February 22, 2015
Destination: Midway between Tucson and Phoenix
We left Yuma and found that the desert is turning green. On February 1st all the trees and bushes were brown. Now wildflowers line the road especially in the foothills. We looked for blossoms on the tops of the Saguaros, but we only saw fuzzy white.
Casa Grande seems to be a midpoint equidistant from Phoenix to Tucson, and we arrived in the city early afternoon. Because Casa Grande Ruins National Park is close by, we decided on an afternoon visit to the park. It was amazing to see a sizable structure nearly 700 years old being very well protected from the elements by the park service.
It is believed that the Ancestral People of the Sonoran Desert lived in permanent settlements as early as 300 CE. The landscape is projected to have been totally different at that time. The Ancestral People were able fish and collect shellfish from the nearby Gila River. They were also able to dig irrigation ditches diverting water from the river to their settlement but only with sticks to use as hand tools. What a monumental task! Today, the Gila River is a dry ditch due to the diversion of water for farm irrigation.
Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) are career professionals who are currently pursuing life-long interests in photography and digital imaging techniques, respectively.