Feeling Superior

The first time I visited Superior, AZ, it was the epitome of a derelict former mining town. The buildings along the main drag were derelict, boarded up, crumbling. In many cases the facades hid an interior that was open to the sky.

There were a few struggling businesses catering to tourists, but not very much to induce one to spend more than a couple hours strolling. In six short years, that has changed dramatically. Continue reading “Feeling Superior”

Crown King obstacles

Here is video of my attempts to cross the first obstacle on the road from Lake pleasant to Crown King.

There are two such obstacles on the trail. It took me few tries to get over the rocks.  Next time I know the trick.

Crown King

At the staging area.

Saturday we took the RZR on the first real workout since I bought it. My boss lent me his truck, and JD, a friend, lent me his trailer. We went to Lake Pleasant, AZ (elevation 1700 ft.)Our destination was over the mountain, to Crown King (elevation 5900). We went from desert to mountains, from scrub brush and cactus to towering pines. Continue reading “Crown King”

Prescott, AZ

I went to Prescott (pronounced press-kit) AZ after Christmas. Prescott is known for Whiskey Row, once a notorious street populated by saloons and whore houses.  The likes of Doc Holiday and Wyatt Earp walked the streets and visited the businesses of Whiskey Row.

The Hotel St. Michael occupies the corner of the block, and marks the beginning of Whiskey Row. The Palace is next door… the oldest restaurant in Arizona.

The Palace is a tourist trap. I found out the hard way when I waited fifteen minutes at the bar to not be served. Continue reading “Prescott, AZ”

Emery’s Peridot Mine

Emery is full Apache. He lives on the San Carlos reservation, and has a peridot mine.

The San Carlos reservation is home to the largest peridot deposit on earth. Dig just a few feet into the earth and you will strike a vein.

Peridot is a semi-precious stone. It id not native to this planet, but is residual from meteorite strikes.

All property on the rez is owned by the tribe. There is no real private property. You can own your house or trailer, just not the land underneath. Emery had to approach the tribal elders to be approved to stake his claim on his mine. At any time, the elders can revoke his privilege.

Emery mines the peridot, which is a frangible stone. While not rare, larger stones are infrequent.

Peridot is vivid green. The mining is done with sledges and picks. Hard work. The choice stones are then sold to gemstone merchants who then cut the stones. Emery buys the cut stones back, and his wife and daughters create jewelry that they sell.

It was an honor to be invited to his mine. The last white eyes he invited were NASA scientists seeking information on the San Carlos peridot. It is very difficult to be allowed to roam uninvited on the Rez if you are not Apache.

Looking north on the San Carlos rez, you can see the southern border of the White Mountain Apache tribe.

Emery’s hair is short in these photos. He suffered a loss in his family, and in Apache tradition had his hair shorn. Otherwise, the traditional Apache men do not cut their hair.

Emery insisted we take any rocks we wanted as souvenirs. I picked up a few small specimens. I think he may have been insulted, because he gave me several very large rocks when we left.

Of all of the great places to visit in Arizona, most of them open to the public, I have had the pleasure to see first hand the places that are not open to tourists. And I have people such as Emery to thank for that.

 

a concept

God is a concept
By which we measure
Our pain
I’ll say it again
God is a concept
By which we measure
Our pain
I don’t believe in magic
I don’t believe in I-Ching
I don’t believe in Bible
I don’t believe in tarot
I don’t believe in Hitler
I don’t believe in Jesus
I don’t believe in Kennedy
I don’t believe in Buddha
I don’t believe in mantra
I don’t believe in Gita
I don’t believe in yoga
I don’t believe in kings
I don’t believe in Elvis
I don’t believe in Zimmerman
I don’t believe in Beatles
I just believe in me