Friday, March 26, 2010

We are having fun

We’re having fun. We’ve taken some neat hikes here at Dead Horse Ranch and back in Sedona. Thursday night we had dinner with new friends Mike and Bev Heine and two of their friends, Paul and Ada Kitchen. We first met Mike and Bev and Bottomless Lakes State Park in New Mexico.

We never know ahead of time how these spur-of-the-moment get-togethers will work out, but we had a great time. Lots of conversation and lots of laughs as we all talked about our full-time lives on the road. The internet and our blogs will help us stay in touch and hopefully meet up again down the road.

Today it was really windy so we decided to take in some of the local history here in Cottonwood, AZ. We went to the Clemenceau Museum in town.  On the grounds of the musuem is the town's first bank.
I found it interesting that the bank advertised their"surplus" which, no doubt, was in cash.  Nothing like advertising what was in the safe.   Note the late hours on Pay Day.

What made this museum so interesting were the local residents who volunteer at the museum.
to work on projects.  This model railroad captures vignettes of Cottonwodd and surrounding towns.  Everything is hand-made and often assembled under magnifying glasses.  Al Barr, Chuck, Lanphere and Bruce Deland were busy kidding each other when we stopped to talk with them. 

In this scene an actual segment of downtown Cottonwood is depicted.  The building were painstakingly made from the sides of cereal boxes.

What is a western town without a saloon?

Sandy spent some time talking with ladies working on quilts and one of the women proudly showed us this sampler she made in 1997.

Then when we left the musuem this piece of tumbling tumbleweed served as a visual reminder that we are indeed in the Old West.

Our personal guide at the museum told us about an old abandoned gold mine in the nearby town of Jerome up in the mountains.

After lunch we drove up the winding and twisting steep  mountain highway filled with switchbacks to a charming old town of 5,000 people who enjoy the many tourists that visit everyday.

Just outside of town we found the Gold King Mine. The miners who started the mine in the early 1900s planned to pull copper out of the mountainside. And while they did just that, they also ran into GOLD. What rotten luck.

Because the mine is closed and dangerous, visitors are not allowed inside, but here is a look into the tunnel from which small ore cars brought out copper and gold.

And here is a mine car filled with copper ore.

The grounds around the gold mine are filled with tons and tons of old stuff, from vintage cars to worn out tools and mining equipment. There is even a working saw mill on the grounds.

For my RV friends who love the Cummins diesel engines in their motorhomes here is an early predecessor built the same year I was born.  Today these great engines slurp our diesel fuel and propel us wherever we wish to go.

This Studebaker electric car was made in
South Bend, Indiana in the early 1900s.  Looks like an old idea is new again.

Also on the grounds are some buildings that were transported from nearby communities and some that served food and drink or provided services to the miners.

Below are two such buildings.

I guess you could describe the services represented in the above two photos as falling into two categories: needs and wants.

Stay tuned.

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