The Desert Center: A Special Pinnacle Peak Secret
Apr26

The Desert Center: A Special Pinnacle Peak Secret

From A Peek at the Peak Magazine, October 1997 Fewer than 100 people lived in the Pinnacle Peak area in the late 1970s. That is when Florence Nelson began travelling to local schools to educate kids about the desert. The work done by the Desert Center she started is an important part of the heritage of Scottsdale’s Desert Discovery Center. The Desert Center, which was managed for years by Scottsdale residents Donna and Dave Ropp...

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Ft. McDowell Patrol Report, May 9th, 1870
Mar31

Ft. McDowell Patrol Report, May 9th, 1870

Ft. McDowell Patrol Reports Edited by Bob Mason   This is one in a series of rare patrol reports written by the officer in charge immediately after the return to McDowell. They offer a first hand look at a soldier’s life there in the 1860s. The exact grammar and punctuation are reproduced. Parenthetical notations have been made by the editor for clarity, except for numerals, which were included by the officer writing the report....

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Betty Blake’s “Mac The Pack” Has Write Stuff
Feb14

Betty Blake’s “Mac The Pack” Has Write Stuff

This article by Betty Blake was originally published in the September 2006 issue of A Peek at the Peak magazine.  It was published because judges selected it as the winner of The Peak’s 2006 Write Stuff contest. Of the five judges, I was the only one who knew that as an American Betty Blake had the “right stuff.” I have not seen her in several years and I just learned from Wikipedia that she died in 2015 at age 95....

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An Interview with Betty Blake
Feb14

An Interview with Betty Blake

An Interview with Betty Blake  From A Peek at the Peak, January 2006 issue  Prologue  North Scottsdale resident Betty Blake served in the military as a pilot from October 1942 through December 1944. As one of the first female military pilots, she helped breakdown cultural barriers within the military and pave the way for the many female pilots who serve our country today. The interview below is from Since You Asked, Arizona Veterans...

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Four Ole Cowpokes Looking for Shelter
Jan29

Four Ole Cowpokes Looking for Shelter

By J. Douglas Hinds   Four of us were headin’ east The sky overcast and gray There was Jack, Bill, Dave and me Out looking for some strays   Sure enough those clouds got mean And it didn’t take us long The rain was easily felt and seen So we put our slickers on   But the rain was easy ridin’ As we rode along the trail Until that bolt of lightnin’ When the rain gave way to hail   Those horses froze...

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Scottsdale’s Don Pablo and the House of Relics
Dec01

Scottsdale’s Don Pablo and the House of Relics

Based on the December 1997 A Peek at the Peak Article, “The Saga of the Last of the Mountain Men” by Don Schoenau Edited by Les Conklin   Imagine a vast expanse of remote desert in Maricopa County separating the small farming town (Scottsdale) and the tiny village of (Cave Creek). Imagine present day Scottsdale Road and Pinnacle Peak Road as dirt tracks cutting through a saguaro-studded landscape populated by many more cattle and...

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Naming the Salt River
Oct31

Naming the Salt River

By Bob Mason The stream we now call the Salt River has had many names since Coronado’s men crossed its headwaters in 1540. They called it “Rio de las Balsas” or, The River of the Rafts.  On various other Spanish maps it has been called the Rio de las Asuncion, Azul, Prieto, Compuesto, Salado and Salinas. In 1826, the Pattie brothers trapped in the Mesa area and called it the Black River and Kit Carson, three years later, called...

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Mid-Air B-24 Crash: Part 3. Poscript
Sep15

Mid-Air B-24 Crash: Part 3. Poscript

Mid-Air B-24 Crash This article has been published in three parts. This is the last part. Editor Mid-Air B-24 Crash: Part 1. 1944 Collision Seen by Local Ranchers Mid-Air B-24 Crash: Part 2. Search for Crash Site Part 3. Postscript By Bob Mason The story of this search was written and published in the Fountain Hills newspaper in May of 2001. A week later, a local businessman who belonged to a World War II Bomber Group called the...

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Mid-Air B-24 Crash: Part 1. 1944 Collision Seen by Local Ranchers
Aug08

Mid-Air B-24 Crash: Part 1. 1944 Collision Seen by Local Ranchers

Mid-Air B-24 Crash By Bob Masona Prologue This article will be published in three parts. The entire article will be published by the middle of August. Editor Mid-Air B-24 Crash: Part 2. Search for Crash Site – Published 8/4/2015 Mid-Air B-24 Crash: Part 3: Postscript – To be published by 8/15/2015 Part 1. 1944 Collision Seen by Local Ranchers In February of 1944 observers on the Ft. McDowell reservation and a few isolated...

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Arizona Cowboy: How the Grand Canyon was Formed
Jul30

Arizona Cowboy: How the Grand Canyon was Formed

Prologue Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Horses and Cows, Come on in and grab a seat by the campfire. It’s a stressful world out there filled with traffic, pollution, and concerns about everything the human mind can imagine. So take a few minutes and relax, smell the smoke, ride the range, and enjoy the work (or more accurately “the play”) of cowboy poet J. Douglas Hinds. Arizona Cowboy is the name of this column, and every...

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