Centuries before Europeans knew of the vast American deserts, the Ancient Sonoran People thrived in a harsh desert environment here in what is now central Arizona. Near the town of Coolidge, between Phoenix and Tucson, is the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, established as the nation’s first archeological preserve in 1892. At the visitor center we learned how the ancestors of the Hopi, the Zuni, and other Native Peoples dug irrigation canals, developed an agricultural lifestyle, developed a sophisticated community, and built impressive structures utilizing just wood and stone tools, local materials, and manpower. They had no beasts of burden and no wheels. And we got to gaze at the imposing structure they created here from caliche, the local fine grained, calcium rich soil, and at the surrounding desert and ponder the challenges and rewards of their lives. On our return to Picacho KOA we paused for a Taco Salad at Tag’s Cafe and to replenish our food stock at Shope’s IGA. As we drove past fields and fields of Arizona Cotton on our way through Eloy we pondered the magic of this water hungry crop having been cultivated, spun, and woven by the ancient Sonorans and still a major part of the local economy today.

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At Home in Medina

At Home in Medina

In October we decided to make Medina our new hometown and have been embracing its charms while setting into our new apartment