I am an Arizona native (yes, we really do exist!). I have never lived anywhere else, and honestly I can’t picture myself living anywhere but in the desert. I love Arizona. I fiercely defend her when people who have re-located here from Eastern states complain that there are no seasons. Or, when they say they miss the trees and that the desert is brown and unattractive. Or, when national news portrays us in an unflattering light.
I wanted to share a list to celebrate her 100th birthday of some of the amazing things that I have witnessed on my journeys around this remarkable landscape, things that are uniquely Arizona:
Snow falling at the Grand Canyon.
The faithful leaving their prayers on Saint Francis at the Mission San Xavier del Bac.
Ghost hunting in Bisbee.
Watching the full moon rise over Lake Powell while sitting atop a houseboat.
Having butterflies land on you in the Marshall Butterfly Pavilion at the Desert Botanical Garden.
Eating rattlesnake at Rawhide’s Steakhouse – tasted like chewy chicken!
Picking armloads of wildflowers during springtime in the McDowell Mountain Regional Park.
Watching Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Virgil and Morgan Earp come to life as they fight the McLaurys and Clantons at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone.
Standing in front of the piano that John Lennon composed “Imagine” on at the Musical Instrument Museum.
Hiking to the top of Piestewa Peak and taking in the amazing view of Phoenix.
Sitting at Fort Huachuca holding a hummingbird in your hand after it was banded to track its migration pattern.
Riding in a Hummer through the desert at night and then stopping to look for nocturnal creatures with night vision goggles.
Visiting Taliesin West and seeing Frank Lloyd Wright’s vision of a personal winter home, studio and architectural campus come to life.
Driving through Saguaro National Park on the Saguaro East scenic drive.
Watching a Broadway show (or any show!) at ASU’s Gammage Auditorium (also designed by Frank Lloyd Wright).
Eating a Big Dawg at Chase Field, with the roof open, while watching a Diamondbacks game.
Tubing down the Salt River.
Visiting Four Corners Monument and putting your hands and feet each in a different state.
Seeing more than 800 kinds of cacti at Boyce Thompson Arboretum.
Shopping at Farmers’ Markets in January and February (sometimes in shorts!).
Watching a haboob roll in!