Wednesday, November 7, 2012

DAY 77- Scottsdale Old Towne & Ghost Towns…

I said goodbye and gave Laura a hug just before she got on the airport shuttle.  It had been a fun weekend but it was time to move on.  Then, I was off in my car.  The plan for the day was a bit of sightseeing in Old Towne Scottsdale and then onto a Ghost Town that I had seen a brochure at the hotel about.  The end of the day I had a hotel room in Payson, AZ.
Photo- Some of the signage for Old Town in Scottsdale.

I tried to follow my directions to Scottsdale Old Towne but one of the Google instructions had said stay to the right when it should have said stay to the left.  I ended up doing a big circle of exits with the freeway to drive by again and stay in the left this time.  Then, I was back on track and located the Scottsdale Old Towne.
Photos- Sculptures in and around Old Town Scottsdale area.

Scottsdale Old Town has a LOT of galleries and jewelry places.  I walked around for almost a whole hour just sightseeing the galleries.  There was quite a few sculptures in the area and then I happened to wonder into a few jewelry places.  BUT I was good and didn’t purchase any jewelry.  I’ll tell you it wasn’t easy because there was so much variety and 90% of it was sliver which comes in handy when you are allergic to gold.  I did however break down and purchase a new handbag.  One of the tote bags I had been using sprung a hole in the bottom in the last two days and THAT’s not good to have.
Photo- The Mission Church on the edge of Old Town Scottsdale.

I visited the Adobe Mission Church that was on the edge of the Scottsdale Old Towne.  I mostly did a self-guided tour; though, one of the gals that were inside walked me through ¾ of the church telling and showing me things.  The church had been built in 1933 by the Mexican farm workers in the area.  The closest church prior to that was St. Mary’s in Phoenix.  I watched a video in the sacristy area and signed the visitor’s book.  The last two visitors were also from Utah; which I found rather funny—one from St. George and the other from Provo.  We live in such a small world or it seems sometimes.

I checked out several restaurants in the area and had been told to visit one that I later found out had been closed for almost 2 years.  I finally decided to eat at a place called Ciene Agaves which had a fun cool interior away from the sun that was really starting to warm up the day.  I had a couple of tacos and the spicy island shrimp tacos were wonderful.  Next, I figured I had better get going out to the ghost town which was at least 40 miles away.

Photo- The Saloon at Goldfield Ghost Town.
I had read about the Goldfield Ghost Town in a brochure that I had found at the hotel in Phoenix.  Let me just say this—don’t always believe what you read in the brochures.  In general, I found this Ghost town to be a bit of a disappointment but then again anything like this would have been a bit of a downer after spending a day in Tombstone.  So I’m going to say that the jury’s kind of out on this one.  Though, I will say that the view of the Superstitious Mountains nearby made it worth the drive out there.
Photo- Goldfield Ghost Town with Superstitious Mountains in background.

Goldfield Ghost Town was a picture opportunity and I took the train ride around the town.  You really had to listen to the train conductor on the ride around perimeter of the ghost town.  It was a little like listening to the Swedish cooking guy on the Muppets.  The conductor had a bit of an accent.  The train also never got above 5mph and I was hoping for a bit of a breeze to cool off with.  I went in several stores afterwards but there wasn’t much in all to do in the area but walk around town and shop.  Anyway, that was my experience.

Needless to say I didn’t spend very long at the Ghost Town and before long I was driving towards Payson where I would spend the night.  I went through Usery Pass and it was a very scenic area where there were quite a few cyclists in the area.  If I didn’t have an almost 3 hour drive I would have joined them.  But what I got a kick out of most in this area was this HUGE Phoenix painted in white with an arrow on the side of a mountain as I drove through the pass.  It was like a HUGE sign saying dummy Phoenix is this way!  No need for GPS or Google for this one.
Photo- Now which way was Phoenix?

I drove north through Tonto National Forest.  The area was beautiful with tall cactus and scrub brush but then it changed and there was more trees as you progressed north.  I went by a lake that was an amazing blue against the landscape.  The landscape got even more pretty and mountainous the further north you went.  I was having a hard time concentrating on the road because I was looking all over the place as I drove.  I slowed down a bit and put the cruise on and just took my time. 
Photos- Pretty scenery as I drove north on Hwy 87.

Before I knew it I was in Payson.  I saw a sign for a Zane Gray cabin and museum but it was after 5pm and would be getting dark soon.  So I went to check into the hotel for the night.  I asked the desk clerk where would be a good place to eat and without hesitation she told me about the Buffalo Bar & Grill that was two doors down.  She said it was the best place to eat in town.  I threw on a jeans and a jacket.  It was getting to be chilly especially as the sun went down, but Payson is at about 5400 ft. so that should be expected this time of year.  I walked down to the Buffalo Bar & Grill with its rustic wooden atmosphere.  I had a chili burger with yummy sweet potato fries and a beer while I watched the first half of the Monday Night Football Game.

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