Monday, May 14, 2018

Leaving the Cool of the Mountains - On Purpose :-(

May 7-11, 2018
Show Low - Globe, Arizona

When we left Payson I was definitely looking forward to a week in the White Mountains. I was also hoping that the insane itching in my hands and feet was over.

I'm still thinking that the trees are what I'm reacting to so when we pull into the Hon Dah Casino RV Park, I'm not excited to park in the pines. It's cool in the shade, but of course our satellite doesn't connect. The park lay-out is weird and there's no signage. It's about 12 miles from town.

We have appointments for new tires and alignment for the Jeep on Tuesday, but I already know we're not going to stay in the mountains past that. I've looked forward to this stop for months, and the temps are rising fast in the lower elevations. Still, getting out of the trees seems like my best option for relief.

Normally this would be a perfect spot.
Discount Tires is ready for us when we arrive, and it's a comfortable hour's wait for the new tires. This place is so busy!! For a small town, on a Tuesday, where there are several other tire stores, we're amazed at the number of walk-ins, phone calls, and appointments. Very professional and friendly. We're also very happy with our BF Goodrich All Terrain KO2 [we copied Dave and Sue (Beluga's Excellent Adventure)].

Piper getting her new shoes.

Putting aside vanity for a bit of relief.
Performance Auto is one of those "real" mechanic shops, and was recommended for getting the Jeep alignment. They show Bill that we have a frozen tie-rod (rust) that they can't break loose. It takes three deliveries to get the parts, but they get on it as soon as everything arrives. We're still in the uncomfortable waiting chairs for nearly three hours :-( 

One of several "Rat Rods" in their yard.

Not like any Gremlin I've ever seen.....
Not the way we thought we'd "see" Show Low, but it's good to finally get new tires, and eliminate the shimmy we've had in the front end for too long.

The drive from Show Low to Globe, Arizona, is listed in the top five scenic drives in a state filled with scenic drives. The Salt River Canyon is stunning. And steep! A couple 6 and 7% grades with tight turns keep it interesting. Fortunately the brake assist is working again.

We make a rare stop along our route to check out the river below.

Another casino stop, we pull into Apache Gold Casino and RV in Globe mid-day. We have definitely moved out of the pine trees!! I choose an end site with a Palo Verde tree for a small bit of shade, in a large asphalt parking lot, with full hookups at each site. 

The opposite of forest.

One little tree gives us a better "view" on this side.
As is often the case, I have no idea what to expect of this new-to-us place. Globe is one of those "hanging on" towns with a mostly closed historic downtown district, a few chain businesses on the main highway, and a variety of neighborhoods from run-down mobile homes to large ranches. People are friendly, we like it.

Thursday morning we enjoy the best quiche I've ever had at the Copper Hen Cafe. Although we have to fight off several annoying flies, it's a cute spot that we both recommend.

Lots of local art line the walls.

On the edge of town is an amazing archaeological site. Besh Ba Gowah is the largest ruins we've visited. We watch the interesting movie, check out the artifacts dug from the site, and walk the ruins. There's a nice breeze and we have the place to ourselves. Huge beaver tail and barrel cactus add to the beauty of the place. Although we're between a city park baseball diamond, and a public stable, there is still a sense of quiet spirit here.

Salado (no, not salad) style bowls made between 1225 and 1400 A.D.

Tiny shell, bone and stone beads. A pencil tip would be too big to fit in the smaller holes.

Evidence of trade with peoples who traveled from the coast.

Even though vandals took and destroyed on site many pieces, several beautiful pots were excavated and saved for all of us to enjoy.

Nearly 200 rooms were unearthed, most thought to be small storage space.

The interior walls are mostly smooth, with a few "bumps".

Parts of the multi-story walls were restored, although the lower walls are original, including the adobe mortar.

Many of the doors are very short.

With the thick walls, the temps are ten degrees cooler here.

One of two restored rooms.

Ancient grinding stones line the wall.

Beaver Tail are beginning to bloom.

Massive mutant barrel cactus.
Apparently my memory is as short as the doors in the ruin. After Besh Ba Gowah we drive up Pinal Mountain. Into the pine trees :-))

Very quickly we're able to see across the layers.

A mostly wide shelf road takes us to over 7800 feet.

Several cabins at the summit. None with views beyond the trees, all with outhouses.

Several towers run by the National Geodetic Survey - "providing a foundation for communication and transportation" - so, no, I don't know what they do.

I no longer have expectations of guard rails on these roads.

As much as I "grumble" about heights, I can't deny the beauty of these views.
I make reservations for a couple nights in Usery Mountain Regional Park, and extend our time in Globe by one day. It's hotter than we like, but with good AC at home and in the Jeep we can still play in the desert. 

Bill finds a dirt road behind the large copper mine on Friday. It's an interesting environment of cholla, trees, ocotillos, beaver tail, rock walls, yuccas, barrels, brush, cattle and saquaros. We end up on a narrow track meant for ATVs and add several layers of desert pin-striping to Piper's paint job. It ends at the top of a knoll where a nine-point turn gets me headed back out. Sometimes I stretch my comfort level and end up having a great time.

Many saquaros made it to the top!

Several large trees along the wash.

I'm sure we're being watched.....

Tight squeeze.

Maybe I could be a ranch dog......

Mine shaft beyond the fence.

Giant Pencil Cholla with nest.

Giant-er Beaver Tail with buds.

Mother Nature does the best arrangements.
I do feel better getting off the mountain, but I still get occasional itching on my hands and feet. It is so weird (like everything that I "get", that no one else ever does). Since we're already heading back to our hometown, we have the option to get back sooner to see my doctor. I'll just have to make some more changes to reservations. I didn't ask Hon Dah for a refund of our un-used days in Show Low so I'm pleasantly surprised to see a deposit in our checking account.

Saturday morning we take another beautiful drive west.


  1. So sorry you are still itching and glad you are returning to your doctor! Great photos but it even looks HOT! :)

    1. It does look hot doesn't it? It's really dry too!

  2. Desert pin strips add character, you now have some great rubber to help on those narrow roads without guard rails. Great photos, looking forward to more adventures to come. BTW - we stayed at Usery for Cactus League, there is a massive crested cactus arm to the right after leaving the park. Almost to the stop sign at the bottom of the hill.

    1. Thanks Jeff! We'll look for that today. We're loving our new tires :-)

  3. Glad the Jeep was able to get everything taken care of. Always a relief to have things in tip top shape. Especially for worriers like me. Besh Ba Gowah is new to me and a great find. What beautiful pottery. What an amazing site. I’m so glad it wasn’t looted to death. Is it privately owned?? It’s amazing how smart the ancient ones were in terms of creating cool housing in a desert. Too bad we don’t take after them but rather require AC all over at a cost to the planet and to us. You just amaze me with your driving prowess – 9 point turns. Good grief. I’m ok with no guard rails as long as I’m not on that side. HA! A fluffy white ranch dog is seriously funny. Sorry the itching isn’t going away. Must be horrid. Glad you are close enough to head back to a doctor you know. Hats off to Hon Dah!

    1. The city owns the Besh Ba Gowah site with a citizens council that keeps it funded along with the $5 admission and public donations. I tend to hug the "wall" on shelf roads, no matter what side I'm supposed to be on :-)))

  4. So sorry that you had to leave the mountains before you were ready, but I would do anything to get away from that itching, too! We spent a week in Austin a couple of years ago in the spring at Pecan Grove RV Park—and I'm severely allergic to pecan pollen. That was a good plan, right?? I lived on antihistamines for the week and still it was awful.
    So cool that you discovered Besh Ba Gowah. What an interesting place! Sounds like you're getting desensitized to those steep, curving, no-guard-rail roads in your travels. :-))
    I hope your itching goes away soon.

    1. I've had 24 hours itch-free so I'm hopeful! I think you're right about the roads - they're not as bad as they were :-)))

  5. What a contrast from the pine trees and greenery to the dry desert. But I do love my cactus:) That was a huge pencil cholla! I am so disappointed I didn't know about Besh Ba Gowah when we went through Globe! What a neat place! You are really rocking those narrow Jeep roads! We plan to copy Dave and Sue as soon as our tires wear out. I must say I am glad you got new tires with the back roads you ride. I know, I know, you are the girl who uses the last drop of shampoo...haha! But that last drop of tread could mean an ugly situation!! Sure hope you get some relief soon and an answer to your itching hives!

    1. I'm so glad to have good tires (the kind with tread!) again :-) And I'm glad we went with these, they've been awesome both on and off road. You'll like them! Do see Besh Ba Gowah if you get back to the that area!!

  6. I was never bothered by allergies until the Ponderosa Pine pollinated Everything several years ago on the North Rim. Miserable. Sorry. I keep meaning to explore Salt River Canyon. Those ancient desert dwellers were smart about building with stone to stay cooler.

    1. As much as I want a diagnosis, I'd hate to be allergic to those beauties :-( But....I'm almost completely itch-free after being out of the mountains for a week. I didn't remember that the canyon was something to see - now we want to come back and see more!

  7. I've never had a bad experience at Discount Tire, Jodee. They really do a nice job. Hopefully it is just spring allergies that is causing your itching. We've been following the pollen north from Florida. Our vehicles have been green since April 1st. :)

    1. We've been happy with them in the past as well - and they're in enough places to take advantage of the warranties. This is an especially nice store in a little town. Fortunately there's been no pollen around Phoenix!