Tag Archives: arizona

Uptown Sedona, where I meet a prickly footed lizard.

After checking in to our new resort, we decided to enjoy the beautiful day and take a walk around uptown Sedona… an area filled with shops, restaurants, street performers and the occasional lizard. Who knew?

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It’s a lovely spot with a stunning red rock backdrop.

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I have no idea what these were… and was almost afraid to ask.

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But there was a large horse…

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With a really large gun and a Christmas wreath.

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This fellow drew a crowd by twirling a length of PVC pipe.

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I spotted my first roadrunners…

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Sadly, they were metal and wearing bandanas.

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This t shirt seemed appropriate considering our current political climate.

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I wanted to buy this one. It reminded me of my misspent youth, but the husband was not amused.

And then, as we were walking by a large group of people….

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Someone handed me a gecko.

Why? I’m not quite sure…

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But he was lovely, with prickly little feet.

And I kind of hated to give him back.

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Moving on, the husband tried his hand at whatever this was. The results were not audio worthy, trust me.

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We found an extremely jarring bright green patch of astroturf in front of  a pizza parlor and could only ask… why?

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And then some hot pink Javelinas with White Walker eyes. (Game of Thrones reference. Winter is Coming!)

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They were displayed in front of the Pink Adventure Center whose bright pink Jeeps you can’t escape in Sedona. They’re everywhere and specialize in off road tours of the red rocks. I seriously wanted to take one, but the husband was not in the least bit interested.

Boo husband.

On the way to lunch. we passed this woman who clearly had been shopping too long….

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It took a while to choose, but when I saw the chicken (Goose? Dinosaur?) tracks…

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I knew I’d found a suitable place.

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We sat outside.

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With a killer view.

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I got a little teary eyed at not being able to order the Prickly Pear Margarita.

Because yes … I was still observing the doctor’s alcohol ban, dammit.

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The husband ordered the massive Southwest Chicken salad..

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While I had a lovely patty melt and sweet potato fries.

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After eating, we bid farewell to the Buffalo…

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And I choked back a sob as we passed the bar…

(Okay, I may have openly wept. I’m not proud of it.)

And we headed back to the resort.

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Passing more decoratively painted Javelinas.

Who knew they were so stylish?

Arroyo Roble Resort….

Resort #2 was a bit different than the first, and quite different from what we’re used to when we time share travel.

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At first, I was disappointed to find it was directly off the main drag of Uptown Sedona. We tend to like quiet, out of the way places.

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But as we turned down the driveway, past a large Best Western…

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It was like another little world.

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Tucked away at the bottom of the hill, and sitting at the base of the canyon… it was remarkably quiet. We checked in… and to our delight, got none of the usual high pressure “Come tour our property! We’ll give you $100 in restaurant coupons if you sit through our mind numbingly boring hour and a half presentation.”  We didn’t have to repeatedly say no, because they never asked. Matter of fact, you couldn’t buy one of these units if you wanted to, they’re all sold. This is an older resort, and family run…. which is highly unusual. The staff was wonderfully attentive, and we received a complete bath towel change in the middle of the week. (Trust me, that’s huge!)

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We explored a bit of the common areas….

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With it’s indoor, outdoor pools.

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I chuckled at the grand piano…

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Sing a longs? How old was this place?

(Please note I also twitched at the haphazard electrical cords. Seriously, wth?)

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We made our way to our assigned building…

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And were thrilled with how large the unit was.

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Cathedral ceilings and a fireplace in the living room…

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With the biggest tv I’ve ever seen in a timeshare unit.

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I think my husband drooled at this point…

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Southwestern colors dominated….

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And though the kitchen cabinets were old, the appliances and granite countertops were new.

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As was the awesome black slate sink.

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Two bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths.

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The master had a fireplace…

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Naturally I commandeered the larger bathroom…

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Complete with tile.

Tile.

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And more tile.

Even on the vanity.

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Did I mention there were 3 balconies?

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And they were big?

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Well, they were.

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I could easily have stayed here for the whole winter. Hell, this unit was bigger than our first home… almost 1,500 square feet.

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And forget desert brown, this place was green.

Good God Almighty…  it had grass!!!

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Exploring out back…

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We found a veritable oasis…

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And Oak Creek, one of the few bodies of water that doesn’t dry up come summer.

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It was peaceful and quiet, just as we like it.

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With ample places to grill your meat.

What more could you want…?

Moving day… and rocks.

The one week mark of our trip arrived Saturday…

And I’d spent 4 days of it sick. 3 in bed.

And now that the first week was over, it was time to move to our second resort… which I kind of hated to do since I never had the opportunity to fully enjoy the first.

Check out time was 10:00am, but check in time at the next one was 4:00pm so we had some time to kill. I floated numerous ideas, all of which the husband rejected as he drove straight to the next resort. I’m not sure what part of 4:00pm he didn’t understand, but off we went.

Naturally, our unit wasn’t ready and they told us…. are you ready?

Come back at 4:00pm.

Shocking…. I know.

So we revisited my idea of exploring and went to Bell Rock Park.

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Yes, more rocks!

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And you know they were fabulous because there’s my husband who never takes pictures… taking pictures.

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We read a little history…

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Hoped we’d see a roadrunner…

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Compared sketches to the real thing…

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Not bad.

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Close, but no cigar.

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We promised not to bust the crust…

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And headed down the Bell Rock Pathway.

Mind you, I’d just gone to the doctor the day before and still wasn’t feeling 100% back to normal…

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But the rocks were gorgeous.

And we walked…

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And walked….

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And walked some more.

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I was tempted to walk the whole thing and even climb up Bell Rock like these people did…

See that speck on the top left? Person.

Speck on the second tier rock on the right? Person.

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But every few minutes the husband was asking if I was okay, and it made me start to doubt he was. High elevation can make you sick… like it did me… but it also can drain your energy, cause you to burn more calories than usual, as well as leave you fatigued and out of breath after shorts bouts of exercise. So after walking a bit farther, and watching the husband purposely stick himself with a cactus….

We called it  a day.

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And said goodbye to the rocks.

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Hey now.

That’s a little harsh….

Prescription? Cottonwood.

 

After leaving the medical clinic, and arming myself with a large jug of Gatorade against the altitude sickness…. we followed the doctor’s advice and drove to Cottonwood, Arizona where the elevation was much lower. She told me to have lunch, slowly walk around and drink plenty of fluids.

 

 

Sadly, not my kind of fluids… but I obeyed because I was still feeling lousy.

 

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Cottonwood is an old western town and Main Street plays that up for the tourists.

 

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Although Santa looked a bit too happy if you want my opinion.

 

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I really have no explanation for this.

So we walked…

 

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And found a nice restaurant.

 

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With a bit of history.

 

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You have to hand it to their interior decorator.

Heck, I didn’t even know charred concrete was in this season.

 

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There were also cacti in soup cans on each table. Very high class…

 

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The husband ordered French Onion soup with Caesar salad, which came with an out of proportion loaf of bread.

I hemmed and hawed over the menu since…..

Sigh.

 

 

 

It would be an alcohol free meal.

 

 

But after not eating for 3 days I wanted comfort food…

 

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And went with the ham and cheese stuffed meatloaf, mashed potatoes and veggies.

And then… Maple Bourbon Creme Brulee.

 

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Because a girl can’t go completely cold turkey ya know.

After lunch we ducked in and out of a few shops where I saw purse that was screaming my name…

 

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Have wine, will travel.

 

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And passed by a plant called a desert spoon, which looked nothing like a spoon.

Really.. A spoon? How would you eat your Rice Krispies with that.

I think the botanist had my lunchtime cocktail. And then some.

 

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Heading back to Sedona there were rocks…

 

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Glorious, breathtaking rocks!

 

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And this….

 

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Beware!

 

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Hula Hooping cowboys ahead.

 

Mount Mingus, and beyond….

 

So we left Jerome and the Asylum.

 

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And made our way out of town….

 

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Passing what looked to be an interesting burger joint.

 

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Before we knew it, we were climbing again.

 

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I swear I never had any idea Arizona was this mountainous.

 

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This one was called Mingus.

 

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Which lead us into more snow, and the Prescott National Forest.

 

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It was rugged country.

 

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And clearly, they must have rugged cows.

 

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Up and over we went.

(Pay attention to that sign.)

 

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And down the other side to the dry grasslands of Prescott Valley.

 

 

A half an hour later?

 

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We were back at our resort…

 

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And I felt like death warmed over.

 

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It was 3:30 in the afternoon and I went to bed.

 

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Where I stayed for the next 3 days.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday? This was my view…

 

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I didn’t eat, sleep, shower or get dressed….

I was dizzy, nauseated, weak as a kitten and had the worst migraine headache imaginable. Turning over in bed took more energy than I could manage.

The fourth day…. our 35th wedding anniversary for which I had big plans?

We spent here –

 

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Where I was diagnosed with severe altitude sickness and dehydration.

 

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Isn’t that romantic?

I was flat on my back…. but not the way I intended!

The doctor told me I experienced too much elevation too soon and drank too much alcohol.

 

 

I was given anti nausea meds and told to pound the Gatorade. Constantly, day and night.

I was also told no caffeine and….

 

 

 

Positively no booze.

Yes… my nightmare come true. I couldn’t drink!

It was unfathomable, but fact. Alcohol and caffeine are dehydrating and were off limits until I acclimated and felt better.

 

 

This was not the vacation I’d planned.

 

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And this was not the liquid elixir I had in mind.

 

 

 

Cocktails at the Asylum…

 

Because when I hear there’s an old psychiatric hospital that’s been turned into a hotel and bar?

 

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You know I have to go…

 

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Sitting on the highest point in Jerome, Arizona… I knew it was my type of place as soon as we walked in.

 

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Talk about repurposing.

 

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The restaurant was attractive.

 

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With whimsical…

 

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And authentic hospital antique touches.

 

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The bar had a sense of humor as well..

 

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But having learned my lesson with absinthe, I bypassed the Sazerac…

 

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Started with the mule…

 

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And then moved on to the sangria…

 

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So, my lunch was a little liquid. Don’t judge….

 

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We, the committed… started with soup.

 

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At least the husband did. I can’t abide squash, souped or otherwise.

 

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To be honest, the meal was mediocre at best..

 

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But we enjoyed the atmosphere and the view.

 

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See that little building in the middle of the picture? It was the original church of Jerome… and since Jerome was a mining town? It was built out of dynamite boxes.

 

 

The rest rooms were interesting….

 

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And kept the haunted theme going….

 

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Probably further than they should.

Here’s a photo of the original building.

 

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And one of the original patients?

 

 

Could be.

It was that kind of place…

 

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After lunch we roamed around and explored.

 

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And saw how the locals did their drinking back in the day.

 

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Please note the hanging towels and buckets on this side of the bar.

Were you required to clean up your own vomit back then…?

 

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The husband loved all the antiques…

 

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And I found a tacky gift store that was worth a laugh.

 

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Though unfortunately I missed the opportunity to buy genuine dinosaur poo.

 

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Which is clearly more popular than their bones.

A day late and a dollar short, that’s me.

 

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As we made our way outside the husband spotted this antique torture device.

 

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He told me it was a washing machine, to which I replied…

Same thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jerome, Arizona

Relax.

This will be a red rockless post.

Our next trip was 20 miles south of Sedona to an old mining ghost town called Jerome.

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And like the 20 mile north trip we took to pine forested, snowy Flagstaff….

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This was a radically different topography as well.

Goodbye red rock canyons….

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Hello flat open grasslands that turned into hills…

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And switchback filled mountain roads….

Leading ever upward in elevation.

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We saw signs of the town’s mining past.

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And kept climbing.

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And climbing..

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And climbing, straight up.

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We bypassed the mine…

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And climbed farther up…

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Where the road narrowed to crazy proportions….

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Until we finally glimpsed our destination.

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If there’s an asylum?

You know I have to visit.

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The Jerome Grand Hotel, which used to be a hospital with a slightly checkered past.

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Perched high above the town…

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With a bar that used to house mental patients.

Now that’s my kind of place.

( To be continued.. )