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RiverCat Journal : Papago Park

Posted by on November 6, 2012

Current Venue:  Tempe, AZ (Phoenix Area)
Campground: Tempe Travel Trailer Villa

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I accidentally stumbled on the most pitiful marina I’d ever seen today.  I didn’t take any photos of it because I did not want to embarrass the City of Tempe.  Instead, I aimed my camera across the Salt River and snapped a shot of Sun Devil Stadium.  This is home of the Arizona State football team.  Several movie scenes have also been shot here, including Jerry Maguire and Raising Arizona.

papago park, stadium

I’m doing research for my tour guide stint.  Today’s destination: Papago Park.

papago park, trees

Sitting on 1200 acres, it features The Phoenix Zoo,  the Desert Botanical Garden, several small lakes, a fire museum, Hunt’s Tomb, quite a few paths, and Hole-In-The-Rock:

papago park, fort

Hole-In-The-Rock is a red sandstone formation from some 6-15 million years ago.  There is some evidence that a now-extinct aboriginal tribe, the Hohokam, used the opening to track solstices.

papago park, hole

During my few days in Quartzsite a couple months ago, I was on constant lookout every morning for the legendary bighorn sheep that supposedly visited their favorite watering hole at a certain time every morning — never saw them.  Imagine what a thrill it was to see them right in the middle of a major metropolis!

papago park, rams

I actually did almost break into a sprint when I saw them.  Soon after my labors I realized they really weren’t going anywhere.  After all, they’re part of an exhibit — just like these giraffes — at The Phoenix Zoo.  I felt a bit foolish, to say the least.

papago park, giraffe

Hunt’s Tomb.  Memorials generally don’t excite me a whole bunch.  I have even less interest in politicians.  But Hunt’s Tomb is a shiny pyramid, after all — and I love shiny things.  I know little about Governor Hunt’s term in office yet.  However, one thing thing in his biography that sticks out to me is the fact that he actually lived in a cave in Globe, Arizona — and then became president of a company 10 years later.

papago park, tomb

The tomb is also home for his wife, some extended family and, oddly enough — a handful of other governors!

And now — more palm trees…

papago park 1

papago park 2


2 Responses to RiverCat Journal : Papago Park

  1. Pat

    Did you know that Papago had a POW camp in it during WWII? It housed Germans and there was an escape. The Germans made some homemade boats. They figured they could go down the canal to the Salt River and then make there way down to Mexico. The boats did well on the canal. When they came to the river, disaster struck. The Salt River was dry, as it is still today. Some of them just returned to camp. The others were found in downtown Phoenix and other locals. The camp is now an Archery range just to the north of the A’s spring training fields. There’s one building remaining from that era and it’s used as a VFW building close by.

  2. RiverCat

    I sure did! Funny story. I didn’t know one of the buildings remained, however.

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