We began Wednesday with a trip to Jerome. Jerome is a ghost town clinging to the side of a mountain on the south side of the Verde Canyon. In its heyday, Jerome had 15,000 residents and was the third largest city in Arizona. Now, it’s home to 400 people, primarily artists, craftsmen and those who cater to tourists.
|Looking 1900 feet down a mine shaft|
Our first stop was an abandoned headframe….the structure which is erected over the mine shaft and which is used to lower miners down the shaft and hoist ore and miners back up. There was a grate over the shaft allowing us to peer down 1900 feet…or at least as far as one could see. Can’t imagine being lowered in a cage down into that abyss!
Next up was a visit to Jerome Historic State Park which is housed in one of the world’s largest adobe structures. In here is a collection of ores, photos and memorabilia of the mine’s past glories. Here you learn that over 500 billion tons of ore were removed from these mines, resulting in over one billion dollars worth of copper, gold, silver and zinc. They also show a very cool movie of the town’s history, narrated by a ghost in a strange looking cemetery.
The ghost town now has twenty or so shops selling souvenirs and minerals, along with several restaurants, including the Asylum which is a part of the Jerome Grand Hotel. The hotel is actually a converted hospital which had a mental ward. They routinely have ghost hunts here….and they find them. What gave me the most goosebumps was the journal at the front desk. In this book, guests write down their nighttime “experiences”. In just the past few weeks: a woman saw a floating head in her room; another woman had experiences “which persuaded” her and she asked for a different room; several heard voices….and on and on. We want to go back and spend a couple of nights in that hotel!
On our way out of town we decided to find a geocache at the cemetery featured in the movie from the State Park. From this cemetery you could see the mountains at Flagstaff over 50 miles away…beautiful view, but the graves were very, very different. Each was enclosed with an iron “fence” and had stones piled on the grave. Some of the fences looked like bed frames, but others were very ornate…but still with the stones.
|Mona at her Vortex Tree|
We finished up the day with a climb to the top of a butte near the Sedona airport. This butte is considered to be another vortex spot and Mona quickly found her vortex tree to sit beside. Views from up here were incredible! And for the record, Mona climbs up these rocks like a mountain goat! Me…not. Could be because of my fall off that dam so many years ago but more likely, because of the three falls I’ve had these past twelve months! I haven’t broken any bones in almost 36 months and I want to keep it that way!
|Mona Sketching at Oak Creek|
Thursday, we decided to revisit our favorite spot below Cathedral Rock. We packed a picnic lunch and wine and set out down the trail. After a couple of miles we came to our spot on Oak Creek Canyon and much to our surprise our little Buddha stack was still there! We spread a blanket alongside the creek and dined al fresco. We spent several hours here…listening to the rushing water, Mona sketching, and me…just soaking up the vortex energy. (I needed the recharge since I was the one carrying the pack!) It struck our minds that we could have been working…nah….this was what we were meant to do!
Back to the International Film Festival for the evening. We were surprised to find out that a short film was to be presented before the film we had paid for. Turns out, we were attending a world premiere of a movie short titled “Remember to Breathe” starring Lee Meriwether and Susan Blakely. After the movie they had a panel discussion with the producer, director, Lee Meriwether and Susan Blakely. So cool! On top of that, they presented Lee Meriwether with a surprise lifetime achievement award. She got a standing ovation. Now we’re going to have to watch the original Batman movie to see Lee Meriwether as Catwoman.
|We Love Cathedral Rock!|
Our last film from the festival was “Woman from the 5th”. This one was set in Paris and starred Ethan Hawke. Mixture of French, English and Polish…murder, sexual intrigue, insanity…it was the perfect movie for an international film festival!
Friday, we headed for Palm Springs. It was just six hours from Sedona, but a climate or two away. We left Sedona at 34 degrees and arrived in Palm Springs at 89 degrees! Our first stop, of course, was Blue Coyote. It’s been a year since we’ve had their incredible margaritas. Once again I asked for their recipe but as always, the bartender pleaded ignorance. Also, as usual, Mona couldn’t drive after only one.
We enjoyed an evening stroll to the clubhouse to see ancillusionist show. Then strolled back to enjoy a star-filled sky. Beautifully warm!
Best of all, we now have high speed WiFi and 4G everywhere we go. Mona is happy…thus, I am happy!