Saturday, March 02, 2013

Heading West to Arizona

After three years of flying to AZ and having airport troubles in two of them, we bit the bullet and decided to drive once again.  Our first day out went by peacefully.  The weather was benign and the fairly new four lane Hwy 110 outside of Macomb made the drive to Hannibal and beyond to Kansas City a breeze.  We were getting 29 to 30 mpg on the Honda V6 and made it to Pratt, KS.  Not much out there but feed lots, grazing land, winter wheat fields, and the occasional wind farm, but there is an open space grandeur about it just the same .


A nice Comfort Inn welcomed us and we had a pleasant dinner at a recommended bar and grill called Legends.

We left around 7:30 AM the next morning rolling through a series of small towns and even smaller bumps in the road that bespoke civilization only by the existence of  major sized grain elevators poking up out of the plains.

We made a big left at Albuquerque NM and headed south on I 25

 stopping only when the sun shone golden at Los Unas.

Day three was perfect again and we made the final turn west toward Tucson on I 10.  We stopped for lunch at Lordsburg, NM and saw a sign for a ghost town called Shakespeare.

 The theatre guy in me argued for a quick looksee.  It was only a couple of miles out of town down first a nice paved road and then maybe a half mile of well maintained gravel. 

Unfortunately the gate was locked, nobody was about, and we couldn't see much from the parking lot.

 I had to be satisfied with a little brochure stating that the  town started out as Ralston and grew, as a result of silver mining,  to a population of about 3000 by 1870.  It was then that a group of surprisingly cultured mine owners decided to rename it Shakespeare in honor of The Bard.  The lodes were petering out by the 1890's and Shakespeare declined with them. The 1929 market crash sealed its doom for good.  Bye bye Bill! Maybe we'll get a chance to check it out for real on another trip.

The search for Shakespeare did not delay us much at all and by 4:00 PM we were heading down Tangerine toward Oracle with the Santa Catalinas right in front of us.


And not too much later we were looking out of cousin Lin's picture window at the  late afternoon sun bathing Mt. Lemmon.

For more on the mountain check out its many moods on another recent entry.

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