Haunting History

As I tool around the RV Park on my bicycle, my mind wonders to the events of the past thirty days.  It’s been an active and adventurous month.  So active that I’m way behind on sharing my adventures.

RV Park

Pueblo El Mirage RV Park, Phoenix, Arizona…..early October, the RV Park is still relatively empty. Each day more RVer’s show up.  The palms trees make it look more like Florida than Arizona!

Since we extended our stay in Moab, we needed to rearrange our plans and implement Plan B.  By now you’ve probably figured out, our plans are usually extremely flexible.  One never knows what the weather might bring, or a location turns into something really spectacular (like Moab), or a gal just feels like changing her mind…..I do reserve that right you know 😉

BLM Camping

Pulling out of camp south of Moab, Utah

Al and I try to keep our travel days down to less than a 3 hour drive.  Although ideal, it’s not always possible.  Today is going to be one of those NOT so ideal travel days.  It’ll be a long day with about a six hour drive.  So much for meandering!  Ah, but Moab was so worth staying longer, thus I gladly endure a long travel day.

Scenic Byway

On the road again….somewhere near Tuba City, Arizona

It’s about 8:30 in the morning; breakfast done, dishes done.  Within thirty minutes everything is stowed properly, slides brought in, rig hooked up and we’re rolling.  Moving day is tantamount to a well choreographed dance routine performed regularly.   Al and I each have our responsibilities in our fine tuned routine.   We’ve entered month four of life on the road.  I still get excited on travel days in anticipation for the next stop….a new backyard.

Today’s journey will take us from Moab, Utah to Cottonwood, Arizona.  It’ll only be a two night stay with one full day to explore.  We’re familiar with the roads and although it was a somewhat long drive, all went well.  Last year we spent five days in the area and took in some of the surrounding sites most notable Sedona, Arizona.


Stairs abound in Jerome

This year we opt to explore the quirky little mountain town of Jerome.  Jerome, Arizona is located about 100 miles north of Phoenix and is an old mining town turned tourist – artist destination.  Jerome likes to refer to itself as America’s largest Ghost Town.  That said, we decide to have lunch at the Haunted Hamburger.

What’s really unique about this quaint town is the fact it’s built into the side of a mountain.  Thus, town is basically three tiered with plenty of stairs from one level to the next.  The Haunted Hamburger sits on an upper street with beautiful views from the outside eating deck.  Views, yummy food, and fun drinks….worth a nod and a recommendation.

In the early 1900’s during Jerome’s hey day, copper mining was huge and the town boasted a population of 10,000.  Today, it’s around 450.  After lunch, Al and I stroll around town checking out some of the shops.  We then wander down some side streets checking out buildings and remnants of buildings. That’s when we stumbled across a glass blower.  He was in the process of making a glass pumpkin and eager to share his knowledge.

haunted buildings

remnants of old buildings are plentiful

One Jerome tidbit of particular interest to me (must be the home builder in me) were the crumbling foundations…..remnants of homes.  Soil conditions and mine digging left the ground rather unstable and houses sliding off their foundations became a regular occurrence.  Even the town jail slid down a street.

Although I personally didn’t experience a ghostly encounter during my delightful day in Jerome, Arizona, I definitely felt the presence of some rich history, perhaps even the presence of a spirit or two.  It was a fun and relaxing sort of day.  The kind of day we needed as we prepare to head to Phoenix.

We visited Jerome October 1st.  Since Jerome likes to market itself as a Ghost Town, October is the perfect month to visit; weather is fantastic and Halloween is a big event around here. Images of Jerome……


58 thoughts on “Haunting History

  1. Pingback: A quirky Arizona town | Live Laugh RV

  2. Pumpkin glass blowing. Huh! That’s an add shape to do glass blowing. Must be a little extra tricky to make one. Dame woman, you really do got lucky with your generous man. Ahihihihi 😀

    • LOL……didn’t say he bought me one! It was amazing to see how fast this glass blower made that pumpkin and yes I agree it was ‘different’. I guess his niche are pumpkins and pears…..never question an ‘artist’ 😉

  3. I can well imagine why Jerome is really big into Halloween. 🙂 What a fascinating town to visit. I love watching glass-blowing. I’d love a glass pumpkin or tow for my kitchen. They’re really lovely. You’re having such a wonderful adventure, Ingrid. Thanks for sharing your experiences. 🙂

    • You welcome, Sylvia….As strange as this may sound, our day in Jerome was a bit of a romantic day. I normally would not combine Halloween and Ghosts with romance, but the quaint, low key day presented a charm.

  4. First time visit for me.

    Great post. You are starting your month four and tomorrow we will celebrate our four-year-on-the road anniversary.

    We LOVED Moab. What an awesome place to visit. Beauty at ever turn.

    We have never visited Jerome but now have it on our list. We are headed for AZ this winter, but it might get a bit cold there.

    About a year ago, we watched a glass blower. What an amazing talent. The pumpkins are gorgeous.

    • Congrats on the 4 year mark. We spent last winter meandering around AZ and decided to split this winter between AZ and TX. I thought you spent your winters exclusively in TX. You may not want to venture to Jerome or Sedona till late Feb or March. Gets cold there. We even experienced a rare snowstorm in Tucson last February….burrrr. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Having lived in Sedona for several years, Jerome was right outside our back door so we visited often. There are some amazing furniture crafters in Jerome and we had several unique tables built there. We also had the great adventure of dining in what was the old hospital on the hill during the week of Halloween. Jerome knows how to do Halloween. Great fun to be there the last week of October. 🙂

    • It does seem like October is the best month to visit. Al was fascinated with Nellie Blys the Kaleidoscope Gallery. I crawled around some old foundations….the sun was so bright and most of my photos are too washed out to post. One of these days I may use darkroom editing 😉 For now, it’s snap and post. Are you storing that unique furniture or did you sell?

      • I also like Nelli Blys and I feel like a kid whenever I’m in that shop. As for the furniture, it is probably still in our old Sedona house, as the buyers purchased most everything.

    • Oh, the fun you would have with your camera! Are you in Texas? We’re heading that way in Jan and Feb…..any suggestions on ‘must see’ sites are welcome 🙂

    • Since Jerome likes to play up the Ghost theme, October is a fun month to visit….plus the weather is perfect. Nellie Blys is a really interesting gallery with nothing but unique kaleidoscopes. I forgot to mention this in my post 😉 Thanks for stopping by….a break from the move can really be helpful – good luck!

  6. We visited Jerome in 1996, and it was at night..That road going up there is a bit dicey after dark…We went back a few years later and it wasn’t the same..lots of “old hippies” my age changed it up, not unlike Leadville or Cripple Creek…Our elders we are taking care of had a home in Sedona for a couple years…sold it for $90,000 in about 1999..Oh, if only they had it now, can you just imagine what it would be worth??

    • OMG…..That’s an unheard of price in Sedona. Most everyone we saw in Jerome is sporting some gray so I can see your point. I was enthralled with the old buildings and vacant foundations. I think the month of October is the time to visit….weather and Halloween. It’s sunny and 80 in Phx, I think I’ll go to the pool 🙂

  7. Looks like you had a fun day on the mountain. We were in Sedona several years ago in early Dec. We drove up to Jerome but not much was happening – I was fascinated at how they hung the town to the hill.

    • You are so right when you say “hung the town to the hill”, that’s exactly what it feels like. From my observations, I think October is the happening month. Ghost Town – Halloween!

    • We didn’t make it to the museum. It was our intention but I got side tracked walking the side streets looking at houses. I know we’ll revisit thus on the schedule for next time 🙂

  8. I was falling in love with the idea of a town being built on a hillside and then you had to go and mention the falling foundation! Awesome you got to hang out with the glassblower while he worked. So many of those lost arts are disappearing and it is mostly in historical tons that you get to see them at work. I love the last photo. It is unusual…right up my alley.

    • Thank you….The glassblower was indeed pretty cool to watch. It was amazing how easy he made it look. The quaint houses, the old buildings, stone walls were all oozing with history. I kind of like that last photo too and I’m not quite sure why 😉

  9. Great post about a great little town! We have stayed, several times, at Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Cottonwood, AZ. Love it there! Traveled all around the area, including Jerome! Dead Horse Ranch State Park hosts an annual Birding Festival each year in April! It is a wonderful event, if one likes birding! If I remember correctly, we ate at the – The Vines – something like that in Jerome. Have you been to Catalina State Park in Oro Valley, AZ? One of our favorite state parks!

    • We stayed at Dead Horse Ranch SP last year and explored Sedona….great time. We are hoping to stay at Catalina SP while traveling between Phoenix and Texas. We tried last year and they were all booked up. Better planning this year 🙂

  10. Right on, Jerome was a real neat place. It would be kind of un nearving to be on a second floor of one of those houses and look down out of a window at a down hill view, down would really be a long way. Great pics.

    • We took our time strolling a couple of the residential streets looking at the houses. I can honestly say as cute as some of these houses are, none looked 100% structurally sound. I acknowledge perhaps I am overly critical but not after some of the stories proudly told by the locals. However, as you said….neat place!

    • You can imagine our response when we questioned the vacant foundations….”say, what?” and then the town is proud that the jail slide down a street 🙂

  11. Hector and I try to keep our drives to a maximum of four hours, but we have a couple of long drives coming up to see some family and friends before we head west, so I understand. We love Sedona, might be headed that way in November.

    • Sedona should be pretty in November and hopefully not too cold. Ah, your from Denver…..nothing you can’t handle. Enjoy your time with family and friends. Just remember to head south before the snow flies. The snow caught us last year.

  12. Loved the glass work sequence! I agree, Moab area is worth an extension any time the weather is cooperating! I hope to spend a month there some time next year.

  13. The day we visited Jerome it was so cold our noses nearly fell off! I remember the inside of a warm restaurant and the inside of a warm store so thanks for the lovely images of the town. Where did you stay? Dead Horse Ranch?

    • Last year we stayed at Dead Horse Ranch SP. This time we stayed at the Verde Valley Fairgrounds which is two minutes from the state park. With the extra vehicle, we need to consider cost for entrance. October is a fun month to visit Jerome and the weather is still lovely.

  14. We stayed in Cottonwood last year as our central location. There are so many sites to see surrounding the town. Of course, my favorite was Sedona. We had just purchases our Jeep so why not baptize it with red dust that will last forever:) We definitely needed the Jeep to get to the best hiking spots and most beautiful rocks.

    Glad you enjoyed Jerome:)

    • I’m so glad we decided to travel with the Tacoma…. next best thing to a Jeep. We have so much fun on the back roads. I can’t wait to revisit Moab and Ouray. Our original plan was to spend a week in the area, but we got off to a late start leaving Colorado. When daughter requests a visit, I can’t say no. And you understand 🙂

      • Totally understand!! That’s why we are in York for so long! Race one was yesterday (Jessica did awesome. This was her second half marathon. She took 20 mins. off her time!) and Race two is in two weeks. We are then out of here!!

        • I feel lucky to have such a good relationship with my children and they actually want to spend time with us. So when they request our presence, Al and I don’t hesitate. Way to go Jessica!!!

    • Jerome is maybe a 30-40 minute drive south of Sedona. It was a fun…. even kind of romantic afternoon. Not sure why a Ghost Town could feel romantic, but it did. I think you’d really enjoy it…..add it to your list 😉

  15. It pays to be flexible in your planning. You never know what surprise is waiting for you and you really should give yourselves a chance to enjoy it. What a great town that Jerome is. I’d love to visit it someday.

    • Some of the little houses reminded me of the older neighborhoods in Chicago….little bungalows on block foundations. Although the bungalows in Jerome all looked a little crooked….lol. Lots of fun history to explore!

    • Spring is a great time of year to visit the area as it starts to warm. You could easily spend a week exploring Sedona, Jerome, and Prescott. If we hadn’t gotten detained in Colorado, we would have spent more time in this area. Highly recommend 🙂

  16. LOL – * The palms trees make it look more like Florida than Arizona!* I guess because I am from here, palm trees have always been a staple of the environment, so palms trees are very Arizona to me. I don’t think I’ve ever lived in a neighborhood that didn’t have them.

    I haven’t been to Jerome in ages – I forget about these quirky little towns being a city dweller. Nice post!

    • True there are palm trees every where, but after all the time we spent last year at Cave Creek I got accustomed to the cacti and desert plants, which are few and far between at this RV Park. I guess I can get my cactus fix while out hiking 🙂 FYI…this is a great time of year to visit Jerome….it’s all about Halloween!

    • Oh my…..no comparison, as we too have driven through Salome. Not sure there was any reason to stop LOL. Jerome is a quirky, fun little town worth a stop if you’re in the area.

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