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  • Writer's pictureKandy Thietten

City On a Cliff

We woke up Friday morning at Newell Farm, did our normal routine of walk the dogs, dress and brush our teeth, coffee for Abe and coffee or tea for me (this time I chose tea), and breakfast, before leaving the RV to face the world. I was going to help Lisa feed the horses again, but they'd already been fed by another lady staying on her property who helps out with them. Lisa had to leave for work and we were leaving before she would return so we told her goodbye. It seems like it would be difficult to leave your home with strangers staying on your property and messing with your animals, but I guess the hosts for Harvest Hosts do have the info for everybody that stays, which must add a degree of comfort and safety. We spent a bit of time petting the horses and the two Australian Shepherds, Shy Skye (who finally decided he'd be friends with me) and Bella. I realized that I had to leave eventually, so I said my goodbyes to the animals and we hit the road. 1.9 miles of dirt road with washboard and bumps, that we had to dive 3-5 mph on. But the stay was so worth it.

We'd driven past Watson Lake the day before after leaving Prescott, and after being told that it was a must see, we went back to it and pulled the bikes out for a ride. The area hadn't turned green for spring yet, but it was still beautiful. Several of the hills against the lake were made of huge, tan boulders. I've never seen mountains of solid rock like that in Idaho. No dirt or sand, and hardly any plants forcing their roots into the cracks. Just rock.

A second trail that ran next to the lake shot off of the main trail that we were on, and there was a picture of a bike on the sign for it, so we turned onto that trail and rode until we had to get off and walk because of the rocks. We got to a giant boulder and Abe climbed to the other side. "The trail picks up again. Let's go this way." I'm glad the bikes have a walk mode that makes the back wheel turn when you're walking them, or I don't think I could have made it. I finally managed the onerous task of alternately picking my bike up onto rocks and climbing down the other side without letting my bike or myself fall and I arrived at the dirt trail. We rode on it a short way until we arrived at more rocks and boulders to climb over. We stopped to let a couple hiking the path pass us, and Abe got to chatting with them. They told us that the entire trail was like that - only for very hardcore mountain bikers - and directed us back to the main trail. It was a huge relief when we finally made it back to the wide, level dirt path.

We kept going a bit further before deciding to turn around to start making our way back to the dogs, but on the way back we stopped at a bike rack and chained up the bikes so we could walk around and explore, taking a path on the opposite side as the lake until we got to a small stream running over more solid rock, where we splashed our arms and faces in the cool, refreshing water. We left the stream and went back to our bikes, continuing towards the RV. Just before we got back to the beginning of the trail, Abe spotted a log in the lake with a row of turtles sitting on it. We stared in amazement at the hard shells with little heads poking out, and I got my phone out to snap pictures. It was incredible how they all sat their in the sun. So still. Not moving at all. Never even shifting their little heads an inch. Yep. Those were some fascinating decoy turtles sunning themselves on that log.

We had talked to another camper at Newell Farm, and he told us that Jerome and Cottonwood were must see towns. We didn't make it to Cottonwood, but we did go to Jerome, a small town built into the side of a mountain. The drive there had me on the edge of my seat, as we wended our way around the turns of the mountain, right on the edge of a cliff. In spots, it was a nearly straight drop-off of solid rock going down probably a couple hundred feet. When I say I was on the edge of my seat, I mean the left edge. I'm glad I was in the passenger seat because I spent the drive holding tight to the shoulder strap of my seatbelt and leaning hard to the left. I'm sure that's what kept us on the road instead of tumbling right over into the canyon far below.

Once we made it to Jerome, it didn't get any better. The town was unbelievable. All of the buildings, ranging from abandoned and dilapidated to nice and well maintained, were built right into the side of the mountain wall, with stilts on the fronts of many of them to hold them up. I wish we'd been on our bikes, and one of these days, I hope to make it back, park somewhere below the town, and ride up. As it was, we were in a 36 foot motorhome. There was a sign on the way up cautioning that no vehicles over 50 feet were allowed. I have no idea how a 50 foot vehicle could make it around the tight hairpin turns of the switchback that was the road going through town. I'm sure the people there were wondering what was wrong with us, but it wasn't like we could turn around anywhere and go back, so Abe cautiously navigated the street, watching for pedestrians and oftentimes making oncoming traffic stop as we took up both lanes turning the corners. I would have loved to have pulled over, both to get out and look around and to take a break and bring my stress down to a semi-manageable level, but there was absolutely nowhere for us to stop. Finally, we made it out of town and found a spot down the road where we were able to pull off next to an abandoned building before making our way back down the other side of the mountain, where I once again did my duty of holding my seatbelt tight and pulling the RV towards the middle of the road so we didn't go cascading down the cliff. Eventually, we made it to Sedona.

Saturday was Abe's birthday (47th, in case you're curious), and I was a little sad because we always stop at Dutch Bros. to get a free coffee on our birthday, but I hadn't seen a Dutch Bros. since we left Idaho. A few minutes after I thought about it, Abe piped up. "There's a Dutch Bros. here!" We whipped the RV into the packed parking lot, and miraculously, there was a single section of parking spaces without a single car in it, and it was long enough for us. AND it was right next to our favorite coffee shop. Abe walked up to the window where he was greeted with the friendliness and chattiness that we have come to expect from the Dutch Bros. baristas.

From Sedona, we drove to Flagstaff, where we stayed in Cracker Barrel #3. I'm so thankful for Cracker Barrels, and their overnight RV parking! I read about the Lowell Mausoleum, the final resting place of Percival Lowell, who helped to discover Pluto, so in the morning we drove up the mountain it was on to see it. There were signs about needing reservations for tours of the observatory, but we didn't want a tour, we just wanted to look at the outdoor mausoleum, so we kept driving. We parked in the nearly empty lot and started walking towards it when a lady started hollering at us. Once we figured out which masked woman was speaking, she very haughtily told us that we had to have a reservation. We explained that we were just going to look at the mausoleum, and she told us, "You passed signs on the way here!" as she shooed us away with her hands. I'm still not sure why we were unable to stand outside by ourselves and look at a small building, but we lost all desire to see it. And we definitely won't be spending money for a tour we didn't want in the first place.

The next site we saw was Two Guns, AZ and the Apache Death Cave, but as that was the most exciting stop of our trip, I'll devote the next post to it.

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2 Weeks

2 ความคิดเห็น

Ray Thietten
Ray Thietten
07 เม.ย. 2564

Keep up the great posts!


06 เม.ย. 2564

Happy Birthday Abe! I'm so glad you were able to find a Dutch Bros for your birthday coffee! :)

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