Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Arizona Justice League Rides Again - Bumble Bee Ghost Town

The second expedition of the Arizona Justice League of Photographers is now in the books.

We met early Saturday morning at a park in West Phoenix. The fun began when Clif the Lawyer rear ended Eric the Wedding Guy's van and they nearly got into a fistfight. OK, maybe they didn't almost get into a fist fight. Maybe Clif didn't rear end Eric. Maybe they were just deciding who was going to follow who. As far as I'm concerned, the fist fight story is a lot more interesting.

Our destination was Bumble Bee, an old stage coach post about half way between Phoenix and Prescott. The road was rough...

and treacherous.
I had the opportunity to be scared to death. Did I mention I'm terrified of heights?
The town was so minute we literally caravanned right through. Eric suggested we take a few desert shots before heading back to Bumble Bee.
Notice how the Palo Verde tree has wrapped itself arounf the Saguaro cactus in the above photo.
Not something you see every day.

Saguaros are a magestic site to behold. Every time I stand next to a Saguaro I'm reminded from a news story from a few years back. A couple of kids brought their shot guns out to the desert to do some shooting. They stood at the base of a Saguaro and blasted away. The cactus fell on them and they were killed instantly. Guess those Saguaros are heavy. Sometimes Mother Nature fights back.

Speaking of Mother Nature fighting back, check out the gorgeous Prickly Pear Cactus. They were everywhere.

I decided to slice one of the pears off the cactus with my handy Swiss Army knife. Then I asked Eric the Wedding Guy to hold it so I could take a picture. Eric and yours truly soon found out why they call it the Prickly Pear Cactus. The pear you see above is covered with hundreds, perhaps thousands of fine razor sharp barbs that are invisible to the eye. You don't feel them going in but once they're in they sting like nobody's business and they're really hard to remove. You learn something every day and I guess sometimes you got to learn the hard way. Thanks again for helping me out with the photo, Eric.

Old barbed wire fences were ubiquitous.
Darn, I love it when I get to use the ubiquitous in a sentence.
Here's Rick the I.T. guy and Clif the Lawyer snapping away. Did I mention it get's really hot in the desert?

Established in 1879, Bumble Bee was originally called Snyder's Station. Founded by a character by the name of W.W. Snyder, (no known relation to renounded blogger, W.Z. Snyder) the town was a stop on the Phoenix to Prescott stage coach line.

The town died out when a Phoenix to Prescott rail road put the stage coach line out of business.

Bumble Bee, Arizona rose from the dead in the 1930s.

Entrepreneurs built a ghost town and gift shop on the site.

The ghost town tourist attraction didn't last long and what remains is a ghost town of a ghost town.

A handfull of gritty Arizona still inhabit Bumble Bee.

The microscopic town actually has a modest functioning school house.

I guess Bumble Bee is the a great place for people who love the desert and don't care for crowds.

The Justice League finished up the day with a few pictures and lunch in Rock Springs. I'll do a posting on phase II of the adventure later this week. I'll also post some amazing shots by the league's legitimate photographers.
As far as the Justice League of Photographers go, I'm the novice of the group, but I suppose I'm picking things up as I go. Come to think of it, I'm learning not to pick up prickly things.


Guely of Sweden said...

And to think that jaguars were roaring those deserts once...

#167 Dad said...

I think they were Swedish-South American jaguars...

Bluesfrau said...

Wow! What a thrill! Thanks so much for sharing the pictures.
What about the snakes in the Arizona desert? Did you guys have to wear according shoe gear in order not to get bitten?
I remember my days in the French Pyrenees - one shouldn't wear sandals when hiking... once I came across a long, green Python.

Bluesfrau said...

Where the jaguars are concerned - it's a shame what is being done to wild animals by human hand. It's a shame what arrogance industry has to kill beings that have as much of a right to inhabit the lands as any other being.
Humans need to learn not to be as devastating as they are. They kill off the natural balance of this planet by killing creatures that co-exist with them.

David C. said...

Thanks for these pics. It's all very interesting. I have relatives in Tucson but haven't been out there since I've gotten more interested in photography.

A town that becomes a ghost town, that becomes a fake ghost town, that becomes a ghost town again, that has people living in it--priceless!

Rick Rivers said...

The Saguaro story is an example of supreme justice. Why shoot one? They should shoot their foot instead. The cactus pears are edible and delicious but there is a skill to skinning them. Gotta know what you're doin. See my post "Poor Man's Food".

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Bumble Bee. I like it better as a ghost town than a touristy place. Sounds like a great day had by all.

#167 Dad said...

Us Arizona Pitchur Takers'r too dumb to be ascared a rattlers...

Nice descrption of Bumble Bee...

I will check back with your posting. Those pears did look good enough to eat.

Thanks for stopping by.

kavita said...

Fist-fight...woo.Thanks for an incredible virtual tour..i liked this post so much that i requested my husband to have a look ...we both think that your blog rocks !!!

#167 Dad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
#167 Dad said...

Thanks to you and your husband for the kind words. And without doubt, your block rocks too.

#167 Dad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Guely of Sweden said...

Bumble Bee... There can be beauty in desolation. We've have seen so much of America (which i like for so many reasons)that places we've never seen for real,can look familiar. Thank you for the ride, amigo!
And the fruit is called "Tuna" in spanish. A whole art to skin it!

William Wren said...

Hi pleased to meet thee, Id appreciate your comments on this thing what I wrote within the realm of my blog