Sunday, August 5, 2007

July 27, 2007

Sierra Vista to Pinetop, Arizona

I left Sierra Vista, Arizona with three grandchildren, Emily, Braden and Heather for a 300 mile drive north to Pinetop, in the White Mountains of eastern Arizona. I had made a time-share exchange for a condo at the Roundhouse Resort there, a time-share exchange. I'm hoping there will be many activities for the kids to do in this area.

We left Sierra Vista at a leisurely 10 am and drove along the planned route of AZ-90 up to Interstate I-10 east to the exit toward Safford. We covered about 100 miles to get to Safford, a town established in 1874 by hardy pioneers. This small town boosts a 100,000 gallon elevated water tank and 26 mile collection system built in 1939. Water is definitely the life blood of this country. The town is in some flat desert land that is between high buttes, Mt Graham, and river washes. We dodged active thunder storms that seemed to be heading our way, but just as we got to them, the road turned and we basically avoided all downpours. See the black downpour in the picture:

After another 73 miles of desert land on US-70 that included the San Carlos Indian Reservation and the Ft. Apache Indian Reservation we arrived at the town of Globe, organized in 1876. It was carved out of the Indian Reservation in the Pinal Mountain region because of the mineral wealth in the area, especially silver and copper. This town has a long history of what one thinks of as the "wild west." There were Apache Indian attacks, western outlaws, silver prospectors, U.S Cavalry, and the last hanging in Arizona (1936). Names like Geronimo, Apache Kid, the Clantons, Butch Cassidy, and stagecoach robber, Pearl Hart are connected to Globe. There was a McDonalds in town so we stopped for a "tail gate" lunch. We ate at the truck because we didn't want anyone to steal our suitcases while we were inside. See photo with Emily, Braden on right and Heather on right.

After Globe we headed up scenic US-60 through the Apache Mountains and into 10 miles of kind-of scary 10 miles into the Salt River Canyon. It was a beautiful route, but winding down to a bridge over the river. We stopped often to take photographs and to replenish our nerves. But as we gained elevation we came out of the deep canyons and into pine forests and onto the high Mogollon Rim country. After 75 miles we arrived at Show Low, elevation 6,400 ft, a town with an interesting name based on the loss of a ranch in a poker game. It was just about 10 more miles south on Hwy 260 to Pinetop where our condo was at the Roundhouse Resort. We arrived about 4 pm. Our suite was in the main lodge (at right) - very nice.

After a movie in the resort theater we figured out our sleeping arrangements and called it a day -- a big day!

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