| Previous Page | Home | Next Page |

Sunday, May 1 - Jerome

We made our way to Jerome, billed as the world's largest ghost town.  It was a large copper mining operation about 2000 ft above the town Cottonwood below.  Can you sense the height in these pictures?  The carriage, belonging to the original mine owners, was used in the film Oklahoma! It was from Arizona? The azurite and malachite rock shown weighs  2700 pounds.

We drove west to a campground in Camp Verde. Here, we met an interesting couple from Germany, who had been traveling in a high-tech home-made RV for the past 14 months in Canada, US and Mexico, with their 2 1/2 yr-old daughter.  They return in July. It turns out that, in Germany, you are permitted to take off work to take care of your children until they are 3 years old, with a guarantee that your job will be waiting for you when you return. Here, companies complain when a woman takes a few weeks off after birth! More interestingly, their daughter, Kim, was adopted.


Monday, May 2 - Charlie

At breakfast, we heard that our friend, Charlie McDaniel, died this morning.  We had been phoning back on a regular basis, and were aware that he had been sliding and in increasing pain.  The news still comes as a surprise.  Charlie was a good man,  a faithful friend, husband, father and grandfather. He gave of the little he had with an open heart that did not expect to receive back, working hard throughout his life to be a good provider.  We saw him as a faithful friend who would step up to the plate whenever there was a need to serve someone else.  He especially liked to buy special presents for his sweetheart and wife, Dorothy.  That's a picture of Charlie and Dorothy taken a few years ago at their 50th wedding anniversary.  Although sad to see Charlie go, we rejoice in his graduation to a better place, where we will be with him again soon.  Do you have that assurance of where you will go after death?

We drove east on Rt 260 through the ponderosa pine forests and some interesting towns like Strawberry, Pine, Pinetop, Lakeside that told you exactly what was there. We continued to climb until we were in the Sunrise Peak ski area, then some down again until we stopped to spend the night at a supermarket parking lot in Springerville, AZ.

Tuesday, May 3 - El Morro

Drove towards Albuquerque, but  through Rt 53 in New Mexico in Zuni. Navajo, and Acoma Indian territory. Stopped at El Morro (Inscription Rock) which had several hundred inscriptions by travelers from early Indian petroglyphs to 1904.  Soon, it became bitter cold, and it started to slush and hail.  We decided to move into Albuquerque for the night, and spent the night in a...guess where?...Wal-Mart parking lot.  It rained all afternoon.

Wednesday, May 4

Moved into a commercial campground on the west side of town, and spent the day catching up on mail that had been delivered there, rearranging the contents of the camper, laundry, showers and email/internet.

Thursday, May 5 - Great Sand Dunes National Monument

05/05/05 - a day to remember.  Derek and Fiona picked up Ed in a rental car last night.  Derek flew in from San Antonio, and Fiona stopped on the way home from a business trip in San Diego.  The three spent the evening in a hotel in Albuquerque and left early morning to drive to Great Sand Dunes NM in Colorado. The purpose of the trip was to spread the ashes of their mother and Ed's first wife, Muriel, on the sand dunes.  The trip had been planned earlier, but it worked out that this was to be the proper time.   To get to the top of the dunes, you must take a strenuous hike up some 700 ft to an elevation near 8800 ft. through loose sand...a very aerobic effort in a oxygen-poor atmosphere.  In 1985, nearly exactly 20 years ago, but also in the summer heat, she climbed to the top. This was such a superhuman effort for her, at a time of her physical weakness, that we felt this was to be the place for her ashes.  The day was beautiful.  We made it to the very top, Derek read scripture, Fiona sang hymns, Ed prayed and we took turns spreading the ashes.  It was a solemn yet also joyous occasion, as we reminisced and re-bonded.  And...that picture on the right, bottom, ...isn't that a beautiful resting place? The mountains in the background are called Sangre de Christo (Blood of Christ) and rise to 14700 feet. With two deaths and a burial, this was a most unusual week.  (The ash spreading was done with prior knowledge by the Park Service, with Derek securing the proper papers and paying the permit fee.)   



Friday, May 6 - Petrified Forest National Park

We said goodbye to Derek and Fiona in late morning after breakfast with Patty, and made our way west again to Petrified Forest NP, AZ.  (Lots of driving in the past week.)

 It's hard to believe the quantity and quality of the petrified wood in this park - many "logs" over 100 ft long, many more than 2 ft and some more than 4 ft across.  Tons upon tons; strange stone formations as well.  Very windy all afternoon.   We camped in the parking lot of a curio shop just south of Petrified Forest NP.  Flower: desert rosemallow.


Saturday, May 7

Travel day.  We stopped to have our pictures taken by teepees.  How'd you like to spend the night in one of these? We made our way as much as possible on Historic Route 66 to Wal-Mart in Kingman. Many towns along the way still have old style Route 66 neon signs, and the motels are straight out of the 50's and 60's.  







| Previous Page | Home | Next Page |