We are in Maricopa, Arizona for a couple of days. We dropped Betty off at the airport in Phoenix and drove about 45 miles to Maricopa. We will be doing a bit of exploring tomorrow after resting for the night. The hotel grounds are absolutely beautiful. They have a huge eagle placed on top of a saguaro cactus that is awesome. The pool area is also outstanding, it looks like a tropical paradise with beautiful flowers blooming, they even have orchids in the lobby.
Maricopa is one of the oldest and most historic communities in the state of Arizona. It is hidden in the middle of the Sonoran Desert, surrounded by mountain ranges that include the beautiful Sierra Estrellas, Palo Verde, Saddleback Mountains and Haley Hills.
Maricopa has had three locations over the years and each played an important role in the growth and development of the Southwest. Located on the southern banks of the Gila River, Maricopa Wells (Maricopa’s first location) was a haven for thousands of immigrants who followed the southern trail in the 1800s across Arizona to California’s gold fields. It consisted of a series of watering holes that were fed by several Arizona rivers: the Gila, Santa Cruz, Vekol and Santa Rosa, which provided this oasis in the desert with an ample water supply.
During the 1850s and 1860s, Maricopa Wells became a major stagecoach relay station for the first organized semi-public transportation in Arizona – the San Antonio and San Diego Mail Line and then the Butterfield Overland Mail Line. During this period, nearly every resident of the Wells was employed by the stagecoach line or the trading center. With its substantial supply of water and prosperous trading center, it was a shining beacon and vital sanctuary in the desert for thousands of travelers who depended upon its resources for their survival.
We are already wishing we had planned more time in this interesting area. I will let the pictures tell the rest of the story. Check back later for more from Arizona.