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.