Monday, April 2, 2018

Still at Quail Ridge (Plus a catch up blog from our time in Why)

(Clicking on the pictures will open them larger in a new window.)
April 2, 2018

We are still parked at Quail Ridge RV and the "plan" is to leave here Wednesday morning. The decision to extend our stay was twofold one we are enjoying it here and are not anxious to move and two I needed to see an Eye Doctor. I started to feel some irritation in my right eye on Friday, plus, with it showing signs of light sensitivity I knew I needed to get it checked out. Especially, when it was not any better this morning. Turns out it is just irritated from the dry Arizona weather. His prediction, it will clear up when I return to the dampness of Michigan. (Have to like a doctor with a sense of humor.) In the meantime, he gave me a prescriptions for some eye drops to bring down the swelling and clear it up. 

Then we took the time to pick up a few more groceries and a couple of other things we needed. After which Tom suggested we enjoy a dinner out. I like those types of suggestions and we decided on the Texas Roadhouse and it was a good meal with leftovers for tomorrow.

Just a couple of pictures from today's ride on AZ-90 just past where I went to the Eye Doctors. We had about 30 minutes to kill so we road as far as the San Pedro Conservation Area.

Always love the road ahead, especially, when I can see shadows of clouds
on the mountains. I believe these are the Mule Mountains in the distance.

The green of the Cottonwoods is always wonderful to see in the distance.

We saw a couple of these "Arizona Evergreens" today. 

The rest of this blog is from when we were parked in Why, AZ at Coyote Howls East RV Park from March 15th through March 23rd 2018. I took these pictures the various times we drove into Ajo. (Warning: there are a lot of pictures.)

We attended Sunday morning Mass at the Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church on March 18th in Ajo. It is a another beautiful church we have enjoyed attending. From what I read it was completed in 1927 and is of the Spanish Revival Style. It is a several years older then the church just south of it which is of a similar style.

Two of the stained glass windows. On the left is what they
look like from outside. 

These signs welcome you to Ajo.
The top one greets you as you drive in from the North.
The bottom one you see as you drive in from the South.

The Tucson Mural Arts Program (TMAP) seeks to create a city wide outdoor gallery of original artworks by matching artists with wall owners. TMAP is a results-based beautification program that involves residents of all ages in the design and painting of murals. We offer a viable solution to social isolation and property damage by working with our community to collaboratively create works of art.

From internet.
Every time I tried to take a picture of  this mural the garage door was up.
Project Organizers in front of Miss Hazzards New Ajo Mural

om March 23rd to March 26th dozens of artists gathered in Ajo Arizona, the heart of the desert, to create over 50 beautiful murals in one weekend. Our feature artist this year was Harriet Wood aka Miss Hazzard from Barcelona who created a massive mural in homage to the desert. 

This coming together of artists, diverse in culture, disciplines and practice - started on the intersection of three nations, the United States, the Tohono O'odham Nation and Mexico. The Ajo Street mural project started in 2015 as artists from throughout southern Arizona created murals of all sizes in the center of Ajo, AZ. The following year (2016) Ajo youth and artists came to Tucson for a Community Build Day event. In 2017 Tucson artists returned to Ajo for our third year of collaborations and mural painting on a large grange. (From information dated April 14, 2017 I found online.)

From the internet

The Grange before.
Prepared for the murals by the Americorps workers.
from the internet













The following murals are in an alley way next to the above Grange. 


The mural below is on building which also borders the alley.
This is on AZ-85 next to the Plaza.
(Moving down the street right to left.)

There are murals and sculptures throughout Ajo and I did find a self-guided tour on line. We did check out a few but there are several others to be found and seen. Plus we did see others that were not in the brochure.

Ghost Riders in the Sky (Ajo Street Art Project)
front of Copper News Building

Rams by Hop David
back of Copper News Building.

Not listed in brochure
this was a store

The three below are on the same building just south of the Grange on AZ-85.
This was not in the brochure.

Not listed in brochure
private residence

Not listed in brochure.
private residence

"Locomotive 268" by Jackie Andes
Created by homeowner to represent his 42 years as a train supervisor.
at private residence

"Liberty" sculpture by Denver Borders
at private residence.

Lizard Flats by daWolf

Scene from 1972 "Pocket Money" with Lee Marvin and Paul Newman.
by daWolf on Napa Auto Center

This is on the other side of the Napa Auto Center.
It mentions a mural on this side in the brochure but nothing else.

This was across the street from the Napa Auto Center.
not in brochure

"The Jungle"  (Ajo Street Art Project)
Southside of Life Enrichment building

Scene from "Night of the Lepus" (Ajo Street Art Project)
on north-side of  Roadrunner Java Cafe.
Many scenes from the movie were filmed in Ajo.

Welcome to Ajo by Carole Hanks and community members.
Next to Shell Station.

Ghost figures of Ajo (These are listed as mixed media sculptures by Val Uschuk in the brochure.)

I had seen these as we drove through Ajo on our way to Why and I was curious as to what they were so we stopped at the Chamber of Commerce and asked. The woman I talked to said, the artist was commissioned to create them for the owner. She mentioned that in making them she uses "found" desert articles that the people she does them for contribute. She also added it started with one set and grew from there. (The woman I spoke with called them Totems but the brochure called them Ghost figures of Ajo.)

Below are the ones we found. The are all unique yet with the same face, as far as I could tell.

The only one listed in the self guided tour is above right.

Ajo is in the Sonoran Desert, tucked away in Western Pima County in Arizona, about 120 miles southwest of Phoenix and 130 miles west of Tucson. Ajo is landlocked with the Tohono O'odham Nation to the east, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument to the south, and the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge and Goldwater Gunnery Range to the north and west. The Plaza, built in 1917, serves as a place of beauty and also the location of many community events such as the traditional 4th of July and Christmas Eve celebrations. The town has been economically depressed since the large open pit mine closed in the 80's following a strike for higher wages. When copper content levels fell, and as the mine grew in scale arsenic was used in the leeching process. The result was devastating. Today arsenic is found in the soil and water, illustrated by the number of rusting cars and equipment. This massive environmental challenge remains the elephant in the room. (from an article dated April 14, 2017 about the murals)

It was fun and interesting searching for and finding the various murals and sculptures around Ajo. Next time we are there we will certainly do more riding around. Ajo is a small community and there are areas that are in need of renovation but you can still see the pride as you drive up and down the streets. 

"I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives.
I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him."
~Abraham Lincoln


  1. Amazing all the murals that keep appearing there in Ajo every year, we enjoy the peace a nd quiet in Why and some of the community activities there as well. So much to see in that area.

    1. For such a small community it is surprising how much is going on there yet like you we find it peaceful and quiet. The art around the town is something.

  2. That's some amazing art. Other towns should take note and maybe do some of the same. Thanks for the cool pictures.

    1. For a small community it is something to see all the murals around the town.

  3. Amazing Pictures! Even though the town itself may be in an Economic Downturn the residents can be proud of their community.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  4. Glad the eye problem wasn't anything worse! The pictures of AJO are incredibly beautiful! Glad you are enjoying where you are and the warmth too I'm sure!

    1. We are definitely enjoying the warmth. The murals are beautiful.

  5. Love the Why and Ajo pictures, the murals are beautiful. Nice that you still have the warmth. Quail Ridge is a nice no-nonsense park. Just camping mainly but maybe Friday night entertainment still?
    Bill has reported some stinging in his eyes recently too, when he is reading but not constant. From a Google search, it is pointing towards dry eyes too. I think eye drops will do the trick so when we get home, he needs to get them checked out. No swelling though at this point.
    Enjoy your down time in the park and take care!

    1. The murals are wonderful to see. We are enjoying still being in the warmth. Hopefully, by the time we head north towards the end of the month things will have improved weather wise.

      The swelling I had was probably from all the rubbing; when it started it felt like there was something in my eye. The doctor felt like the prescription eye drop was a better choice but he did mention if I didn't want to go that route artificial tears would help. Hopefully, when Bill gets it checked out all it is, is dry eyes.