Chapter 1 Arizona Today Arizona is a special land of amazing natural wonders and many unique contrasts. For example, cities and towns are surrounded by miles of wilderness. Modern buildings stand beside old adobe ruins. Freeways follow old wagon roads. Summers in the desert are blazing hot, and winters in the mountains are freezing cold. Miles and miles of plateaus fall off into deep canyons and gorges. Arizona’s natural wonders are spectacular. The Grand Canyon is world famous. Kartchner Caverns is a beautiful, living cave. Arizona’s sunsets offer inspiration to all who see them. The people in Arizona come from many different lands, cultures, and backgrounds. Farmers and ranchers worked beside miners and businessmen to build our state. Today, people from all around the world work together to continue Arizona’s progress. Progress, which means making improvement, has been slow. Droughts and floods have caused problems. Wars have been fought for the land. Bad economic times have caused hardships. The people of Arizona have faced and overcome many challenges. Standards’ Vocabulary contrast astronomer Percival Lowell Clyde Tombaugh Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter Santa Fe Railroad Sedona Schnebly compass rose Kartchner Caverns State Park is located near Benson, Arizona. It is one of many Arizona natural wonders! 8  Chapter 1 • Arizona Today