Scenic USA - Arizona

Pendleys Wheel

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Pendleys Wheel - Slide Rock State Park, Sedona, Arizona

Photos by Rob Jones
Rob's Trip Reports

  Today's Slide Rock State Park, just north of Sedona, is a popular place to cool off during Arizona's hot summer months. A natural water slide or sandstone chute along the Oak Creek river bottom is the origin for the "slide rock" name. The slickrock chute propels swimmers along Oak Creek riverbed for almost a third of a mile. Long before water-parks were even imagined, Sedona had their own special water park and no entrance fees to worry about!
  This area was once home to the Pendley family, when Frank arrived in the canyon in 1907. The homestead was formally acquired in 1910, and Frank spent a great amount of time setting up irrigation ditches. Oak Creek - Slide Rock State Park, Sedona, Arizona Here in a dry desert environment, Oak Creek's water was essential for growing crops and providing livestock with water. Frank Pendley created a novel approach to irrigation with the use of tunnels and chutes to channel the water where needed. Pendley's wheel, shown here, was used in another experiment to provide electricity to the ranch. It remains unclear as to how his attempt to harness the power from Oak Creek turned out, but he was highly successful in his agricultural endeavor. Arkansas black apples made up the largest grove in the area and some of his trees survive to this day. The valley was finally hooked up to the power grid in 1948, providing a steady supply of power. The Pendley home and wheel are among the scattered remnants of the Pendley homestead.

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