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A Million Little Pieces Of My Mind

Phoenix and the Greater Phoenix Area

By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 2/23/2024
Page Views: 1020
Topics: #Phoenix #Arizona #CentralArizona #Travel
All my adventures and photos taken in and around Phoenix.

Phoenix, Arizona's largest city, happens to be home to more parks and natural areas than any other city in America.

Goldfield with Keith

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 2/29/2020
Posted: 9/24/2022
Page Views: 503
Topics: #Arizona #Goldfield
Keith and I take the Goldfield 'Ghost Town' train around it.

At the eastern edge of the Valley of the Sun is the ghost town of Goldfield. This was once a real town built around a gold mine and its miners, but is now a tourist attraction. It has a small railroad running around it, and tourists can ride to get a 360° look at the place, as well as its Superstition Mountains area.

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Bartlett Lake

By: Paul S. Cilwa Page Views: 2478
Topics: #BartlettLake #CentralArizona #Arizona
All the photos and stories from my visits to Bartlett Lake, located just an hour or so north of Phoenix.

Bartlett Lake, located 48 miles from downtown Phoenix and 17 miles northeast of Carefree, Arizona, is a popular recreation area in the Tonto National Forest. After wet winters, the Bartlett Lake area often has fine displays of spring wildflowers. The facilities at Bartlett Lake are managed by the Forest Service. It's part of the Tonto National Forest and therefore needs a Tonto Forest Pass ($6) per day, whether you are just visiting or camping over night. (But there's no additional charge to camp.)

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Butterfly Wonderland

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 7/15/2018
Page Views: 1533
Topics: #Places #Phoenix #ButterflyWonderland
Butterfly Wonderland features the largest butterfly conservatory in the country with over 3,000 fluttering butterflies!

More than 3,000 butterflies from around the world flutter among the lush tropical plants and flowers, landing for just long enough to capture the perfect photograph. The flowers, trees and plants within the atrium have been chosen precisely for the butterfly species within. Butterfly Wonderland truly is one of the most amazing butterfly conservatories not only in the country, but also in the world.

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Desert Botanical Garden

By: Paul S. Cilwa Page Views: 1021
Topics: #Places #USA #Arizona #Phoenix #DesertBotanicalGarden
The 140-acre Desert Botanical Garden is located in Papago Park in Phoenix.

Founded by the Arizona Cactus and Native Flora Society in 1937 and established at this site in 1939, the garden now has more than 21,000 plants, in more than 4000 taxa, one-third of which are native to the area, including 139 species which are rare, threatened or endangered. Of special note are the rich collections of agave and cacti.

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Downtown Phoenix

By: Paul S. Cilwa Page Views: 1033
Topics: #Places #Arizona #Phoenix #DowntownPhoenix
All about my adventures in downtown Phoenix.

It's no secret that I'm not a fan of urban life and would much rather spend time in rural settings than city ones. Still, since I live next door to Phoenix, it's hard to avoid completely; and even I must admit there are some cool things to see there.

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Dreamy Draw Recreation Area

By: Paul S. Cilwa Page Views: 1094
Topics: #DreamyDrawRecreationArea #Hiking
All about the Phoenix community park.

The Dreamy Draw Recreation Area is the northern part of the Phoenix Mountains Preserve. It's easily accessible to vehicular traffic, being just east of Arizona SR-51 at the Northern Avenue exit. With miles of hiking trails, and hiking access to Piestewa Peak and other mountains in the Phoenix Mountains Preserve.

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Echo Canyon

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 2/19/2012
Page Views: 1013
Topics: #EchoCanyon #CamelbackMountain #Phoenix #Arizona
Jason and I attempt the Phoenix area's toughest hike.

Jason proposed the Echo Mountain hike. "We probably won't make it to the top this first time," he warned. "It's known as one of the toughest hikes in the Valley, especially that last stretch. But the first part of the hike is also tough enough to be a good workout, and it's beautiful so you can take pictures. And we'll turn around whenever you start to get tired or sore."

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North Mountain

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 8/27/2017
Page Views: 994
Topics: #Places #Arizona #NorthMountain #Hiking
Photos of one of Phoenix's little-known gems.

Phoenix is more-or-less flat, which is why our streets can be laid out on such a regular grid. But here and there, in the middle of the urban jungle, mountains pop up, causing a break in the endless neighborhoods and shopping malls where anyone who wishes to enjoy nature, quiet, and solitude may do so. One of those mountains is located just off N 7th Street, in a local park complete with visitor center, lots of free parking, and even a gift shop and snack bar. But, of course, the real reason a person would go, would be communing with nature.

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Piestewa Peak Recreation Area

By: Paul S. Cilwa Page Views: 978
Topics: #Places #PhoenixMountainsPreserve #Arizona #PiestewaPeakRecreationArea #Hiking
All about my trips and photos of this in-city chunk of wilderness.

Phoenix, Arizona, is home to many parks and hiking trails embedded within the city limits. One of these is the Piestewa Peak Recreation Area, which is fortunately located just a couple of miles from my house. Which means, I get to hike there often to appreciate the changes of season which, while subtle in a desert area like this, are nevertheless welcome.

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Pine Loop Trail

By: Paul S. Cilwa Page Views: 941
Topics: #PineLoopTrail #BallentineTrailHead #Arizona #BeeLineHighway
All about my adventures on Pine Loop Trail, along Arizona's Bee Line Highway.

If you'd like to take a stroll among some giant Saguaro cactus and have an afternoon to spend doing it, you can't go wrong with Pine Loop Trail. Located just off state highway 87 (the "Beeline"), just north of Phoenix/Mesa, the trail starts at the Ballantine Trail parking lot. The Ballantine Trail, itself, starts at the other side of the hill, at the far end of Pine Loop Trail, 1½ miles in either direction. But Pine Loop Trail is, itself, a pleasant diversion.

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Salt River

By: Paul S. Cilwa Page Views: 1060
Topics: #SaltRiver #Phoenix #Arizona
Photos and adventures on Arizona's Salt River.

You can swim in it, float on it, and photograph it. Conveniently located to eastern Greater Phoenix, the Salt River provides opportunities for recreation of both the physical and metaphysical kind.

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South Mountain

By: Paul S. Cilwa Page Views: 966
Topics: #SouthMountainRegionalPark #Hiking #Arizona #Travel
All about my visits to the South Mountain Regional Park, including lots of photos.

South Mountain Park in Phoenix, Arizona, is the largest municipal park in the United States, one of the largest urban parks in North America and in the world. It includes over 58 miles of trails for hiking, horseback riding, and cycling, and rises about 1000 feet above the floor of the Valley of the Sun.

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By: Paul S. Cilwa Page Views: 936
Topics: #SuperstitionMountains #Phoenix #Arizona
All my photos and adventures in the Superstition Mountains east of Phoenix, Arizona.

The Lost Dutchman mine may or may not be out there, but there is certainly gold: You see it wherever the Sun kisses the red-yellow rocks.

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Usery Mountain Regional Park

By: Paul S. Cilwa Page Views: 1244
Topics: #Places #Arizona #UseryMountainRegionalPark
A Million Little Pieces Of My Mind

Usery Mountain Regional Park became a park in 1967. Pass Mountain, also known as "Scarface" to the local folks, is the geological focal point of the park. The mountain itself was named for King Usery (sometimes spelled Ussery). "King" was his first name, rather than a title. He was a cattleman who was running stock in the area in the late 1870s and early 1880s. He had a tough struggle to survive and, apparently losing ground, moved up into the Tonto Basin country where his activities, unorthodox, provided him a kind of unwanted security…behind bars.

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White Tank Mountain Regional Park

By: Paul S. Cilwa Page Views: 954
Topics: #WhiteTankMountainRegionalPark #Hiking #Arizona #Travel
All about my visits to the White Tank Mountain Regional Park, including lots of photos.

With more than 26 miles of hiking trails, horseback riding, camping and picnicking, White Tank Mountain Regional Park is far enough from the city to enjoy dark, star-studded night skies, yet close enough for an afternoon's hike.

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