Trip Start Mar 14, 2009
Trip End Mar 22, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Friday, March 20, 2009

Greetings again from the desert...

We were lazy this morning and just lounged. We took a sales tour with the resort we are staying at midday. We didn't buy, but we really wanted to. It's money we simply didn't have , but it wasn't too bad a deal. In a year or two....who knows.

Later we went to Jerome, AZ. This is a former mining boom town, primarily copper but some gold and silver. Mining stopped in the Fifties,and the town nearly died out. Finally the few remaining residents got it acknowledged as an Historical site, and got the tourist industry fired up. These days it is a collection of gift shops, art galleries, and museums. Sprinkled throughout the downtown are old mining equipment relics. Jerome has a unique flavor. A mix of Old West ghost town and hippie folk festival.

Jerome sits on the side of Cleopatra Hill. It is touted as "America's Most Vertical City". it is certainly the most vertical I've seen. The "main drag" is a series of switchbacks up the side of the Hill. If you don't mind walking up and down a 30-degree incline, then it is worth the trip. There is also the Gold King Mine and Ghost Town attraction. It has a working sawmill powered by a large single piston stationary engine. (One of the poppers we know at home.) We fooled around downtown too long and weren't able to see it, so we're going back Friday on our (roundabout) way to Phoenix.

After Jerome we drove around on the mountain highways for an hour or so, just soaking up scenery. Driving in this country is similar to driving in the Ozarks. Up, down, and around...repeat. Only on a larger scale. In the Ozarks, you will negotiate a couple curves then top the hill and curve back down. Out here you encounter several 180 degree switchbacks laced with curves, and then pop out on top.

As an aside...funny story. We were coming back from the G.C. and travelling the 89A scenic drive, when we fell in behind a Ford Exploder that must have been new to that stretch of road. If you've ever watched one of the rally road races popular in Europe, that's what these feel like. After about two of those switchbacks they bailed into a pull-off in a small cloud of dust. The whole action had a "Holy Crap" appearance to it. We laughed all the way to Sedona over that.

All-in-all an easy day. We are starting get a little homesick. It would be nice to bring the kids to see all this...

Friday we will return to Jerome briefly, then on to Phoenix. It seems there is a giant flea market there that requires our presence (grin). As well, we will be visiting an old friend (Vayda) who plans to take us four-wheeling in the desert in her new truck. Should be a blast!

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