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Much of my blog (not really a blog) will relate to my love of travel with articles and pics. It will be an ongoing project.


The Red Rocks of Sedona provide a backdrop from this vantage point along Hwy 89A

Don and Michelle came to visit us for a few days.  They had flown to Las Vegas for the KOA convention and had done some sightseeing at the Grand Canyon before heading down to Black Canyon City.  A local character we had met by the pool had advised us to travel to Jerome, an old mining town in the mountains and to take the Canadian Highway.  At my look of puzzlement he explained.  “Take highway 89A,” he said laughingly.  So there we were on 89A that winds its way up Mingus Mountain in a series of dizzying switchbacks that was both thrilling and a bit unerving.  Near the summit one stretch of this twolane road had no guardrail to keep our vehicle from plummeting into the deep canyon if it strayed onto the narrow shoulder just a bit.  I sympathized with Don for as we oooohed and ahhhhed he had to concentrate on staying in his lane as he negotiated these sharp switchbacks.  I saw so many photographic opportunities but there was no room for vehicles to pull over.  A lookout on the backside of the mountain afforded us a fantastic view across the canyon at the red rock that Sedona is noted for.  We found ourselves climbing again and after rounding a bend, suddenly the historic mining town of Jerome materialized.  Jerome hugs the side of the mountain and is a tourist mecca of coffee shops, saloons and art galleries.  There are 3 levels of streets that switchback down this side of the mountain before continuing into the town of Clarkdale.
In our quest for finding a restroom we spotted a crudely painted sign that read “Ghost Town This Way”.  Our vehicle jostled along a gravel road for about a mile past more such signs.  We saw that we were in the location of another old mining town, although this one did not look prosperous.  For a small admission charge we wandered among old relics of the automotive industry.  We saw cars and trucks from every decade beginning in 1914, all covered in layers of dust.  A steam operated saw was being utilized by two old cronies to mill logs.  Up on a hill stood a house that was formerly a bordello when this mining town was thriving.  We wandered into an old mine shaft and one of the nine people who live here told us that this mine missed the mother lode by a few hundred yards while the one in Jerome a mile down the mountain hit the lucky vein.  Chickens roamed freely and a burro named Pedro Gonzales entertained us for a while by kissing his owner on the cheek; he also grabbed a rope with his teeth, shaking his head up and down to make the attached bell ring.  He did this when he wanted food and he did it often.

We anticipate a repeat trip but this time it will be on our motorcycle.

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