What’s That After-Rain Aroma in the Valley?

Creosote

Excerpt from Valley 101: A Slightly Skewed Guide to Living in Arizona, a collection of Clay Thompson’s columns for The Arizona Republic. (Originally published September 3, 2000.) Q: What exactly causes that fresh/earthy scent when it rains in the Valley? It’s a real distinct scent, not flowery or sweet, but more like a fresh, clean smell. A: Your question worked its way … [Read more...]

The Birds of Santa Cruz County

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Santa Cruz County is for the birds. That's not a criticism. It's a compliment. Literally and figuratively, birds are a major component of the Santa Cruz Tourism Council's effort to draw visitors to the state's smallest county. The area is well known as a birders' hot spot, and that's probably why birds of another feather have landed in 1o different locales. They are all … [Read more...]

A Greek Monastery In the Arizona Desert

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St. Anthony's Greek Orthodox Monastery is an almost miraculous oasis in an otherwise flat piece of Arizona desert near Florence. In less than two decades, the monks who live there have built churches, chapels, housing units, maintenance facilities, rotundas, fountains and sandstone walkways and converted an otherwise arid piece of ground into a lush, almost tropical, garden … [Read more...]

Doc Flower: One of Old Arizona’s Great Con Men

Gold Rock

Excerpt from Arizoniana by Marshall Trimble, the state’s official historian. Today's disreputable land promoters selling lake shore lots on edges of mirages are mere amateurs when compared to the wheeler dealers of yesteryear. The lawless Arizona territory attracted the wide gamut of frontier con men ranging from tin horn gamblers to stock swindlers. One was Doctor … [Read more...]

Do Your Feet Get Bigger When You Move to the Desert?

people foot and  desert ground

Excerpt from Valley 101: A Slightly Skewed Guide to Living in Arizona, a collection of Clay Thompson’s columns for The Arizona Republic. (Originally published May 14, 2000.) Here at Valley 101 headquarters, white-coated lab technicians have been working round-the-clock to answer one of the greatest questions ever to cross the Valley 101 transom: Do your feet get bigger … [Read more...]