Jonathan Worthington :: jnthn.net

My 2004 Trip To Arizona

I spent the 15th - 29th July 2004 in the USA, and most of it in Arizona (aside from a day in Nevada, when I went to Las Vegas). This page contains photos of the things I saw there as well as notes to explain what they are (and so that when I look back at this in a lot of years time, provided I'm still about to look back, I can remember what I did when I was young(er)).

Creative Commons License
These photos are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License.

The Saguaro Desert

The first place I visited was the Saguaro Desert National Park. The Saguaro is a type of cactus - the type I'm stood next to in one of the pictures below. Each arm on the cactus represents 50 years of life, so that was one old cactus.

Barrel Cactus
Barrel Cactus
Prickly Pear Cactus
Prickly Pear Cactus
The Landscape Over There
The Landscape Over There
A Saguaro Cactus - And Me
A Saguaro Cactus - And Me
A Beautiful Arizona Sunset
A Beautiful Arizona Sunset

Sax Xavier Mission

Sax Xavier was one of the churches built for missionaries as they traveled north from Mexico and into the USA. It was really beautiful inside - you really have to see it for yourself, but these photos give some idea of what it's like. I was lucky enough to show up there on a day when Kathleen Walker, the author of a book about San Xavier, was there signing copies of her book.

The Front Right Area
The Front Right Area
A Picture From The Back
A Picture From The Back
The Altar Close Up
The Altar Close Up
From The Outside
From The Outside
Me, A Cross & The Mission
Me, A Cross & The Mission
Yup, I Climbed That Thing
Yup, I Climbed That Thing
Me. Again.
Me. Again.

Nuclear Missile Silo

This was pretty impressive - and scary. Just outside Tucson (where I was staying) is a decommissioned Nuclear Missile Silo, where (back in the Cold war) a Titan II missile with a nuclear warhead was stored and ready for launch within 1 minute of the order being given. These were not first strike weapons, but only intended for retaliation. Thankfully, none of them ever got launched. The size of these things was scary - the missiles stood a whole 9 feet tall!

Underground Tunnel
Underground Tunnel
The Launch Control Room
The Launch Control Room
Missile Engines
Missile Engines
Me With A Nuclear Warhead
Me With A Nuclear Warhead
The Missile From Above
The Missile From Above
The Thick Silo Door
The Thick Silo Door

Biosphere 2

Biosphere 2 is basically a massive green house, but completely separated from the rest of the world (e.g. no air or soil exchange) so a completely different climate can be simulated inside. When it was being used for research, teams lived in the Biosphere for months, or even a couple of years in one case, to see if they could be self sufficient in the contained environment. The Arizona heat is very dry, and this was probably the most humid place I went on the entire trip.

Me in the biosphere...
Me in the biosphere...
...and now I'm gone.
...and now I'm gone.
Another shot from inside...
Another shot from inside...
...and yet another.
...and yet another.
From The Outside
From The Outside
Some Random Cows. Moo-hoo...
Some Random Cows. Moo-hoo...
Some Fish
Some Fish

A Trip Up A Mountain

This was from a little trip up a nearby mountain of about 8000 feet. It also had a shop selling some rather nice fudge on the top. Mmmmm... It was quite a lot cooler up the mountain than it was on the desert floor.

A View From "Inspiration Rock"
A View From "Inspiration Rock"
Another View From "Inspiration Rock"
Another View From "Inspiration Rock"
 "Inspiration Rock"  	Me On "Inspiration Rock". What was my hair thinking? :-S
"Inspiration Rock" Me On "Inspiration Rock". What was my hair thinking? :-S
A Pointy Tree
A Pointy Tree
A View From The Road
A View From The Road
Looking Down Towards Tucson
Looking Down Towards Tucson
Rocky Mountain Terrain
Rocky Mountain Terrain
Cool Rox0rs
Cool Rox0rs
Rocky Bridge; Unfinished Road
Rocky Bridge; Unfinished Road
Even More Rocks
Even More Rocks
A Nice Landscape
A Nice Landscape
A Nice View
A Nice View

A Mockup Wild West Town

After visiting a restaurant in this mockup of a wild west town, it was time for me to be a big kid.

A Wagon
A Wagon
Like My Hat?
Like My Hat?
The Sign Reads "Find Ancient Artifacts". Thanks...
The Sign Reads "Find Ancient Artifacts". Thanks...
A Kids Train
A Kids Train
The "Yeah, I'm on the train" Look
The "Yeah, I'm on the train" Look

Colossal Cave

As you might have guessed from the title, this is a rather big cave. Legend has it that some bank robbers once hid $4 million of gold in there after stealing it, then realizing that gold is kinda heavy and just taking the cash. They hid out in the cave for a while, leaving a sheriff out the front thinking he could starve them out of there while taking a back route out, going to another city, bragging about this and getting arrested. D'oh. They tried to get an explanation of where the gold was from the robbers, but wound up shooting them instead. It remains lost until this day...unless it's been found since I was there, of course. The rock structures aren't something I know about. My geological knowledge goes as far as the following quote from a Tenacious D song: "Stalactite: Hold on tight! Stalagmite: Might poke you in the ass". *groan*

Outside The Cave
Outside The Cave
Inside The Cave
Inside The Cave
No, The White Stuff Isn't Snow
No, The White Stuff Isn't Snow
This Has A Name...That I Forgot
This Has A Name...That I Forgot
'Twas Dark In There
'Twas Dark In There
A Fault Line
A Fault Line
A Gap Between Two Rocks
A Gap Between Two Rocks
A Color Variation
A Color Variation
This Possibly Once Held Water
This Possibly Once Held Water
Looking Ahead
Looking Ahead
Jagged Edges
Jagged Edges
A Hole
A Hole
Me In The Cave
Me In The Cave

Sedona

Sedona is in the very pretty red rock area of Arizona, called so because the rocks have a very rich red color. The photos are mostly from Slide Rock, a place that a lot of kids (and bigger kids) go paddling in the not-too-fast-flowing river, sliding into the water off slippery rocks, or running and jumping in from higher ones. I thought this was a really pretty spot and a very worthwhile detour on the road trip up towards the Grand Canyon (this was the first stop on that trip).

The Road To Sedona
The Road To Sedona
Red Rockfaces
Red Rockfaces
To The Left
To The Left
And To The Right
And To The Right
A Nice Little Pool
A Nice Little Pool
The "Main Pool"
The "Main Pool"
The "Main Pool" Reloaded
The "Main Pool" Reloaded
Where's Wally?
Where's Wally?
I Nearly Fell On My Ass!
I Nearly Fell On My Ass!
Looking Down The River
Looking Down The River
A 1931 Apple Shed
A 1931 Apple Shed
Erm... A Hill!
Erm... A Hill!

Along The Road

Here's a few shots from along the road, on the way from Sedona to the Grand Canyon.

Hills And Trees
Hills And Trees
Deer In The Trees
Deer In The Trees
The Deer In Detail
The Deer In Detail

The Grand Canyon

This was one of the highlights of the entire trip; the Grand Canyon is an awesome and awe inspiring place. The National Park that surrounds it is huge, and the area has been kept unspoiled. Watching the sun set over the Grand Canyon has to be one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. I'll let the photos do the rest of the talking, though I think you'd have to be there to really grasp the scale and beauty of this place.

This Guy Was Just Being Cute
This Guy Was Just Being Cute
My First View Of The Canyon
My First View Of The Canyon
An Amazing View
An Amazing View
And Another
And Another
And Yet Another
And Yet Another
Me And The Canyon
Me And The Canyon
Nearby Rock Contrasts With The Darker Canyon Walls
Nearby Rock Contrasts With The Darker Canyon Walls
At The Abyss. If I'd Stepped Back, I'd Have Fell ~ 1000 Feet.
At The Abyss. If I'd Stepped Back, I'd Have Fell ~ 1000 Feet.
 Back, I'd Have Fell ~ 1000 Feet.  	Spot The River (Somewhere Near The Middle Of The Photo)
Back, I'd Have Fell ~ 1000 Feet. Spot The River (Somewhere Near The Middle Of The Photo)
The River Again
The River Again
"Keep Stepping Back, I'll Tell You When To Stop" - Erik
"Keep Stepping Back, I'll Tell You When To Stop" - Erik
Good Close Up Shot...Of The River, Of Course
Good Close Up Shot...Of The River, Of Course
A Sheer Rockface
A Sheer Rockface
The Rock Face Again
The Rock Face Again
The Sun Behind The Clouds
The Sun Behind The Clouds
A Good Shot Of The River
A Good Shot Of The River
The Sun Highlights Nearby Rock
The Sun Highlights Nearby Rock
Me At Hermit's Rest
Me At Hermit's Rest
The Sun Starts To Set
The Sun Starts To Set
Going, going...
Going, going...
Gone. Beautiful.
Gone. Beautiful.

The Grand Canyon Railway

I didn't go on this, but have a liking for railways and took up the opportunity for a few photos before we set off on the next stage of the road trip.

The Steam Locomotive
The Steam Locomotive
The Chuffy And Me
The Chuffy And Me
From The Front
From The Front

The Hoover Dam

The next stop on the trip was the Hoover Dam, located on the Arizona/Nevada border. This dam generates electricity for a couple of big cities (Las Vegas and Phoenix) and still has some left over for other places - pretty impressive! I went on the dam tour, wondered around amongst the many dam tourists and took lots of dam photos. The dam temperature was 120F that day. Enough dam jokes for you yet?

Behind The Dam
Behind The Dam
The Four Pumping Towers
The Four Pumping Towers
An Electricity Generation Plant
An Electricity Generation Plant
The Plant Again
The Plant Again
The Plant From Above
The Plant From Above
The Dam Wall
The Dam Wall
Cars Can Drive Over The Dam Wall
Cars Can Drive Over The Dam Wall
The River After The Dam
The River After The Dam
Tilted Pylons Keep Wires Off (Conductive) Copper Rocks
Tilted Pylons Keep Wires Off (Conductive) Copper Rocks
A Pumping Tower Close Up
A Pumping Tower Close Up
The River Before The Dam
The River Before The Dam

Along The Road Part 2

Here's some pictures taken of a lake I spotted on the road from the Hoover Dam towards Las Vegas. With a little work it might be possible to knock these into a panoramic picture.

The Middle Of The Lake
The Middle Of The Lake
To The Left
To The Left
To The Right
To The Right

Las Vegas

Everything in Las Vegas is centered around gambling. The casinos are massive - I've never seen so many gambling machines in one room and so many people gambling either. It took 5 minutes to walk from one end of one of these rooms to the other - without even spending anything in any of the machines! We didn't have to drive around Las Vegas thanks to the very recent (5 days before our visit) arrival of the new Las Vegas "this thing hauls ass" Monorail. It may not give the smoothest ride, but it sure beats walking or driving up and down the strip. Anyway, here are some photos of the city.

This Is One Really Big Kitty
This Is One Really Big Kitty
"New York, New York" Casino
"New York, New York" Casino
The "MGM Grand" Casino
The "MGM Grand" Casino
A Boat The Sprayed Water
A Boat The Sprayed Water
A Typical Central Las Vegas Scene
A Typical Central Las Vegas Scene
A View Over The City
A View Over The City
A New Building Nears Completion
A New Building Nears Completion
Caesars Palace Hotel
Caesars Palace Hotel
Some Statues - The One At The Front Looks Out Of Place...
Some Statues - The One At The Front Looks Out Of Place...
A Waterfall That Lit Up, Moved And Made Lots Of Noise Once An Hour
A Waterfall That Lit Up, Moved And Made Lots Of Noise Once An Hour

London Bridge At Lake Havasu City

Back in the 1960s, some American with too much money decided to buy a bridge in London, take it apart, ship it all the way over to the USA and then put it back together over one of their rivers. Amusingly, he thought it was tower bridge he was buying, so I think the UK got the last laugh on this one. ;-) This was the last stop on the road trip, apart from a trip to Frys (a massive geek store that I spent over an hour in). The trip covered a total of 1200 miles - and we barely left one state! The USA sure is one big place.

Me And A Statue Thingy
Me And A Statue Thingy
A Fountain, Two Statues And The Bridge In The Background
A Fountain, Two Statues And The Bridge In The Background
The Bridge
The Bridge
The USA Flag, The British Flag And The Arizona State Flag
The USA Flag, The British Flag And The Arizona State Flag
A Dock On One Side Of The Bridge
A Dock On One Side Of The Bridge

An Aircraft Museum

The last thing I visited and took pictures of was an aircraft museum. They had some pretty impressive stuff here, and I've forgotten the names of them all, thus the lack of captions.



















A Few Thank You Notes

My biggest thanks goes to my friend Erik, who invited me to the US, allowed me to stay at his extremely nice apartment, took me to all of the places shown above and more, picked out the best restaurants in Tucson for us to eat at, let me use his nice fast net connection and made the whole trip a lot of fun. It was a great trip - thanks! Credit is also due to Continental Airlines. Sure, the flight wasn't cheap, but they got me there and back, were very friendly and professional and helped me not to get lost at Houston airport where I had to make a connection. Thanks also goes to the JWCS.NET Ltd team who kept things running while I was away, and of course my family and friends for their advice and everything else.


All content Copyright (C) Jonathan Worthington 2003-2006 unless otherwise stated.