WE WILL BE GLAD TO TOUCH BASE WITH OUR ARIZONA DIGS SOON:))
Reading MERIKAY'S post this morning I am reminded of something I have written about a few times in previous posts a few years ago. I am reminded of something we have become accustomed to in the South West. In her post Merikay says, " One thing I find very distressing in the West is the small towns". Merikay goes on to say, "It’s all the old deteriorating mobile homes and shacks that I find disturbing. I would have taken some pictures, but that would be like taking pictures of the poor in a third world country". We just cannot comprehend"………….. I totally understand what Merikay is talking about & I to have chosen not to take many photos. When Kelly & I first began traveling to the South West we were disturbed by what we saw going through a lot of small western towns along the way beginning in northern Texas right on through New Mexico, Arizona, & California. Living & growing up in Southern Ontario we had never seen anything like those desolate little towns with their crumbling vacant buildings. Hard to comprehend the old shacks & crumbling trailers people were living in. Junk & litter scattered about. We were just not accustomed to seeing derelict towns & people living in the conditions they did. And it took us a few winters of traveling to begin to understand & accept what we were seeing. Little did we know we would eventually come to understand & accept what we were seeing so much that we would actually buy a house ourselves in kind of a tumbledown tired little old western mining town just like some of the places we had seen.
In previous posts a few times years ago I wrote about 'seeing with our South West eyes'. Switching our South Western Ontario heads to our South West Arizona heads each winter as we made our trek west. It is the lifestyle difference I often refer to in my writings & it is that drastic difference between our Bayfield area home & our Congress area home that we find so appealing. In southern Ontario everything for the most part is very prim & proper. No litter or garbage strewn about. Very few old shacks or junky trailers to be found. There are no desolate towns in comparison to what we see in the west. Cities, towns, neighbourhoods, homes & farms are, as a rule, very manicured & easy to look at. As I said, for the most part very prim & proper. And it is Ontario's laws, legislations, & building codes that make it so.
CLIMBING A ROCKY RIDGE BEHIND OUR HOUSE TO GET A BETTER VIEW OF OUR NEIGHBORHOOD
THIS IS A BACKYARD VIEW OF OUR PLACE THROUGH A 300mm LENS & THAT’S GHOST TOWN ROAD OUT FRONT…JEEP AT LEFT & DAMON MOTORHOME AT RIGHT…TAKEN LAST WEEK OF FEBRUARY 2013
Now, before I go any further let me make it clear I am not bashing parts of the South West. Long time readers know how much I love it there. And one of the things I love about it so much is simply it is still the old wild West in many ways. And that is very appealing to me because it is the old West that I am there to be a part of, to see, to experience, & to live in. It is the totally different western lifestyle that peaks my interest. Everything is different from Bayfield. The houses, the people, the landscape, flora & fauna. Different attitude, different value system & a different way of thinking. I always feel much more at home in the West than I do here in Ontario where I have spent the majority of my life. I think there is a little bit of wandering Gypsy in me mixed with some Cowboy yearnings backed up by a touch of Hillbilly hankerins. And the West is well suited for that kind of personality. Not so much in Ontario though.
KELLY SCANS OUR NEIGHBORHOOD WITH BINOCULARS
Our old ranch style house in Congress Arizona is located on Ghost Town Road. A rather historic road with a fitting name that leads to a dead end at the old Congress gold mine about a mile from our place. Nothing much up there except a couple old cemeteries, a bunch of cactus, some Rattlesnakes, a boondocking area, & some houses built on some pretty tough ground. Congress itself is hard to describe because it is hard to call it a town. There is really no town there to speak of in the normal sense of a town. Two highways converge & a rail line runs through one of the them & alongside the other. That's kind of it. You could practically drive right through Congress without knowing you had even ever been there. Newest buildings are a gas station, a dollar store, fire hall, & a post office. There is a library & a medical center too. Oh & a good RV garage plus a few other small business. But there is no downtown to really speak of. Congress is just kind of scattered around on the desert floor like a bunch of loose marbles. But it has an old west feel to it with lots of dust & old boards & that is why we like it. It's kinda rough & tumble with no fancyisms………………….except for maybe NICHOLS WEST RESTAURANT.
A MORNING OVERVIEW OF CONGRESS ARIZONA WITH SOME FOLKS BURNING BRUSH…HARD TO TELL YOU WHERE DOWNTOWN IS BECAUSE BASICALLY THERE IS NO DOWNTOWN BUT IF I SAID DEAD CENTER I WOULD BE CLOSE…OUR HOUSE IS JUST OUT OF SIGHT AT THE BOTTOM LEFT CORNER
SQUARE BUILDING NEAR CENTER IS THE SCHOOL WHICH IS TWO BLOCKS SOUTHWEST OF US
OUR HOUSE IS SLIGHTLY VISIBLE RIGHT OF TOP CENTER BUT IT’S TOO HARD TO EXPLAIN EXACTLY WHERE
Ghost Town Road itself is made up of a real residential hodgepodge of dwellings. Starts off with open desert then morphs into a newer fancy high end subdivision on one side. That is immediately followed by modest dwellings, & absolute junk yards. We fall contentedly into the modest dwellings category & we are comfortable in this type of atmosphere. Yes I wish some of our neighbors would make an effort to clean up all the junk & trash around their places but that's likely not going to happen any time soon & we have come to accept that. It is the way of the West. And I certainly feel much more comfortable where we are rather than having to live in the fancy-do community down the road. Did I mention my touch of Hillbilly:))
OUR BACKYARD’S SOUTHWEST CORNER BUT IT SURE WASN’T CLEANED UP LIKE THIS WHEN WE BOUGHT IT
BACK HALF OF OUR SOUTH SIDE YARD
NORTHWEST CORNER WHICH WAS TOTALLY OVERGROWN WHEN WE MOVED IN
Here are 3 links to posts I have written in the past about the different lifestyle comparisons we have observed over the years. If your not interested in reading about that you still might find my South West photos interesting. Especially 'White Sands' near Alamogordo New Mexico. Newer RV folks might find these posts enlightening. Keep in mind it is just my opinion & that sure don’t make it so do it:))
Ok, switching gears…………………………………..
SOMETIMES MY LITTLE PAL GETS A BIT SNOOZY ON OUR JEEP RIDES
WHEN I’M WORKING ON MY POSTS AT NIGHT PHEEBS USUALLY CURLS UP ON ONE OF THE SOFT CHAIRS NEARBY
SHE LOVES HER TOYS
Question in our Shout Box about how we like towing our Jeep. Let me say I like towing a toad far better than I like towing a trailer. I can have that Jeep hooked on in about 3 minutes & unhooked in about a third of that time. If I line things up correctly in the first place that is. Our Jeep is a 6 speed standard so we tow it 4 wheels down. Only thing we really have to do is disengage the 4 wheel drive crankcase & we're good to go. I was never interested in having to use a tow dolly & that is why we bought our standard 5 speed Hyundai Santa Fe when we first hit the road. Towed the Santa Fe for our first 3 years with no problem. With the 33' Damon Class A, the 23' Sunseeker Class C, & the 26' Winnebago Class C we never knew or even know we have a tow vehicle on behind. And we've never had brakes on either the Santa Fe or our Jeep Wrangler. Both tow vehicles towed, cornered, & stopped like a charm.
We hit 74F today under sunny skies & a light breeze. Just doesn't get any better than that for me. Kelly put in a few hours at DEER PARK. Pheebs & I slipped into Bayfield for a 'Cold Cut Combo sub to go at Subway about 11. We did get ourselves messed up pretty good with some drippy sub sauce on the way home. Kelly's oldest Son Jason, wife Kim, & their nearly 2 year old little boy Reeve are at Deer Park for the week-end. They dropped over in the afternoon to show Reeve the big Winnebago, the groovy Jeep, & the vroooom vrooooom Motorcycle. In typical little boy fashion he liked em all:))
REEVE CHECKS OUT THE JEEP WHILE DAD LOOKS ON
AND THE MOTORCYCLE
GEORGE in his comment to my email problem hit on something in Gmail I have overlooked. (I've become kind of notorious for overlooking things) It's a simple solution that I'm sure will help me keep track of emails I wish to respond to from here on in. And it's a simple solution. Just 'star' the email. I obviously never thought to click that little box to the left. With that big gold star it will be easy for me to keep track of important emails now. Thanks George, & thanks STEVE for your offer to help as well. Two good guys with two good ideas. And speaking of good ideas, have you seen CHINLE'S finished South West decorative touches to her Gypsy cargo trailer:))
REEVE ESPECIALLY LIKED WINNIE THE BAGO & HERE HE TRIES TO SHIFT IT INTO SECOND GEAR WITH OUR COBRA MOBILE CB ANTENNAE
KIM & JASON LOOK ON WITH REEVE AT THE CONTROLS…EASING PAST THE DOGGY
WONDERED WHAT THEY WERE ALL LOOKING & LAUGHING AT…….
TURNED OUT TO BE A FROG IN OUR CERAMIC FOUNTAIN
GROANER'S CORNER:(( Bill was short of money and was out looking for a job. Pastor Nelson offered Bill $500 to buy paint and paint the church. Well Bill went out bought some paint and started painting the church. He discovered that he was using more paint than he expected so he added some thinner to the paint. It still covered but not as well as it did at first. Bill was still using more paint than he wanted to use. The paint was too thin to cover well but Bill still kept on painting. All of a sudden there was a bolt of lighting and a loud voice from the sky proclaimed, "Bill!!"......."Repaint and thin no more."
- Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.
- Home is where your pet is:))
- "If having a soul means being able to feel
love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals
are better off than a lot of humans."
- The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails -William Arthur Ward
- The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...AL.
- It is not so much having nothing to do as it is not having the interest to do something....AL.
I read Merikay's post and I thought "you know a lot of those deserted looking houses are where people actually live". You are right...who are we do judge (I know Merikay was not judging...just observing).....we are all but a step away in real time. And sometimes I'm thinking who are the smart ones...everyone is just trying to make it in their own way. A lot of the fancy smancy newer sub-division is in foreclosure...so there is that. Good post...I do think people could try to keep things clean though...that doesn't cost anything. Beautiful weather here in Congress....we have not had any AC for the last three days...ReplyDelete
Your photo's today brought back good memories.
Reeve looks like he's not used to dogs, A couple more visits will fix that.
My uncle Irvin was born in Congress, and he explained the clutter, the rusty and the left-behind stuff when I asked him about it. He said people in Arizona (and in many parts of the NM and Texas) are typical old West because of their attitudes. No one can tell them how to vote, how they should live and how they should celebrate. They can live the way they want. I guess that's true. Arizona doesn't observe Daylight Savings time; until recently, didn't celebrate all the national holidays; and still doesn't make every yard and mountain manicured. Regional character.ReplyDelete
I'm glad people understood I was not judging anyone. I have never been a perfect housekeeper, but picking up the trash in the yard doesn't cost anything.ReplyDelete
On the otherhand. Several years ago I was looking at property in scottsdale arizona. So many rules! The subdivisions all dictated what colors your house had to be, and what kind of plants you could or could not plant in your yard. Way to many CCRs for me!
I really am a live and let live person. I was just dismayed that people didn
Ipad published beforeReplyDelete
i was finished.
I just want thing to be better for all people.
That little boy sure thinks you have everything he needs to have fun. I bet today will be a memory for a long time. He will be a biker for sure later in life.ReplyDelete
My husband and I would fit right in Arizona. We don't like anyone telling us how to live. We wouldn't make it in a place with a homeowners association. It's bad enough the local government tells you what you can do on your own land.ReplyDelete
People who live in little western towns are rugged individuals that don't care for a whole lot of rules. One of the reasons I like it so much.ReplyDelete
Hey thanks for the shout, glad you got your email straightened out.ReplyDelete
We too love the southwest just something about it makes it so special, like the old west feeling I get every year when we wander about there.
Can't wait to get on the road again.
Hey, Al...you should take a drive through western Pennsylvania sometime. For me, THAT was depressing. Hubby grew up in a small town near Erie and we went back about 10 years ago. ALL of his family is gone, all cousins gone...NO JOBS! Factories have closed. It was DEPRESSING~ I much prefer the wide open West. I actually teach in a VERY low income area near the Salton Sea...talk about old trailers! A trailer park down there was condemned and there were over 300 dogs running loose. I had a girl last year who slept overnight in a car with her dad. But, she came to school clean every day...you just never know.ReplyDelete
Good post Al! Sure hope we get to head south this winter--straight to Arizona. We also don't use brakes on our jeep--we do have trailer brakes when towing the trailer but not on the jeep.ReplyDelete
Being raised in Arid-zona, I was/am sooo impressed with Canada's for-the-most-part prim and proper and manicured neighborhoods and towns...such neatness was foreign to me. I'll never forget my first time to visit Victoria, BC...I wanted to move there :)) So it is very cool that you can appreciate the other side of the coin...sometimes a little trashy, yes, but the unpolished, tumbledown, weathered west at it's core still sparks visions of wildness, a land apart from the east and north, trailers and all :))ReplyDelete
Box Canyon Mark
If you remember, there was an abandoned trailer just west of our highway gate. Well about a year after we finished the house, the owner of the land removed it, cleaned up the property and put it up for sale. Luckily, for us, the parcel is too small, by law, to build on.