelt St. It is composed of 8 1/2 tons of metal of which 8,000 pounds is from weapons used in violent acts collected throughout AZ. Artist Miley spent 10 years finding sponsors and sources for the building materials. The funder’s names are inscribed on irregular stone slabs on each side. Miley continues to promote the power of education and art to combat violence, running a community awareness program since 1996.

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3). Art made of metal

This was not on the list of Roadside Attractions, but we ran across it as we were driving around and thought it had some interesting characters. As we were looking around, the guy running the store came out and asked if he could help us. We said no, that we were just looking. We asked if these were made here…….No they are imported!

4). Arizona Falls

Arizona Falls is formed by a 20 ft drop along the AZ canal. The canals are a public utility providing a water supply & irrigation to the desert climate. Beginning in 1902 the falls have been used to generate hydroelectric power.

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Water is diverted from the canal into new aqueducts framing each side of the water room. The aqueducts release the water back into the canal creating the waterfalls.

During the excavation of the site, artifacts from the old power plant were discovered. At the rear of the water room, you can see the gears and pipes through the falling water.

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