Sunday, May 25, 2008

To Jerome... And Beyond!

Five years ago, when John and I were dating, we drove from Ohio to California for Christmas and ended up at Luke Air Force base (where we now call home). While we were at Luke, we made a day trip up to Sedona, AZ- an absolutely gorgeous town with wonderful recreation opportunities. Well we decided to take the scenic route to get there and after an hour and a half drive north of Phoenix, ended up winding through some mountain roads, eventually being spit out into what I know now as one of my favorite cities of Arizona... Jerome. It is an old miner city built on the side of a mountain that has since abandoned mining but has developed an atmosphere bursting with charm, art and culture. The first time I saw it, we only drove through but I got word that the boys- John and Lucky- wanted to head up in that direction for a short overnight camping trip and I have to say that I may have been more excited about going through Jerome than the purpose of the trip altogether. We hit Jerome around dinner time and stopped for a bite to eat at the "Mile High Inn and Grill" , open since the 1890's and boasting of the best burger in Arizona (John took em up on that claim and they made a believer out of him!).

Here you can see the tiny little city, nestled in the hill side!
From the city was an amazing overlook into the rest of the valley. The streets were continuous switch-backs, climbing up each level and exposing more shops and restaurants on every turn. I learned that apparently one of the longest standing buildings, the prison had slid 40 yards or so down the mountain where they re-established it's foundation and just built in around it. I imagine they will continue to face the whole gravity issue and perhaps one day the whole city will be situated at the bottom of the hill, off of it's scenic little perch.

So after our quick, but enjoyable trip through Jerome we headed Southwest into the Mingus Mountains where we went off-road for a while and found our camp site for the night. It was a quick night since it was dusk when we got there to set up camp. We lit a fire and just did the campfire stories till almost 10, when we called it a night. The next morning, we woke at 4:30am to scout for elk. Scouting was actually the purpose of our trip, since our friend Lucky has an elk tag for that area for the fall and he was hoping to find a suitable place to hunt. Since I got little sleep (these days I'm hardly comfy in my own bed, let alone a small foam pad separating me from the dirt) so I got up with them and just slept in the car as they did their scouting thing. Ahhh- Sucess! They spotted a few elk that morning which made the trip worth while for the guys! Cana got to get in on some of the fun action too. He gets very excited when we load up the car for camping trips and seldom does he settle down until our destination is reached. Since much of our exploring was on a dirt road with no traffic, he got to lead the expedition by foot, or paw I suppose. That's right, we kicked his hyper butt out of the car and he joyfully pranced and ran in front for miles. That'll wear him out! It also made him quite the mess since there was recent rain and the dirt road was merely mud at times!

Here, Lucky holds Cana as I wipe down his feet! We tried the booties for a while, but they got so bogged down with mud that they were actually ripped off his paws and left to dig out of the mud.

Cana in action- leading the expedition!

All in all, it is just another reminder of what an immensely gorgeous place in which we live.. And I'm not just talking about Arizona but really the world! There are treasures like this everywhere across our nation that is comprised of breathtaking beauty and other countries have their fair share. I hope to one day get to see more of them and hopefully the Air Force can take us to lands far away to see for ourselves! That's what I love about the military lifestyle... You call a different place home every three years, which may be exhausting at times, but you get the privilege of finding beauty around each new corner!


Ryan & Deb said...

you put such a beautful perspective on "military life". just when i think, "hell, no, i could never be a military wife," here's your post that displays just a fraction of the beauty our country holds. i really really admire your ability to see (and have seen)all the world has to offer!!

on a more personal note, how've you been feeling lately?? also, are you registered anywhere?? if so, where and is there a website i can check out??

Chey's Dad said...

Your mom and I took a similar trip some 35 years ago. Jerome, at the time, was totally abandoned and literally a Ghost Town. We followed an abandoned railroad bed out of town (in our VW Bus, by the way) and ended up camping out in the middle of nowhere. A day or two later, we were in Monument Valley, where the picture (recreated in the painting) of Domino was taken.

Mom said...

We haven't always been in the garden spots everywhere we've been, but I truly believe that if you look, you can find some beauty almost everywhere!! Can't let those negatives get ya down!!! Jerome is awesome!! Loved the pics.

Chey's Dad said...

Last topic:
Did y'all get your yard sodded yet?
we need pictures!

Aunt Rhonda said...

Uncle Tim and I would love to keep in contact with you. Just don't have an e-mail address for you...just this blog. Please e-mail us back with a way for us to check on you and that little tummy!

Aunt Rhonda said...

Chey, is the address. Travis and Pam are at the house now. I had to come back to work. Our pup Chip really wants to play with the Greyhounds. Trav wasn't sure how well the male would take to Chip's jumping....So Chip is inside whining to go play.