Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Meteorology mattered a lot!

I was relieved to read the web diary today and to discover that there was a good reason for the apparently short journey yesterday...The GPS tracker appeared to be saying that Mark only cycled the 30 kms or so yesterday from Sunday evening's campsite east of Superior to the outskirts of Globe, had reached there by 9am and not cycled further. The web diary entry for yesterday explains all and it would appear that meteorology really did matter ! Mark had no option by to take a rest day and sit out the cold, wet, stormy weather.

So what geography is there in yesterday's 30 km stretch? Well, given the weather conditions, Mark was very unlikely to have been feeling on top of the world when he reached Top of the World and he certainly would not have enjoyed scenery like this which is the approach to that enigmatically named settlement on a good day....A slightly oblique view on Google Earth reveals Top of the World to be nothing more than a collection single storey buildings. To be honest, it's hard to imagine what might sustain a community like this. The Wikipedia link suggests a history as a staging post on a mule trail and a short time as an army camp in the 1870s. Following that, a large cattle ranch developed at the location. Despite much searching, this is the best image I could find of Top of the World...

It, and several others of scenery along this stretch of Highway 60, can be viewed here.
The remainder of Mark's short journey yesterday took him to Miami (Arizona!) and then the outskirts of Globe. As the GPS tracker map above shows, there is some significant activity in the hills to the north of both settlements.

Both Miami and Globe owe their existence to copper mining and it still accounts for the largest number of jobs in Miami. According to the 2002 annual report of the Arizona State Mine Inspector, Phelps Dodge mining company employed nearly 600 at its Miami operations, including 330 at the smelter (below) and 187 at the mine (above)...

Copper mining in Arizona dates from the early years of the 20th century and today it remains a very important element of the Arizona econony accounting for 65% of all copper production in the US. The industry was closely linked to the birth and development of the of the electrical age and ther is an interesting account of its history here.

And finally, as this is a relatively short posting today (and I am a secret Harley Davidson fan!) , here's some video footage of Highway 60 in the vicinity of Miami/Globe.

1 comment:

geopsych said...

My Mom has a little sewing shop in Miami. Wow, what an environmental piece of work.