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Jerome, AZ

Posted by on March 21, 2010

We have been very fortunate to have our best friends from “back home”, visit us this week. In fact, Jay and Christine flew all the way in from Pittsburgh so we feel a bit honored. We hadn’t seen them since November but it was like a beat was never missed. They had a long flight and we had a day at the ball yard. Hugs and kisses, reminiscing at dinner, spirits and attitude adjustors were the complements to a wonderful evening. The next morning we posed a roadtrip for ourselves. The morning saw us visiting Cardinal Stadium where a local RV show was taking place. Chris and Jay are getting bitten here and there with the RV bug. Wanderlust has always been a part of Jay’s repertoire and as Chris sees the ways and means of fulltiming, there is a yearn to hit the road. We tramped through many a toy hauler as well as motorhomes until the early afternoon.  On a whim, we decided to head to Jerome and points north. I had wanted to visit the quaint, bohemiam village and Jay wanted to find the brother of his good friend who had left home some thirty years ago. Along the way, we stopped at Montezuma’s Castle located about and hour and a half north of Phoenix on Rt 17. This cave dwelling of the Sinagua Indian tribes was no Mesa Verde but it did offer a quite a change from the level valleys surrounding greater Phoenix. As we meandered north the altitude rose and we were finding our shorts and t-shirts a poor shield from the elements. Jerome is 5500 feet above sea level so being more than a mile high the view was magnificent. Jerome was the major producer of copper in the United States from the turn of the century. When the copper mines petered out , its evolution to an artsy-fartsy mecca began. Getting there is a series of switchbacks winding up into the snow-capped White Mountains. Shantys, shacks, clapboards, and mini-mansions dot the way to the climb in the clouds. Once there, I thought I was in art deco heaven. This is the perfect place for a bike riding, baby boomer, grown up gypsy.  I was ensconced in the feeling when I entered the bar on main street called the “Spirit Room”. I couldn’t help shooting the bikers tripping the light fantastic. Going only on a hunch, Robin spotted a man near the Mile High Grill that she thought may be our lost soul. Johnny MacDonald left southwestern Pennsylvania three decades ago. We had never met the man but he so resembled his brother and our friend, Tom. Asking inside if Johnny workd here, the owner stated yes and that he would summon him. We hit the mother lode. We visited with John, put him on the cell with family from back home, and dined on the best burger I’ve ever eaten. We learned that Jerome was the outlet for the men of the copper mines that could not be satisfied by their own wives for one reason or another. The main street is fact is known as Husbands Alley and the placard in the slideshow will account for this. Brothels were in abundance. None exist there now but it is not an oddity to see a large part of the street traffic “smoking a blunt”, come sundown. Therefore, after sundown we decided to make the trip back home. Being so high, (no pun intended) the night air didn’t cotton well to our scant clothing but this was a roadtrip well worth the effort. One of those unplanned, impromptu, quests that behold more than the mind can imagine. Life is good, but an effort out of the way must be made to make it exhilarating.

7 Responses to Jerome, AZ

  1. Debbie

    Glad to see you up and running complete with pictures and narration! Glad you had a wonderful visit with your friends from home, and found a long lost friend as well! Leave it to you to find an out of the way treasure to show us yet again! Happy Trails Gypsy Larry!

  2. Stoney & Judy Neal

    Hi Larry,

    Great pictures! Wondering where you guys were.
    Judy had back surgery in Nov. , but doing great now.
    Leaving for Alaska around first part of June.
    Would love to see you like we did at Tom Swayers
    last April.

    Stoney Neal

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