Sunday, July 19, 2009

Which Cordes has the antiquery?

We had a ladies' outing today, we did. The goal: around the Bradshaws and down the hill on SR 69 to locate an antique shop somewhere in Cordes. Georgene had read about it in the AAA travel magazine recently. She didn't recall which particular Cordes, of which there are three. There's the Junction, the Lakes and the original. And so the four of us (G., plus Patty, a grandchild and myself) started out at the most accessible, Cordes Lakes, which sits cheek by jowl next to Cordes Junction. Just incidentally, do take note of the Black Mountains to the east, barely visible through the smokey haze drifting down from forest fires near Flagstaff.

I was last in Cordes Lakes in the early 90s. Actually, just through it on the way to the confluence of Big Bug Creek and the Agua Fria River, a beautiful riparian spot in the high desert. At that time, Cordes Lakes struck me as a somewhat seedy little post-WW2 settlement with no history for retirees who had just enough money for a single- or double-wide and who wanted to get to "higher, cooler" country than Phoenix. We never saw any "lakes' which were probably some real estate man's short-lived pond or two.

Maybe this was one of the "lakes" -- a reservoir near the creek. My, how the hamlet had changed! The real estate bust caught the area in mid-regeneration, with new streets and a surprising number of new pricier, stick-built houses but also a lot of undeveloped land. Several of the homes were quite elaborate. We speculated that Cordes Lakes had become commuter turf, figuring that the lots were not nearly as costly as developments closer to Phoenix.

It was a strange mix: abandoned houses, neglected but lived-in buildings, modest but tidy properties and the aforementioned nearly-McMansions. Not at all your usual Arizona 2000s from-scratch, boom-town development. Anthem it's definitely not. Now for a few sights we saw...

Somebody in Cordes Lakes has a big distributorship -- bandanas for the motorcycle, ATV and snow board crowd.

And somebody else in Cordes Lakes saw those wonderful metal beasts imported from Mexico and had to have a few: two bulls and three giraffes. Giraffe #3 is a youngster reaching up to munch out on tree leaves, below. (BTW, I am told that the Iron Corral down by Anthem where the big beasties, real and mythological, were sold is no more. Too bad.)

Spotted this Chinese-style frog/toad at one of the more thoroughly landscaped houses, while the two-dimensional saguaro with shades below was at a motel in Cordes Junction.

We actually spent a good amount of time wandering Cordes Lakes, exploring as we looked for the antique shop. But we were in the wrong Cordes. Our goal, it turns out, was in the original Cordes, a place full of history, down on the Old Black Canyon Highway, pop. 11. Coming up next.

8 comments:

Antipodean Curmudgeon said...

You were seeking da lost chordes.

Hermano

worldphotos4 said...

Nice trip.

Ric said...

You were right next door to our old stomping grounds at Arcosanti.

Granny J said...

bro -- groan!

steve -- yes, it was. Great to get away from town to see something entirely different.

ric -- yep, tho I suspect that Cordes Lakes is a lot easier on us old folks than Arcosanti, which is all arty staircases without ramps or elevators. I wonder if Paolo will be able to negotiate it in his old age.

C. Marie Byars said...

Your assessment of Cordes's origins about approximated ours!!! BTW, wanted to let you know that I have recently posted more "Groucho" in all his glory---only this is some of his real-life letter-writing craziness, not scripted movie stuff!!!

Granny J said...

cmarie -- too bad he isn't writing letters to our Courier...

Cathy said...

This got me of my duff and actually posting something to my infant blog - It made a nice contrast to our visit last week to ArcoSanti & Montezuma's Castle. (http://niftythings-cathy.blogspot.com/)

Granny J said...

cathy -- welcome-- and do return time and again! Enjoyed your commentary on Montezuma's Castle and Arcosanti. BTW, who's your fave SF author?

 
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