Thursday, December 31, 2015

Prescott, AZ Christmas And More!

Earlier this week we decided to drive over to Prescott to take in the Christmas lights.  Rather than drive the expedient highway around Mingus Mountain, we decided to meander up to an elevation of 7,000 feet and enjoy the winding scenic route down to Prescott Valley!  We highly recommend it for a daylight drive.  

At an elevation of 5,066 feet you go through the copper mining ghost town of Jerome.  It is a tourist attraction today with a population of around 500.  The gold building is the Grand Hotel and it is open for business.  It is said to be haunted and even feels spooky passing by in the light of day!    
When we arrived in Prescott, we decided to explore the local geological attraction called Granite Dells.  Granite Dells are these weathered rock formations to the north side of Prescott.  Granite Dells itself is not a park, but you can drive amongst some of the boulders by driving the Granite Dells Loop off of Hwy. 89A.  There are homes built along the loop.  You can get this scenic view at Watson Lake State Park.  Watson Lake is a man-made reservoir.  Swimming is not allowed, but there are boat rentals.  The lake as a whole is a no-wake zone and therefore is for peaceful exploring.  Willow Lake is nearby, but is also a reservoir with the same restrictions.  It has some trails near it.
This is the courthouse square.
This view is walking towards the front of the courthouse.
This view catches the side of the courthouse and the front near the red lights. 
This is the front facing the street called Whiskey Row.  Whiskey Row was reported at one time to have 40 bars!!!  It is now a combination of restaurants, art galleries, and gift shops.
This is the back of the courthouse.  It is so pretty, I was undecided for awhile, as to whether is was possibly the main entrance! 
This is Whiskey Row.  We enjoyed a stroll through the shops and around the rest of the square, as well.  Including the beautiful drive over the mountain, exploring the Granite Dells, our tour of lights and shops, plus the expedient route home, our adventure only took 5 hours!  A very reasonable and fun outing from Cottonwood, through Jerome, to Prescott, and home again! 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Cottonwood, AZ Christmas

Roy and I love Old Town Cottonwood and can see ourselves living here someday.  We took a stroll around town one evening this week to enjoy the Christmas lights and quaint shops.
O' Christmas tree, O' Christmas tree,  O' How I adore thee!  The tree changed colors and the lighted snowflakes danced around the building! 
We love the Grinch on the City of Cottonwood Finance Department building!
Music was playing and the lighted figures were dancing about changing and putting on quite a show!  Very festive! 
This is the main street with all the cute shops and nice restaurants!
Here's a peek into the Iron Horse Inn courtyard!
Awwwww!  It's so serene!  Come for a visit and stay awhile!  Siiiilent Night.....!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sedona, AZ Christmas

We decided to drive the 15 miles up Hwy. 89A from Cottonwood to Sedona to check out the community Christmas lights.  This is a picturesque pullout along the way.  Sedona's holiday lighting wasn't what we had hoped for, but we did enjoy strolling around the Tlaquepaque artisan village. 
When in the Sedona area, you will hear Tlaquepaque mentioned often.  Sedona has a t.v. channel dedicated to featuring the Tlaquepaque artisans, shops, and restaurants.  When I saw the name,  I assumed there might be a translation giving meaning to the word.  What I didn't know is that my research would discover a whole story!  I'll share it with you, as you scroll through the shopping village called Tlaquepaque!
Back in the 70's, Sedona had one stop light and most of the land was still open range.
Around that time, Abe Miller, a successful Nevada businessman, started coming to Sedona on vacations.  Being in the real estate development business, he had an eye for possibility.
Abe was a traveler and he loved Mexico.
It was his heart's desire to build, someday, somewhere, a beautiful place reflecting the charm and mood of old Mexico.
The conceptual history of Tlaquepaque is truly a story of this man's love for beauty and perfection.
Under the influence of the lively creative arts scene in Mexico, it struck him that Sedona was a natural location for a living arts community.
It would be a village where artisans work out in full view and live on-site as well.  It worked in Mexico and could work here.
He would call his artisan village Tlaquepaque after the colorful Mexican city on the outskirts of Guadalajara.
Tlaquepaque is a word from the ancient language of the Aztecs.  Tlaquepaque  means the "best of everything"!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Crazies, Guns, and 911

We’ve been full time RVing for 6 years now without neighbor issues other than minor annoyances.  We recently had an experience with a neighbor that had us moving out quickly in the night and making a new life rule!  Trails End R.V. Park which had been a nice park in the past was changing its philosophy towards filling the park with full time residents and as such was letting some very impoverished and questionable people into the park.  Unfortunately, we were in a lot with empty lots around us.  We had two different trailers and renters move into the lot behind ours only to get tossed out.  One was asked to leave for lack of funds to pay his rent and the other for issues with his dogs.  Our craziest neighbor moved in next to us.  We knew he was not right in his head and had a scary edge the first day he arrived.  We should have left when our rent first came due, if not sooner.  We’ve added moving out when scary crazies move in to our list of life rules!  From day one we started altering our actions, because of his presence.    Roy tried to be especially nice thinking it would ward off trouble with him.  We locked our door more.   Our thoughts were on our safety, but we hadn’t considered potential damage to property. The guy started out staying to himself and then slowly started coming out and about terrorizing his neighbors.  He mostly was just abusive in his comments, but did let some know he had a large knife hidden up inside a walking stick and that he had a gun, as well.  He angrily grumbled about what should have been positive short exchanges.  He wanted favors and was angered whether things went his way or not.  I took him to have a very controlling and abusive personality.  Thursday night, November 12th, it sounded like he was punching the inside of his trailer walls and he roamed around outside swearing so loudly to himself that we could hear him over a movie we were watching!  I think that was the day he was told he had a week to leave, because of the number of complaints the office was getting about him.  Although several people had complained about him, it seemed he decided to particularly blame us!  We think this came about, as Roy had tried to befriend him only to have it create negative feelings later on.  The Friday after the neighbor’s evening rant, Roy found a suspicious cut about the width of a knife blade in the side of our front tire.  Roy suspected the crazy neighbor, but it could have been one of the crazies from behind us that minor tensions had occurred with.  We probably should have left the park that day based on our suspicions, but didn’t.   On Friday our crazy neighbor made a particularly nasty remark to a guy’s wife.  He had made abusive remarks to other women living near him, also.  The park manager told our neighbor he would have to leave on Saturday!  The evening of Friday the 13th the neighbor got on another drunken rage.  We could hear the bashing of the inside of the trailer and his outdoor rants.  The park management called the marshal’s office and four vehicles showed up!  The show of force told me they knew of him!  They told him to stay in his trailer until morning, which of course, he didn’t do.  People were told to call 911 if he was seen outside the trailer.  After the police left, we saw him leaning against our truck and talking to some new neighbors that had moved in behind us for the week.  He was telling them how people think he is crazy, but he isn’t!  Roy called 911 and the marshals came out again.  They didn’t do anything besides try to get him to stay in his trailer.  He came out with them still there and they didn’t do anything.  We decided to pack up and leave, as the neighbor was escalating in his defiant behavior towards the park residents and we were becoming fearful that he might decide to start shooting people or at a minimum cause damage to our vehicle.  We had the police stay while we loaded up.  Amazing how quickly one can get on the road!  We went over by the casino for some free overnight camping.  It was the best sleep we’d had in a month!  After we left the park, the crazy neighbor was reported to have begun pretend shooting people with his finger and making threatening remarks!  That was one more escalation before possibly doing the real thing in my opinion.  The marshals returned and took him away for the night.  Roy checked the truck Saturday morning to find that the plastic rain shield over the driver’s door had been busted, and that there was a suspicious mark in the windshield and paint.  We checked out some r.v. parks just outside Cottonwood.  We were lucky to get into Rio Verde RV Park on 89A towards Sedona.  We told them the crazy guys name and gave them Trails End RVs number for verification.  The gal in the office looked him up on the Yavapai Superior Court website and found that he has a whole list of charges against him going back as far as 2003!  Some burglary, but most returning to properties he was thrown off of by the police or owner.  We were told by a Trails End Park resident that the crazy guy said he had been thrown out of every park he’d been in!  I counted about a dozen such charges!  I was glad to see there weren’t any violence charges other than a single assault of a minor.  I talked to an r.v. park up the street to give them the heads-up, but found that they had already had dealings with him of a similar nature and that he wouldn’t be allowed back there.  Whew!  I was glad to hear that!  We’re very happy with our new location, but it took awhile to recuperate from our encounter with this guy.  We’ve decided if we see him around our new location that we will move on, but for now we are going to follow through with our plans for this area.

Thoughts on guns:   In the heat of dealing with our scary neighbor and afterward, people would mention that they have a gun and speak as though they wouldn’t hesitate to use it.  Our philosophy is that it’s great to have a gun in the event that your life is being threatened and there isn’t any chance for escape, but that any use of a gun is going to incur expensive and tension filled legal ramifications that could determine your actions to be in the wrong.  I’ve always heard that you can only match force with equal force.  Someone’s ranting and the fear you might feel isn’t enough to start flashing your gun around and most likely will only escalate the problem.  A crazy like our neighbor might shoot you directly, but would be more likely to shoot you right through the side of your rig or some other time when you didn’t see it coming!  Best to move on as soon as a crazy moves in or at a minimum when they ramp up like our neighbor did!

Using 911:  Since the police advised the r.v. park residents to call 911, we had to check the internet to see whether our phone number from another state would contact 911 in the state of origin!   It turns out calling 911 will connect you with a local central dispatcher capable of contacting local 911 dispatchers around the United States and Canada!  The internet pointed out that you could be on the phone with a friend across the country when they experience an emergency.  You could call 911 on their behalf.  You would be connected to the 911 dispatcher for the area you are in regardless of your phone area code and you would then be transferred to the dispatcher for the area your friend is in.  Another internet example of 911 networking says that no matter where you call 911 from in New York City the call will be routed through one of 5 centers all located in Brooklyn.  Now we know!