HomePicacho Peak

Picacho Peak is about 30 miles north of Tucson. It is the sight of the only Civil War battle in Arizona -- fought over a year after the end of the war.  The South won.  There is an annual reenactment of the battle.

Arizona fought on the side of the South because it was miffed when the Union withdrew its troops to fight the war.  This withdrawal left the settlers at the mercy of the Indians.

Many outcroppings or small mountains break up the terrain of southern Arizona.  To the west of Arizona in California, the Sierra Nevada Mountains go up the coast.  To the east of Arizona, the Rocky Mountains go from El Paso up to Montana.  The inverted 'V' between the 2 ranges is basically desert since the mountains stop all moisture except that coming from the south.

The terrain in Arizona varies between sea level (minus a little) and 12,000 feet.  From the desert to the snow-capped San Francisco peak near Flagstaff.  The Grand Canyon of the Colorado to Imperial Valley.  Most of the fruits and vegetables grown in the western US are grown in Imperial Valley -- the artificially irrigated area around Yuma on both sides of the lower Colorado River.  Many of the citrus fruits that we ascribe to California are grown in Arizona.  Arizona is one of the major cotton-exporting states.

I stayed for a while in a park just east of Yuma.  The park was surrounded with agricultural lots.  Mask-wearing Mexicans bused daily from south of the border harvest the plants.  This caused me some concern.  If the air is dangerous to breath among these plants, how safe are they to eat?  Air-fertilized lots are adjacent to organic lots.  These have signs saying not to spray.  I am sure the aircraft cannot see the signs.  I am also sure that the over-spray and drift due to the constant breeze causes much of the fertilizer to go onto the organic fields.  Of course there are worse things than fertilizer in the spray.  The reason I know there is over-spray is that occasionally we get sprayed inside the park and we are far enough from the plants that this should not happen.

Phoenix has replaced most of its agricultural orchards and fields with homes.  Tucson is coming up fast with the same urban sprawl.

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Written:  2001          Updated:  May 16, 2003             Back to Top