This is Weird Arizona by Jane St. Clair

June 5th, 2015 · No Comments

by Jane St. Clair

Arizona like everywhere else can be weird. After you live here a while, you understand weird Arizona and things like swamp coolers, sand sharks, jackalopes and ghost towns. As a service to humanity, we will now look at what’s myth and what’s just weird about Arizona.

Gila Monsters
gila_monster_weird_arizonaThis mystical lizard has amazing pink and black markings, and you appreciate its beauty right up until the moment he hisses at you and sticks out his long ugly tongue and then bites your arm like a bulldog. He holds on for dear glory, and people go into Emergency Rooms with Gila Monsters still hanging on them (or so the tale of Weird Arizona goes).

Politically Incorrect Gas Station
Politically Incorrect Gas Station

You probably believe mistletoe is romantic greenery that you hang from your doorway at Christmas as an excuse for a shy lover steal a kiss. Not true! In Weird Arizona, mistletoe is a parasite that kills trees, although its main job is to create scary Tim Burton Forests.

Ostrich Farms and Ostrich Races
Ostrich Race in Weird Arizona by Jane St. Clair
It is absolutely true that weird Arizona has ostrich races.

Paul Bunyan’s Statue in Tucson
Bunyan in weird Arizona Jane St Clair
Since only cactus grow in Tucson, it’s weird that we have a statue of Paul Bunyan in the middle of our town. I mean, he’s all about LUMBER, right?

Car On A Stick In the RainRed Car on Pole in Mayer

Arizona Civil War Battle
Pichaco Peak Civil War Reenactment by Jane St. Clair

Arizona is exactly Scarlett O’Hara territory, but nevertheless it’s true we had a Civil War Battle. Guys dressed like Grant and Sherman with cannons, rifles, and tents re-enact the Battle at Picacho Peak the Battle at Picacho Peak every March.

Hillary Car Not on a Stick And Not in the Rain
Hillary Car in Weird Arizona by Jane St Clair

The Phoenix Mystery Castle
London has Buckingham Palace and France has Versailles, but Weird Arizona has the Phoenix Mystery Castle, decorated with skeletons and anthers and the world’s ugliest pipe organ.

Ghost towns and Desert Debris of Weird Arizona
Nothing ever dies on the desert – things just get abandoned and lay there and slowly turn to dust. Arizonans abandon whole towns, especially once the mine closes, creating ghost towns. weird ghost town Jane St. Clair

Here’s a jail leftover from Wyatt Earp days.

Abandoned Jail - Weird Arizona by Jane St. Clair

Best Skies Anywhere and Thunderhead Clouds
Tucson Sunset by Jane St. Clair
Though some other states call themselves Big Sky Country, Arizona has the best skies anywhere. Thunderheads are beautiful. It can be dry at your house and raining across the street. Thunderheads are amazing.
Thunderhead by Jane St Clair

The Grand Canyon
When the Native Americans warned some wandering Anglos that they would soon come to a big canyon, the Anglos said, “Don’t worry – we know from canyons – we’ll just cross it, no problem.” Guess what?

Grand Canyon in Arizona

It was a big big canyon, unlike any in the entire world. The size, scale, nobility and beauty of the Grand Canyon will overwhelm you –you owe it to yourself to come and see it.

Berra Quote - Weird Arizona by Jane St. Clair

For more on weird stuff in Weird Arizona and all over the United States, see Weird USA.

July 2015: Read Jane’s funny flash fiction “Husky” The Reject Pile

Tags: Arizona · Arizona photography · AZ · Weird Arizona