Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Quick Exit

At first light, I skedaddled out of Prescott as quickly as possible.

Headed straight for Jerome, which is 5000 feet up in the Black Hills of Yavapai County in Arizona. 

In the late 19th century gold, silver and copper were discovered here and overnight Jerome became an active mining town. Eventually, most of the wealth was mined out.  In fact, to strip the mine of its mineral wealth the shafts went so deep that they nearly reached sea level.   Circa the 1940’s the wooden beams, deep in a shaft that supported the mine's roof, caught fire and quickly spread to many of the other various shafts and tunnels that ran for some 30 miles. Burning for about a year the only way to finally put out the fire was to close down the mine and flood it. 

Today Jerome is a lovely tourist town; great eateries and various craftspersons have shops from which to peddle their wares from.
Jerome High in the Mountain
However, the real treasure and fun of visiting Jerome is the old ghost miners town about 1/8 of a mile past Jerome, higher up in the mountain.  This place has the largest collection of old rusty vehicles, tools and you name it, that I've ever seen.  There is still the original dentist shack with the chair and its rusting dental equipment.  All covered with a layer of Arizona dust. 
Care for a quick check-up?
But wait, there's more..

Many of the original miner's homes are still standing but there's more to this Ghost Town than first meets the eye.  Actually, it has a beating heart, called Don Robertson.  

I arrived at the town just as it was opening and paid $4.00 Yankee bucks to get in.  Wondering around with the place. all to myself, I bumped into Don.  He owns the whole kit and caboodle and seeing that I was the only person to have yet arrived, Don was only too pleased to chat about the history of his town and proceeded to give me a private tour. Besides owning the place I also discovered that Don is a racing car diver, master mechanic, and all-round fascinating character.  

The place is full of old vehicles and whatnots as well as huge engines that run giant buzz saws and much more.  In fact, Don even has an honest to goodness WWII submarine engine that he runs to drive various belts attached to HUGH saw blades.
Rusty Tanker

Gas Pump

Once a Great Ford

Population at Don's place

The Man Himself with his racing car
Don Robertson

Explains Don's Racer

Forget Jerome, go straight to Don’s place and spend the better part of your day being lost in Neverland.  Later go to Jerome for a late lunch and a poke around.

Left Jerome and headed to Sedona.  This has got to be one of America’s most beautiful cities.  Makes Santa Fe look like an army camp.   The scenery is nothing sort of breathtaking. 
The outskirts of Sedona
Does Your backyards view look like this?

As I wanted to reach Horseshoe Bend at Page Arizona before the sun went down I didn’t spend as much time in Sedona as I would have preferred.  Been there several years ago and its beauty is still just as captivating. If you even get to Sedona plan on spending at least two or more days as I did on my last visit.  The area deserves the attention.  Sooo much to see and photograph.
Majestic Arizona desert, on the way to Page
My heart sank as I headed towards Horseshoe Bend, as the northern end of the Grand Canyon was so hazy that nothing and I mean nothing could be seen.  Looked like solid fog, the type you would encounter in Portland Main had set in.

Arrived at Horseshoe Bend to find that though it was a bit hazy it wasn’t anything like what I’d driven past on the way here.
Horseshoe Bend
If you suffer from vertigo this isn’t a place for you.   

To fully see the Colorado River you need to get close to the rim and even I was a bit apprehensive.  The busloads of Chinese didn’t seem to mind the height and were all hell-bent on standing at the edge of the lip  (they must be related to the Mohawks of Quebec who are regarded as the best high steels workers in North America for their lack of fear of heights) to take “selfies” with those stupid sticks.

There was one guy who was there with his family and had just bought a new Canon and tripod.  How do I know?  Well for one he didn’t have a camera bag, his kids and wife were each holding a lens and the boxes they can in.  I kid you not. 

Wait, there’s more.  Dad’s new Manfrotto tripod (the type that Best Buy sells) still had those labels/instructions attached to it on a string.  There he was flat on his tummy at the rim holding the tripod over the edge as far as his arms would go with the label/instructions flapping at the end of the string.  He was using his new a 17-35mm lens and I'm willing to bet that when he gets home he will have great shots of Horseshoe Bend with a part of the Manfrotto tag in nearly every shot.

Watching the folks at the rim was worth the trip as much as seeing the mighty Colorado River.   

I was always aware that the canyon is made of limestone and constantly crumbling.  Being close to the rim's edge still gives me the hebejebes.

More to come…

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