Day 3: Nov. 16, 2003
Detour in KY



With more time and less traffic, I could check out Tucson closer than I had Friday but nothing new really caught my eye. On Friday, I had spotted the statue of Francisco Villa as I was heading out of the city congestion and even then it seemed familiar. Maybe it is used as a symbol of Tucson or maybe it's just a popular image. It was presented to the state of Arizona by Mexico's president in 1981. It sits in Veinte de Agosto Park, which I believe may also be called Echo park, between Congress and Broadway. The rattlesnake walkway crosses over Broadway and is also something I had noticed on Friday but couldn't work in a picture. Even Roller Coaster Road is something that was spotted on Friday although I certainly had not planned on seeing it today. After I had cruised through downtown Tucson a few times, I returned to I-10 with the idea of more or less following it to Phoenix. Construction on I-10 brought north bound traffic to a crawl and eventually to a halt. Just beyond the where I was brought to a full stop, an exit lead to US 77. That is the road that had brought me to Tucson from Biosphere 2 and I knew it would lead me toward Phoenix and figured it was definitely better than sitting still. When I spotted Roller Coaster Road as I again left Tucson, I remembered seeing it on Friday and decided that today I ought to see if it matched its name. It's no Kings Island Beast but it's not bad.

I followed AZ-77 to Oracle Junction where AZ-79 begins. On Friday, I had entered 79 from Park Link about 10 miles north of its end at 77. Today, I drove the entire length of it From Oracle Junction to US-60. The southern end of 79 is named the Pinal Pioneer Parkway but it loses this designation somewhere south of Florence. At the edge of the parkway, the spot where Tom Mix died in 1940 is marked with this monument.

Just short of Florence, this leaning tower triggered a turnaround for a picture and that led to a short refreshment break. The Chuckwagon, I soon learned, was the next to last stop on a motorcycle poker run. I never did learn if there was any significance to the tower although I'm fairly certain that the lean is not by design.

The town of Florence was not quite as large as I had anticipated but is home to an interesting court house. It seemed to be a good day for four wheel as well as two wheel cruising and I just caught this group of PT Cruisers ready to head out for a drive that would end at a member's home for a barbeque. The cars were lined up in the parking lot of a "prison outlet" selling items made by inmates. Some nice wood & leather items were available but I did not made a purchase and was embarrassed to discover that I had no picture of the store.

The name of the city of Phoenix was chosen because it is built on the "ashes" of a previous city. That city was occupied between 700 A.D. and 1400 A.D. by the Hohokam. The remains of this settlement can be seen at the Pueblo Grande Museum near the airport and even nearer the rental car drop off. I have long been aware of this and today presented a great opportunity to visit. Admission is free on Sunday but is only two dollars on other days. Quite the bargain. Inside the museum building, a film and several displays present information on the Hohokam and that provides some very good background for a walk through the ruins outside. Some of the structures are original, now stabilized and protected, and others, such as the igloo like hut, are modern reproductions. The last picture shows how the remnants of the Hohokam are surrounded by the city of Phoenix and how mountains surround Phoenix.

Even with the museum visit, I was at Phoenix Sky Harbor nearly two hours before my flight's scheduled departure. I soon learned that this would be delayed just over an hour due to weather in Sacramento where the plane was coming from. That hour turned into 90 minutes and then to a little more than two hour by the time we actually left the ground. The plane was scheduled to land shortly before midnight so it was close to 2 A.M. when we approached touchdown in Louisville. Suddenly the plane accelerated and the landing gear retracted. Fog was to blame, the pilot explained. We could not land in Louisville anytime soon so it was off to Chicago's Midway. Possibly just to refuel or possibly to stay. To stay it was to be. Off of the plane, retrieve luggage, wait in line for "arrangements". It was around 3 A.M. when we landed and 3:30 was soon there. When I finally reached the front of the line, I learned that I had been rebooked on a 6:35 flight; The first plane to Louisville. I was offered a hotel but, with less than three hours before the scheduled takeoff, that hardly seemed worthwhile. I chose to hang out at the airport and occupied my sleepy self with some work on this page.

[Prev] [Site Home] [Home] [Next]