I slept in late after my adventure in Sedona but still woke to find ice on the side of Van Halen facing away from the sun. It had dipped to 24 degrees inside last night.

I took a very lazy breakfast and then a short drive to check out the airstrip of the Central Arizona Modelers model airplane club. The club was out flying and I showed up just in time to watch a pretty spectacular crash. Ouch.

Fun at the model plane airport

I hung around for a while and then got back on AZ 89A south across the Verde valley. My destination was the mountain town of Jerome, which had been recommended to me by a trusted confidant back in Madison (who might even be reading these very words right now!). I spent the day in Jerome just sort of wandering around and generally taking it real easy. Jerome certainly appreciates this kind of vibe; it’s very artsy, but in a much more friendly and approachable way than Sedona. The town itself is draped upon a steep hill and has a very vertical layout. I would be really nice to spend a day or two here when I have more money at some point in the future.

One of the main attractions is the Gold King gold mine and ghost town, which is really just a big junk yard, on the edge of town. “Junk” isn’t quite the right word, though; it’s a collection of old vehicles and mining machinery that have been brought there by the owners and it was relaxing to just wander down rows and rows of old trucks and cranes.

Some choice items at the Gold King mine
The taste miners crave

Apart from the cool buses and whatnot there were a few items that stood out as actually pretty darn unique. The first was an industrial-sized drum of the short-lived holiday classic: “Cream of Spotted Owl soup”. Just across the way from that was a goat that clearly had a lot of diva blood in it; it kept striking poses on a rock and gave me a look that said “I know I’m fabulous. What do you do?”. Finally, there was an electric car from way back before they even had steering wheels. The associated plaque said it got about 50 miles to a charge. Pretty cool!

goat, electric car
Camping outside Prescott

Before the Sun got too low I left Jerome and drove the rest of AZ 89A into Prescott (pronounced “Prescutt” for some reason) where I found another campsite on Forest land just outside the city. I constructed a fire while cooking rice but never actually lit it; my heart wasn’t really into it. The thermometer read 43 but it felt much colder than that. Time to bundle up.

A few other observations:

  • Jerome was full of Miatas and I can see why. Higher up in the mountains the road was very windy and empty. Perfect driving conditions.

  • Are sweet onions and yellow onions different? They were different prices at the grocery store.

  • KAFF 92.9 American Country is the only radio station I’ve been able to reliably get for the last few days and is thus all I’ve been listening to. At first I didn’t mind when they played “Dirt on My Boots”, “May You” (May We?), and “Blue is Not Your Color” three times an hour, but it’s starting to get a little ridiculous.

  • I spent the next two days in Prescott. All I did was work at the library and leave, so there’s nothing to say about the city itself.


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