Wow…what a day. We went on another Jeep trip today with our friends from Ft. Verde; Carol and George (oh...and Amigo too). …100+ miles total…out into the middle of Central AZ. I’m talking smack dab in the middle of Arizona!!! I am not 100% sure, but I think we viewed another million-plus square miles of wilderness here in central Arizona. The immenseness just overwhelms me…the vistas are breath-taking. I guess I should “fact-check” this information, but I think it must be pretty close.
Of those 100+ miles, 40+ miles were dirt/gravel “Jeep road” through three little communities that I would have to characterize as “re-inhabited old ghost towns” to one town at about 7,000 feet called Crown King. Old, old, mining towns now inhabited by individuals that want to live remotely…some “off the grid”. We met a guy who kept us for about a half hour relating his bear story to us. He had two tattoos (one on the inside of each forearm) of bear paws. The Readers Digest version is that a bear was visiting his house at night and eating all of his food. He finally met up with the bear and two of his dogs attacked it one at the front paws, one at the back, while he tried to get away. All of a sudden he found blood on his arm and the bear fell over. The guy cut the bear’s eye out just to make sure he was dead and then discovered he had shot the bear twice without having a recollection of shooting it. I thought we were talking to Davey Crockett for a minute. Anyway, Jack (that was the guys name) kept us entertained with more stories of another bear encounter and tracking stories of his dogs. Oh, his great, great grandfather bought the land Jack lived on in 1727 for $11. Someone from his family has lived there ever since, off the grid. I'm not going to fact-check this.
I must say…of all the Jeep trips I have done, this road was in the best shape. I think Emily had a great day…wash-board roads, but not too bad. They even had guardrails!!! Guardrails are my new love. I hope we are not beating our little red Jeep to death!!!!! It’s dirty as hell…4 cracks in the windshield, and 70,000 + miles (driven+towed) on the tires and suspension.