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 / Travel & Outdoor
Arizona Highways Magazine

Arizona Highways Magazine February 2018

For more than 90 years, Arizona Highways has delighted readers with award winning journalism and photography, reflecting Arizona’s stature as one of the top vacation destinations around the globe. Every issue showcases the most amazing photography and valuable information you need to enjoy the unique and diverse travel destinations in and around the state.

United States
Arizona Department of Transportation
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4 min.
editor’s letter

WHEN YOU HEAR HIS NAME, you might think he’s a movie star. A cowboy actor. “Now playing in select theaters: The Lone Rider From Madera Canyon, starring Dennis Chandler.” He’s not from Hollywood, though. Dennis Chandler came to Arizona on a Greyhound in 1946, and then served 12 years in the Navy and another 34 years with the U.S. Postal Service. He retired in 2004, but he isn’t sitting around watching old Westerns. He’s too busy gathering history. “You name it — if it’s Arizona and collectable, I collect it,” he says. In all, Mr. Chandler has amassed more than 3,000 books on Arizona history and almost every issue of Arizona Highways. On the day before Thanksgiving, he drove to our world headquarters and shared one of his rare copies:…

2 min.

EIRINI PAJAK Botanists Wendy Hodgson and Andrew Salywon have made the survival of domesticated agave species (see In Search of Ancient Agaves, page 38) a focus of their careers. But Eirini Pajak, who photographed this month’s story on that subject, found herself focusing on a different kind of survival: her own. “I can’t emphasize the sweltering temperatures enough,” she says. “I reached my physical limit more than once, but even when I was functioning well enough to photograph what was going on, the light was often stark and unforgiving.” Despite the challenges, Pajak accompanied the botanists on several summer trips in search of the rare plants. The assignment was a natural fit, given Pajak’s own background in botany. “I’m generally more interested in wild plants, but I found myself especially drawn…

4 min.

editor@arizonahighways.com WITH EACH TURN OF THE PAGE of your December 2017 issue, the adjectives keep popping into my head: wow, stunning, awesome. There are so many “almost favorites,” but my favorite photograph is Derek von Briesen’s on pages 16-17. It’s so beautiful it brings me to tears. Arizona Highways has outdone itsself with this issue. How can you ever top this? Ellnora Young, Roseburg, Oregon Chris Gall’s fabulous cover scarcely prepared me for the astonishing photos of Monument Valley inside [December 2017] — a superb Christmas present to all of us. I bless the Navajo people as they care for this inspiring, spiritual treasure, and thank you and everyone at Arizona Highways for sharing your obvious love of creation that’s spread out before us. Bill Wheeler, Palm Springs, California I just finished scanning the December…

1 min.
virginia rails

As this photo indicates, Virginia rails (Rallus limicola) prefer to run, rather than fly, to escape predators. And they’ve evolved accordingly: Rails have the highest ratio of leg muscle to flight muscle of any bird. Many rails are flightless, but Virginia rails do take to the air for short trips or to migrate. They’ll also use their wings to swim underwater. These secretive birds usually are found in marshes, hidden in dense vegetation. The species’ bill is ideal for probing water and mud in search of insects, fish, frogs and small snakes. Virginia rails live in Northern Arizona in summer and Southern Arizona in winter. In the western part of the state, they’re year-round residents.…

2 min.
scottsdale general store

Whether you’re looking for Western art, Native American jewelry or a Dusty Road sundae at the Sugar Bowl, Old Town Scottsdale has you covered. Around the turn of the 20th century, though, Scottsdale’s retail options were significantly more limited. In fact, the building in the photo above was the only game in town. In 1897, J.L. Davis opened Scottsdale’s first commercial enterprise: a general store and post office near the present-day intersection of Main Street and Brown Avenue. Another photo, from shortly after the store was built, shows people standing in a field next to the store. At the time, that was the center of town, and the only other buildings visible are tent homes built by Scottsdale’s early residents. Eventually, the store changed hands. After Sarah Coldwell Thomas bought it from…

1 min.
this month in history

▪ On February 6, 1899, a bill establishing Flagstaff’s Northern Arizona Normal School — now known as Northern Arizona University — is introduced in the Territorial Legislature. ▪ John Ross Browne, an artist and author who wrote about his extensive travels in Territorial Arizona, is born in Ireland on February 11, 1821. ▪ On February 17, 1951, the front page of Tucson’s Arizona Daily Star reports that despite high beef prices, organized cattle rustling remains rare in Arizona and other Western states. ▪ President Woodrow Wilson establishes Grand Canyon National Park on February 26, 1919, making the natural wonder the country’s 17th national park. 50 YEARS AGO IN ARIZONA HIGHWAYS Stories about Santa Cruz County filled the pages of Arizona Highways’ February 1968 issue. Readers learned about Mission San Jose de Tumacacori, Nogales, the fence…