Arizona is probably the coolest state when it comes to unique and odd attractions. I used to think I’d have to go to Egypt or Mexico to see a pyramid, but no. Arizona has a pyramid in Quartzsite.
In 1856 the US Army decided it would be a good idea to bring camels over from the Middle East.
Our government 150 years ago? Not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer, so how well do you think this worked?
To their way of thinking, the camels would better make the hot, dry trip across the desert than the horses. Ok, that almost makes sense…
But when they imported the 70 animals, they neglected to consider camels are not horses and are not trained like horses.
In case you don’t know, camels are not sweet like horses.
And the US government is still none-too-bright 150 years later, but you know that.
However, in a rare moment of lucidity, they decided to bring over from the Middle East several experienced camel drivers. One of those drivers was named Hadji Ali.
Since most Americans couldn’t pronounce the name, they just called him ‘Hi Jolly’ – the phonetic spelling of the pronunciation.
*sigh* Do I really live here??
Well, I bet you’ve guessed what happened. Like so many of the US government’s brilliant plans, and through no fault of Hadji Ali, this one failed miserably. However, Hadji Ali decided to stay in Arizona. The camels did, too.
He became a successful business man, married, and died in Arizona. He was so well loved and respected, the citizens of Quartzsite built a beautiful quartz pyramid for his tomb in 1902, the year of his death.
About fifty years later, the usual length of time it takes the US Government to get their shit together, they came along and attached a brass camel to the top, and a brass plaque to the front of the pyramid, commemorating Hadji Ali’s service to the government.
Better late than never, that’s their motto.
Next up… I get my apocalypse on in Slab City, CA. Hold on to your hats, this is going to be a wild ride.