Thursday, August 25, 2016

Last day in Payson, AZ

Today, Jean and I went on our last outing in this area. Tomorrow we head to Chandler, AZ, for six days then  to Mesa, AZ, for four months.

We headed to Tuzigoot National Monument.  
The name is Apache for crooked water.  The monument is the remnant of a Sinagua a Village.  It is 120 feet above the Verde Valley.  The original pueblo was two stories high in places, with 87 ground floor rooms.  There were few exterior doors; entry was by ladders through roof openings.

We left Tuzigoot and headed to Jerome, AZ, we were told that it was a unique town.  Well....I would say that.  It is built on the side of a hill.

Jerome, Arizona is a ghost town alive and well. From wickedly wild to wildly artistic. Located high atop Cleopatra Hill between Sedona and Prescott, this historic copper and gold mining town founded in 1876. When gold was discovered in Jerome, miners, gamblers and bad boys of the old west flocked here. Saloons and bawdy houses were the entertainment after a hard days work. At one time, Jerome was the fourth largest town in the Arizona Territory with a rowdy population that reached over 15,000.

When gold and copper deposits dwindled, Jerome AZ became a veritable ghost town with about 50 residents that stayed behind. Although Jerome is now a treasured tourist magnet, comprised of artists, writers, unique boutique shops, wine bars, quaint dining spots and amazing views across the Verde Valley. Its appearance has not changed much in the last 100 years.

Many of the old buildings from the late 1890s still stand and are occupied by proprietors while many structures are fragment relics from its very early days. Because Jerome was built on the side of a hill, gravity and erosion has caused building to slide down the 30 degree slope. Tourists can enjoy walking among the buildings of historical significance while shopping for art treasures and dining on outside patios overlooking the views.

During its rough and tough days, Jerome was given the distinction of "Wickedest Town in the West". Saloons and brothels lined the streets. Jerome, Arizona produced over a billion dollars worth of gold, copper, silver and zinc during a period of over 70 years until the last mine closed in 1953.

We were told to take 89A from Jerome to Prescott because it was scenic.  I found out too late that there was 127 curves going straight up in 12 miles.  Check out this You Tube video if you want to see how hair raising this was

We took the highway back to Tonto Natural Bridge State Park.  This is $7 per person.  Since this is not a National Park, the senior pass does not apply.

 It is believed to be the largest natural travertine bridge in the world. The bridge stands 183 feet high over a 400-foot long tunnel that measures 150 feet at its widest point.
Javalina's roam freely on the grounds.

Well, another full day.  Hopefully, tomorrow will be a quieter day.

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