Scottsdale’s Planet Ranch a Costly Goof

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 April 1, 2001.) Q: We were exploring some back roads in western Arizona when we came to a locked gate with a sign reading, “Planet Ranch, City of Scottsdale.” What is Scottsdale doing in La Paz County? A: Ah, Planet … [Read more...]

Mining the Past at Castle Dome City

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There was a time when Castle Dome City was bigger than Yuma, but those days are long gone. So is most of Castle Dome City. Fortunately, Allen Armstrong and his wife, Stephanie, are collectors, and what they collect is history in the form of old buildings. As a result, Castle Dome City lives on. In a way. The Armstrongs have collected and restored more than 20 old … [Read more...]

Lieutenant Amiel Whipple’s Good Deed Saved 47 Lives


Excerpt from Arizoniana by Marshall Trimble, the state’s official historian. On a hot afternoon in 1849 not far from the Yuma River Crossing, a small party of Army Topographical Engineers came upon a young Indian girl wandering in the desert. She was nearly dead from exposure, hunger and thirst. Many would have left the youngster to her fate. It was a tough, unforgiving land … [Read more...]

The Big, Bad Bulldog of Winslow

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Dog parks are not unusual in Arizona, but there's one in Winslow that takes the concept up to a higher level. It's called Bulldog Park because it's home to what may be the world's largest bulldog. The site is on a strip of land that covers no more than 150 square feet and was formerly a weed-filled boulevard. But a local committee cleaned it up and installed what appears to be … [Read more...]

Why Do Sun City Folks Put Rocks On Mailboxes?


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 December 10, 2000.) Q: We recently moved here from Pittsburgh, and we have an extremely important question about Sun City West: Why do residents put stones on their mailboxes? A: We have heard of stones on … [Read more...]