2005 Globe, AZ
My niece from New Jersey is getting married in mid October and my girls were invited to take part in the wedding, so my mom made them dresses to were for the occasion. Problem was the timing got to be a little tight and I needed to pick up the dresses. Mom and Dad live in Globe which is about 60 miles from Chandler by air or a 90 minute car ride up into the mountains. Being that I'd not flown Blonde Streak to Globe yet, Susan and I decided to fly up Tuesday morning, October 11 and get the dresses. Well, while taking the girls to school that morning, one of them got sick and I had to bring her home. Susan ended up staying at home and I made the flight alone. I left Chandler at 9:05am and flew direct. I chose to stay below the Phoenix Class B airspace at 3500 feet and then started to climb as the course took me over the desert toward the town of Superior which lies at the base of the Pinal mountain range. I stayed north of the actual peaks of the mountains which rise up to just over 7800 feet in altitude, and just over 4000 feet above the surrounding terrain. I climbed to 6500 feet to clear the pass and then had clear view of the airport ahead. As I descended into Globe (P13 - San Carlos Apache airport) I took the following photo as I flew right downwind for runway 27. North of the airstrip and across the highway is the Apache Gold Casino.
My parents and older brother Jeff who also lives in Globe were waiting for me, but didn't see me land until I was rolling out after landing. They were looking for me to do a straight in approach to runway 9 and totally missed my approach. The flight took 30 minutes from engine start to shutdown. The airport building are in pretty bad shape and boarded up but the runway, taxiways and apron were all in good shape. The casino is what most people fly in there for I suppose. I only saw three planes - all Cessna's - parked on the ramp still in flying condition. A Lear jet that had the wings and engines removed as well as being gutted of its interior was parked on the ramp and a very large twin engine amphibian was also sitting partially disassembled at one end of the apron. I chatted with my family for about 45 minutes before I loaded up the dresses and headed back out for the return trip.
The Globe/Miami area of Arizona is a big copper producing area and the strip mines mar the scenery. The poor mining economy has hit the area pretty hard the past few decades and Miami seems to be all but a ghost town anymore. Globe is the country seat for Pinal county and is in a little better shape. The largest man-made lake in Arizona - Roosevelt Lake - lies north of the town about 30 miles away. I departed runway 27 climbing to 7500 feet. On my way out of town I snapped a few pictures. The first is looking down on my parents home in Six Shooter Canyon - don't you just love that name? Right out of the old west! The next is the strip mine and the following two photos show the Ponderosa pines of the Pinal mountains and areas beyond.
Crossing the mountains I experienced some pretty strong leeward turbulence. Once over the top I began my descent back into the valley while passing over Superior again. A large mountain called Picket Post Mountain sits south and west of the town rising above the surrounding terrain. The first picture below shows the mountain. Superior is also a mining town and has some neat history and a legend as well. The legend of Apache Leap Mountain, east of town by the Queen Creek Bridge and Tunnel goes something like this. Sometime around the 1870’s, a group of 75 Apache warriors were cornered at the top of the mountain by the US cavalry detachment from Camp Pinal. The Apaches were unwilling to face the humiliation of surrendering, so instead they jumped from the mountain to their death on the rocks below. Visitors traveling by will see the mountain face is streaked with red. The legend doesn’t end there, though. Upon hearing of the deaths, the Apache women became so upset that they cried tears that turned to stone. Today, there are black, glassy stones (obsidian) that can be found nearby that have been appropriately named “Apache Tears.”
The final picture below is a distant shot of the Superstition Mountains. The small spire in the very center of this picture is called "Weaver's Needle" and is associated with the legend of the Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine.
The return trip took a little longer as I diverted to the south a bit to avoid some Class D airports and just enjoy the flight without having to "communicate" with anyone. 40 minutes start to finish and Blonde Streak was back at home in Chandler.