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category_outlined / Travel & Outdoor
Arizona Highways MagazineArizona Highways Magazine

Arizona Highways Magazine November 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.

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editor’s letter

Three words and one ellipsis. Together, they formed a headline that heralded a holiday tradition that’s been celebrated in this magazine for more than 80 years. At the time, Editor John C. McPhee couldn’t have known what he was starting. Most likely, he was just trying to add some black and white pizazz to a publication that was dominated by mileage charts, maps and reports on road conditions. Whatever the impetus, he published five photographs in December 1936, and the headline above them — Yuletide in Arizona … — was our first reference to the holiday season. Turns out, he was on to something. Readers loved the images of “mistletoe clinging to a desert mesquite” and a “snowstorm in a pine forest near Flagstaff.” The demand was strong, so when Raymond…

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DANIELLE GELLER This month’s essay The Beauty of Tall Things (see page 48), about the Navajo Nation’s Canyon de Chelly, is the first contribution to Arizona Highways by Navajo writer Danielle Geller. “It was a subject I had been wanting to write about for almost a year, but had been putting off a little bit,” she says. She also was feeling a little homesick for Arizona: While she’s a Florida native and grew up in rural Pennsylvania, she recently spent time in Tucson, where she earned a master’s degree in creative writing at the University of Arizona. It was there, she says, that she truly felt at home. “On the East Coast, [the perception is] that there aren’t very many of us,” she says, referring to Native Americans. “I think it’s…

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letters WITH REGARD TO your article We Deliver, about hiking the Arizona Trail [September 2018], your readers might like to read about the only equestrian ride to cover the entire length of the trail in one season ( Carol Fontana and her Arabian, Tiki, performed the feat in 2016. As interesting as the hike is from the Picketpost Trailhead, those are actually some of the easier passages. John Hughes, Prescott I was very impressed by Al Cornell, who has mastered the skills of wilderness survival [He Can Take Care of Himself Just Fine, September 2018]. In San Diego County, we have the Barona Indian Reservation. Their museum offers classes on various Native American crafts. The folks there are knowledgeable and patient teachers. It was the yucca sandals in the article that caught my…

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desert spiny lizards

Desert spiny lizards (Sceloporus magister) inhabit large swaths of Arizona’s northeastern and southwestern deserts, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy to spot. These reptiles, which reach lengths of about 5.5 inches (not including a 7-inch tail), are wary of intruders and quick to seek cover in crevices and packrat nests when approached. The lizards’ coloring — gray, tan or brown, with a yellow or orange head — distinguishes them from other spiny lizard species. Males have blue-green belly and throat patches. Additionally, these lizards can change color to regulate their body temperature. When it’s hot, they turn lighter to reflect more of the sun’s rays; when it’s cold, they darken to absorb sunlight. Desert spiny lizards’ diet includes insects, spiders, centipedes and smaller lizards. This one was photographed atop a…

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phoenix sky harbor international airport

It’s hard to believe that when this photo was made in the mid-1950s, Phoenix’s airport was the 10th-busiest in the country. But plenty of things are hard to believe about the history of what’s now known as Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Sky Harbor got its start as a Scenic Airways facility in 1928, but the 1929 stock market crash forced Scenic to sell the airport to an investment firm. Phoenix bought it for $100,000 in 1935, at a time when it was so isolated from the young city that residents nicknamed it “The Farm.” Terminal 1, the building pictured here, didn’t open until 1952. Its control tower was made of fuel storage tanks that were welded together, and it featured a 129-step spiral staircase. It wasn’t long before the growing…

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this month in history

Maricopa County begins a drive to raise money for a memorial to Will Rogers on November 4, 1935. No public memorial to the actor exists in Arizona today, but Historic Route 66 is often referred to as the Will Rogers Highway. On November 6, 1906, Territorial Arizona votes overwhelmingly against joint statehood with New Mexico, with 84 percent of voters opposing the idea. A telegraph line between Yuma and Prescott is completed on November 11, 1873. On November 27, 1928, the West’s longest feed trough, a third of a mile, is completed at Southern Arizona’s Canoa Ranch.…