Jan 18, ’08 Apache Junction

Okay, Monday we went to THE BEST pizza parlor in the world. Seriously.
It has a HUGE Wurlitzer theater pipe organ in it.
Seriously huge.
The largest in the world.
Nearly 6000 pipes.
Pipes behind a set of glass louvers.
Pipes hanging from the ceiling.
Snare drums. Bass drums. Bongo drums. A kettle drum.
Flute and Sax and Trumpet.
Cymbals. Chimes. A whistle.
Cow bells.
An upright piano.
A grand piano!

The organist’s console has tiers of keyboards. And foot pedals and stops and who knows what. (798 controls) The sound was AMAZING. And the organist really knew his stuff. He played a little of everything from classical music to the 1890s standards (Bicycle Built for Two, etc.) to songs from Fiddler on the Roof and Star Wars. All without any sheet music in front of him. The building was specifically built to house the organ. The dining room is the size of an auditorium with a balcony. You can read all about it’s history and see some pictures of it at http://www.organstoppizza.com/ If you go to the CD section of the website and pick a CD they have samples of the music. It won’t sound as good on your PC speakers as it did in real life, but it’s still neat. If you are ever in the Mesa area, you’ve got to go there. Oh, yeah, and the pizza was pretty good, too. 🙂

Tuesday we went east out of town to Globe. It was 60 mile drive through the mountains, up and down some 6% and 7% grades. Through the aptly named Devil’s Canyon. The mountains are real huge red boulders eroded by wind and rain. Globe (and neighboring Miami) has an open pit copper mine that stretches for miles along the highway. We had lunch at a little Mexican cafe and then walked through the Besh-Ba-Gowah ruins, a Salado Indian site roughly contemporary with the Anasazi civilization. It was interesting to look out the same windows the ancients did and climb their ladder into the second floor of the ruins. It is one the archaeologically most significant native sites. Their museum has lots of pottery from the site that has been reconstructed. It must be like putting together a 3-D jigsaw puzzle. They also have scraps of cotton fabric. I hadn’t realized that they had cotton in this area that early. For some reason, I was under the impression that cotton was brought to the new world by Europeans. They had some cotton plants in the museum garden.
More info at http://www.jqjacobs.net/southwest/besh_ba_gowah.html and
I posted some pictures of it at http://picasaweb.google.com/campory57104 and some sunrise/sunset pictures I took before we left Why.

Guess that’s all for now. It’s been windy the last couple of days, so we’ve been hanging out inside.

mj & Richard