Ghost Stories and Legends

There is a local ghost story most Phoenicians’ do not know about. But was so widely talked about back in the late 1800’s that the New York Times wrote a story on it.  It is still said today that you can see the Squaw sitting at the entrance to the cave. The Weird Sentinel at Squaw Peak  (now known as Piestewa Peak) There is a cave under the highest butte of Squaw Peak range, Arizona, Where a party of Tonto Indians was found by white men in 1868. The white men were on the war-path, and when the Tonto fell into their hands they shot them unhesitatingly, firing into the dark recesses of the cavern, the fitful but...

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Leo the Lion

Hollywood comes to Payson Sources: Oral histories and articles by Frank Gillette and Ralph Fisher; article by Joseph Stevens in American West magazine, July/August 1985, page 23. Source: Payson Roundup written by Stan Brown   Although Hollywood film crews had filmed Zane Grey stories on location around Payson in the early 1920s, the year 1927 brought a new rush of Hollywood excitement with the arrival of the MGM mascot, Leo the Lion.   It was never anyone’s plan to bring Leo to Payson when the saga began in the late summer. The movie company had decided to fly their famous trademark lion from Califor...

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Bike-Packing

What adventures are on your bucket list?  Everyone's list is different, I'm sure.  Some people are probably uber-interested in making the trek to Mecca, others may not want to go at all.  Hiking or rafting the Grand Canyon is on more than a few people's bucket lists, as evidenced by the thousands of people doing it every year.  But what about "bike-packing" across Arizona, or America for that matter?   Wait, what's "bike-packing" and how is it different from a bicycle touring adventure?  Well, in short, bike-packing is the off-road version of bicycle touring.  W...

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The Battle of Picacho

The Battle of Picacho by Marshall Trimble (with permission)   Picacho is a steep-sided titanic altar of ancient volcanic remnants, rising several hundred feet into the air some fifty miles northwest of Tucson. Through the ages, it has stood gaunt and grim above the desert floor, acting as a beacon to weary travelers—much the same as Chimney Rock and Independence Rock were for the wagon trains bound for California and Oregon.   Prehistoric Hohokam travelers stopped off on their way to and from commerce dealings further south. Their modernday descendants, the Pima and Papago, did the same. Spanish missiona...

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History of the Grand Canyon

The known history of the Grand Canyon area stretches back 10,500 years, when the first evidence of human presence in the area is found. Native Americans have inhabited the Grand Canyon and the area now covered by Grand Canyon National Park for at least the last 4,000 of those years. Anasazi, first as the Basketmaker culture and later as the more familiar Puebloans, developed from the Desert Culture as they became less nomadic and more dependent on agriculture. A similar culture, the Cohonina, also lived in the canyon area. Drought in the late 13th century likely caused both groups to move on. Other peoples followed, including the Paiute, C...

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