In February’s RV Life, I wrote about Arizona and its centennial year but due to space constraints, there are always things you have to cut. Although I only rafted a mile of the lower and milder part of the Grand Canyon with a group of my Girl Scout Seniors many years ago, I have always been fascinated by the big GC. One of the things on my Bucket List is a real two-week rafting trip through the rapids. I have only done it via the Imax Theatre. Wanna go?
It boggles my mind that John Wesley Powell, the one-armed Civil War veteran, led the first documented exploration of the Grand Canyon in 1869 with nine men and four wooden boats. That is a whole story in itself.
Arizona has everything, Hope, Surprise, Nowhere, Somewhere, and Timbuktu. In 1856, they also had “Ali Haiji and the Camels.” This was not a contemporary rock group, but an experiment with 74 camels brought into this arid country to use as pack animals in building the 1857 wagon road across Arizona. Ali, a Syrian camel driver, came with them. After the project cancellation in 1864, Hi Jolly, as the soldiers nicknamed him, bought camels and started his own freighting business. The fame of this enterprising fellow is registered for all time on a windblown pyramid tomb that declares it is “The last camp of Hi Jolly.” He was born “somewhere in Syria about 1828.” He came to this country in February of 1856 and over the next 30 years, was “a faithful aid to the U.S. government.” He died at Quartzsite December 16, 1902.
How forward thinking is Arizona? In 1981, Sandra Day O’Connor was the first woman Justice to the Supreme Court. Rose Mofford was Arizona’s first woman Governor in 1988. Arizona leads the country with four female governors including current Governor Jan Brewer. Former Governor, Janet Napolitano, is now Secretary of Homeland Security.
Every State has a fascinating history. Sometimes it just takes time to dig it out. God Bless until next week.
Minshall’s RVing Alaska and Canada is available thru Amazon.
At 45, Widow Minshall began 20 years of solo full-time RVing throughout Alaska, Mexico, and Canada. Sharlene canoed the Yukon, mushed sled dogs, worked a dude ranch, visited Hudson Bay polar bears, and lived six months on a Mexican beach. She lectured at Life on Wheels, published six RV-related books and wrote a novel, “Winter in the Wilderness.”