An email from a reader says:
Did you know that Google Earth’s picture of Parker was taken on Tube Float day and shows all the tubers coming down the river?
He’s right. Check out the satellite image below. Tubers tend to collect on the Arizona side of the river as can be observed in the image. What a happy coincidence!
But there’s one discrepancy. The satellite image (courtesy USDA Farm Service Agency) has a timestamp of June 8th, 2007, which was a Friday, not a Saturday. The annual Chamber of Commerce event is always on a Saturday, so either the satellite photo doesn’t show the Tube Float after all, or the timestamp is off by a day. (In 2007, the Tube Float was held on Saturday, June 9th.)
How to confirm for certain that the timestamp is simply off a day? Check out Patria Flats, the launchpad for the annual Float (below). The only day in the entire year the park is so packed full of vehicles is the day of the Tube Float. This confirms that the timestamp is wrong (or the satellite’s clock set to a distant timezone).
Thanks to Art for the info.