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50 States, Day 347

  Mesa to Wickenburg,   57 Miles

"Make rest a necessity, not an objective.  Only rest long enough to gather strength."
~Jim Rohn

After forty-plus capitols, the Arizona one possessed some unique things. It dominated 
the capitol wars with their plethora of memorials. 

The Vietnam memorial was the best ever, except for the big one in Washington, as it displayed plaques of the war. Each one depicted actions of the war in each year, beginning in the forties until the mid seventies, documenting America's longest war engagement. And what a mess, culminating in failure. 

One memorial that intrigued me was the Navajo Code Talkers. These men joined the military and used their native language to foil interceptions and translations, giving them freedom from listening ears that could anticipate our moves. It was considered an unbreakable code.  

The Murdered Children Memorial featured flat markers that reminded me of gravestones with the kids' names on them, their date of birth and death. What a terrible reminder of evil enacted on children. 

The Capitol Building made a statement; it was what they could afford. The second floor grand entry fizzled to a second floor balcony with a simpler and cheaper first floor entry. While most capitols teemed with marble, granite and limestone, the AZ building dressed in a more understated manner. Sure enough, they outgrew it in the sixties, adding a huge wing on the back and two buildings for the legislatures. In 1977 they dedicated it as a museum, and a great one at that.

It featured a room dedicated to the USS Arizona (they must have named the state after it). While the AZ was commissioned for WWI, it was for training and dignitaries' functions, and never entered a battle, until sunk in Hawaii at Pearl Harbor. 

Another room featured the Harvey Girls, a tribute to Mr. Harvey who failed in England at the restaurant business, came to America with an idea, and sold it to the railroad. He operated restaurants at whistle stops with his girls, who were trained and then signed on for six months to a strict code of conduct, bringing a civilization of womanhood to the West. 

A few rooms were decorated to original condition, as well as the House and Senate. 
One room featured a 70's Frank Lloyd Wright rendition of how the next capitol should be designed, but it was way too exorbitant, so it got the axe. Frank. Should have toned it down a bit.  

Outside two other interesting monuments were the Ten Commandments, and the Bill of Rights. With the monuments, memorials and museum (wow, all m's) the Arizona Capitol stood tall as a great visitor's destination. Way to go Arizona! 
We probably spent more time at the AZ Capitol than any of them, both due to it's great features and the fine weather. Mr. Sun was our friend indeed.

We launched and rode through freeways (yuck) to the Carefree Highway and headed to Wickenburg, a nice little town tucked in the desert. 

And now, smarter than ever ever, Quilter Girl!

The desert is really nice in the Spring.  I dragged my summer coat out of the basement today and put back the winter one.  We hopped on the freeway and ran straight to the capitol with the directions that Kevin found during the three hours he was up during the night.  I had trouble sleeping the night before, so it will be really good when we can both get a good night's sleep.  I loved the capitol with all the history and we did find the friendliest people there.  It was great to hear history from real people.  

The trip to Wickenburg was a pleasant one, with a light cloud cover and warm temps.  I was glad to get off of 17 and onto the Carefree Highway which isn't so carefree right now due to construction.  Our angels were looking out for us as there was five miles of one lane highway- not one in each direction, just one lane period.  We must have hit it just right because we only waited 5 minutes to take our turn.  It wasn't until we saw the backup on the other side that we realized that we could have waited up to an hour.  

Wickenburg is a cute little western town that we have driven through many times, but never did more that stop for gas.  We had a great dinner at the Gold Nugget with lots of personal attention as there was only one other customer.  We are now enjoying a desert sunset with the window open to the night air.  I love it!    


Tomorrow we visit the Great One. Who would that be? 

1 comment:

Mel Nason said...

Glad to hear you finally found the Carefree Highway... I'm still waiting for my turn!