Tuesday, December 15, 2015

FAQ 1 BRRRRRRR Colder than Alaska Black Mesa AZ

FAQ 1 
Black Mesa Arizona
Colder in AZ than Alaska. BRRRRRRR.
Flagstaff buried in Snow February 2019

The weather forecast says it was 20 degrees in Flagstaff. 

Arizona had the lowest temperature yesterday in the United States. Palm trees anyone? Plus we had the most snow in the United States, more than Alaska.

I was looking for a nice sunny day so I could take the obligatory Christmas picture that I send to folks back East. You know the one that shows me in shorts, a t-shirt, and flip-flops in front of a palm tree. 

The only thing wrong with this picture is its high noon and 10 degrees outside. Snow is piled up blocking my front door. Cold sleet is raining down. I'm wearing jeans, boots, fuzzy socks, and two sweaters just to get the mail. My dog put his nose outside, turned around and went into the house. He's been in bed under the covers most of the day.

In my novel, Murder@ the Black Mesa Cafe, Black Mesa is an imaginary town. It's an amalgam of all the quirky little towns in Northern Arizona and New Mexico that I have been to; Snowflake, Taylor, Show Low, Pinetop, Lakeside, McNary, Honda, Greer, Whiteriver, Saint Johns, Springerville, Holbrook, Vernon, Heber, Overgaard, Payson, Strawberry, Pine, Star Valley, Concho, Winslow, Keams Canyon, Kayenta, Moriarity and many more.

From now on I'll refer to my imaginary town as Black Mesa AZ.

It's located between Apache and Navajo counties, half the town is in Navajo County and the other half is in Apache county which makes for interesting legal issues It is 13 miles from Holbrook, on Old Route 66 Highway going towards Saint Johns. It's an imaginary town so you are not going to find it on the map. Although there is a real Black Mesa on the Navajo Reservation in Northern Arizona.

So for our purposes, dear reader, Black Mesa is formed as a child of my imagination. It's a good town of about 2000+ people. 

It was founded after the Civil War by the survivors of the Irish Brigade (later known as the fighting 69th). The men and their wives who moved west in the 1870's like so many immigrants, wanted a fresh start. 

They settled in the valley of the Black Mesa, a looming 7000' volcanic outcrop. A tributary of the Colorado River, the Rio de Plata flowed through the valley. 

The Black Mesa Valley had everything a farmer could want, good grazing land, water, and shelter from the worst storms. They are known for their fine working ranch horses. Carriage Lock Lake (Carraigeacha Loch in Gaelic) is where a dammed up lake was formed by the Rio de Plata bumping up against the massive volcanic outcrop Black Mesa. 

The water pools at the basic of the 7000' ancient lava flow. Cowboys used the waterhole as the last chance water before Holbrook, a days ride on a fast horse. The Irish settlers named it Carraigeacha Loch and the Cowboys turned the name into Carriage Lock Lake, but descendants still call it by the Gaelic name meaning rocky shores lake.

So here is where our story starts. Newlyweds Michael and Minerva Doyle discover Black Mesa Arizona after eating lunch in the Black Mesa Café. They fall in love with the town, buy a house, and have further adventures there.

Stay tuned to this spot.