Kofa Mountains Weren’t Always the “Kofa Mountains”

Kofa Mountains, southwestern Arizona, taken by Spirituscanis for Wikipedia.

Q: What happened to the SH Mountains? I can’t find them on any maps anymore.

A: Nothing happened to them. It’s not like they disappeared or something. It’s just that over the years they got renamed, and rightly so. They are now known as the Kofa Mountains, located about 70 miles northeast of Yuma.

The SH Mountains were so named back in the 1800s either by miners or soldiers who noticed that from a distance they resembled outhouses. I will leave it to you to figure out what SH stood for. Suffice it to say, it is not a word one would expect to read in this newspaper.

The Big Indian Head of Winslow

Totem in Winslow

WINSLOW – Peter Wolf Toth arrived in Winslow in 1979, intent on adding one of his art works to the city’s landscape. When he left about four months later, he had turned a single ponderosa pine log into a 30-foot tall Indian head, and he left it there for posterity. The work was one in Toth’s series of giant heads that he carved in every state and four Canadian provinces. He called the effort “The Trail of the Whispering Giants,” and dedicated it to what he considered the mistreatment of Native Americans by early settlers and the federal government.

Why Don’t Palm Trees Blow Down in the Wind?

Palm Trees

Q: Why don’t palm trees blow down in strong wind as often as other trees do?

A: I thought this was going to be an easy one, and I was prepared to pad it out with a lot of cheap jokes about my masters.

Instead, it got kind of complicated, so I had to cut out the jokes, which is just as well because I would have had to explain them to my masters anyway.

This is the deal: Palm trees are monocots as opposed to other trees, such as paloverdes or oaks, which are dicots.

Kim Stone, a horticulturist at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum near Superior, went to some pains to explain the differences to me. He is a very patient man.

Arizona Geography Trivia: Can You Pass?

Test your knowledge of Arizona Geography with this short quiz, originally published in Marshall Trimble’s Official Arizona Trivia. Don’t scroll down too quickly. The answers are posted shortly below the questions. When you’re finished, leave a comment with your score. Did any answers surprise you?

1. Name one of three Arizona dams named after U.S. Presi­dents.

2. What mountain range is north of Tucson?

3. What Indian reservation is located completely within the boundaries of another?

Why Does Downtown Phoenix Seem to Have Two Downtowns?

City of Phoenix Downtown, AZ

Q: Why does Phoenix seem to have two downtowns — one “downtown” and then another grouping of high-rises farther north along Central Avenue?

A: Because many years ago, the city fathers and mothers thought big.

Unfortunately, they also thought wrong, or at least incorrectly.

The result is today we have a downtown downtown and downtown uptown, although we know of people who think of anything south of Northern Avenue as being practically the inner city.

According to Dave Reichert, head of the Phoenix Planning Department, back in the 1960s, when we only had one downtown and it was downtown, the city’s leaders had dreams of grandeur.