Jun 102010

We spent yesterday playing tour guide, showing our pals Greg and Jan White around our former home, here in Arizona’s White Mountains. It was fun seeing some favorite old places we have not seen since we hit the road eleven years ago through their eyes.

A lot of people think of Arizona as all sand and cactus, but the White Mountains rise over 10,000 feet, and this is a land of thick Ponderosa pine forests, sparkling lakes, and one of the best known snow skiing areas in the Southwest.

Lake at Greer

White Mountains Lake

We started our day with a stop at Anasazi Trading Post in Lakeside, where Jan and Miss Terry did some browsing while Greg and I sat outside in the truck and solved most of the problems in the world. Then we stopped at Pinetop Sporting Goods to introduce Greg and Jan to my good friend Lyle Worman, and Terry popped into the locksmith shop next door to get an extra set of door keys to our motorhome made, so we will not find ourselves locked out again, as described in yesterday’s blog

Then we stopped at Pinetop Book Exchange, owned by another longtime friend, Jim Lewis. Greg and Jan bought a few books, and we had a nice visit, even though it was short. By then it was early afternoon, so we stopped for a late lunch/early dinner at Red Devil, which is a small restaurant that serves excellent Italian food and pizza.

About halfway through our meal, I realized that I did not have my Blackberry with me, though I knew I had it earlier in the day. I used Greg’s phone to call my own number, and it rang twice before Jim answered. Just as I had suspected, I had left it at the bookstore. Fortunately, we were only a 1/4 mile or so away, so we went back and I ran in to fetch it.

We drove out through the White Mountain Apache Reservation, where Greg and Jan admired the beautiful forests and lakes we passed by. We took a side trip off of State Route 260 onto State Route 373, for the short drive to the little mountain hamlet of Greer, known as “The Town at the End of the Road,” because the road literally ends five miles from the main highway. 

We were amazed at how much Greer has grown since we were there last. For years the only things there were a few scattered summer cabins, a couple of gift shops, and the historic Molly Butler Lodge. Now there are several huge lodges, beautiful log homes that serve as “summer cabins” for flatlanders, and the place was packed. Greer is no longer the sleepy little community we once loved. It has grown up.

From Greer, we drove to Springerville, where we stopped at Western Drug, one of my favorite stores. Western Drug is kind of like an old time general store. You can buy cooking utensils, fabric and yarn, fishing supplies, guns and ammo, medicine, clothes, boots, and just about anything else your heart desires.

Western Drug 2

Standing on the corner near Western Drug is this Madonna of the Trail statue, one of 12 identical monuments located from Bethesda, Maryland to Upland, California, along the route of the National Old Trails Road, established in 1912.

Madonna of the Trail Springerville 3

We returned to Show Low by way of US Highway 60, completing a circular route of about a 115 mile loop, including the detour to Greer and back. While State Route 260 traverses pine forests most of the way from Show Low to Springerville, US 60 travels through open high plains and scattered juniper, where we saw a lot of antelope standing a hundred yards or so off the highway.

Back at our motorhome at the Elks lodge campground, Greg fiddled with some settings on my RV blog and website to try to resolve some problems people are having trying to subscribe, and then we polished off the last of Miss Terry’s wonderful cinnamon rolls before we called it a night.

In yesterday’s blog I told you about WalMart Bingo, and in response, my friend Joyce Space sent me this link to a fun little You Tube video about RVers and WalMart. 

The video may be fun, but Bad Nick has some not so funny things to tell you in his latest Bad Nick Blog post titled Our Tax Dollars At Work. Check it out and leave a comment.

Thought For The Day – It is never too late, unless you’re dead. If you’re not, go ahead and try for your dream.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  2 Responses to “Playing Tour Guide”

  1. Nick, you have us salivating! As much as we love our desert, there is a spot deep in our hearts and minds that pines (pun intended) for mountains and trees and lakes! Yes, we have seen the Madonna of the Trail in Springerville, and one or two others out there along the trail. It’s a nice tribute to those pioneer women and their determination!

  2. Nick, I love the shout out to Western Drug. I am so glad you enjoy visiting us. May we please post a link to your blog on our Facebook page? Thanks! Hope to see you soon.

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