My Dad could have written William Least Heat-Moon’s classic book, “Blue Highways.” Bumping down bone-jarring logging and mining roads in search of adventure was what our family did for fun. Dad was an ameteur geologist, due to a short WPA stint in the Petrified Forest, so we absorbed his curiosity for prospecting for the amazing array of minerals, crystals and volcanic treasures found throughout our Arizona.
Boarding a helicopter to the Amethyst mine in the Four Peaks wilderness, Arizona, the little kid in me thrilled to the adventure of finding another “great rock” in the desert…I felt like I was channelling Dad and taking all he had taught me to a new level. Rare Four Peaks Amethyst is a deep purple color with characteristic magenta highlights, and is obtained from the only commercial Amethyst mine in the United States. Accessible only by hiking in with pack animals or by helicopter, the mining is done by hand by alternating 2-person crews. The remoste site has limited electricity, no running water and a single-room shed that the miners call home. The helicopter takes off from a ranch near Fountain Hills, AZ , and lands on a handkerchief-sized spot less than 20 ft from the entrance to the mine. Wow! This ride and landing put the “Awe” back in “Awesome”!
Part Two to Follow…
Fountain Hills Thursday Market is hosting the Wilson Family String Band December 6, 13, 20th. As part of a year-long travel adventure, the Wilson Family Band brings their unique style of music to Foutnain Hills Art on the Avenue and the Farmer’s Market. A blend of Bluegrass and Country Music with classical precision, they entertain and delight. Thursdays in December, starting at 12 noon.
From shore to shore across the US, it’s harvest time. There’s no crunch like the first bite of an apple you pick yourself. Funny squash and corn sculptures like thisbountiful cornicopia captured in northern Indiana create a “back home on the farm” feeling that city dwellers seem to crave.
The Fountain Hills Farmer’s market and Art on the Avenue kick off the fall season on the Avenue of the Fountains from 11-5 on Thursday, October 18, 2012. Local artist Judi Yates who manages the Art on the Avenue has been busy with new artist applications. “We have attracted a larger group of artists from across the Valley with new and different products, including some very cool items for the home. Our long-time artists tell me they have been busy with new products for the fall as well.”
The Farmer’s Market runs from October to April offering a wide array of homemade breads, cookies, pastas and fresh sauces, pesto and hummus. We have all manner of gourmet salts, seasonings, sauces, and fresh greens, lettuce, fruits, veggies and citrus in season. Wild-caught salmon, free-range eggs, buffalo and natural cheeses are popular. Whoopie Pies, fudge, sugar-jam cookies, and jerky are guilty pleasures but oh, so good!
“Many of the new Farmer’s Market vendors are from Fountain Hills, and this is their first market season. It’s great to be able to provide a new way for Fountain Hills residents to start a new home-based business. We are so grateful that shopping local has become a priority to so many residents who come downtown on Thursdays.”
Breakfast, lunch and dinner entrees are available featuring everything from breakfast sandwiches to tamales, chicken wraps, lasagna, meatballs, burgers, soups and frozen entrees for later.
Put out the word to your friends…The Market is back! November 15, 11-5p.m., Avenue of the Fountains.