A whole month spent in one place! What a pleasure! It's like taking off your boots after a day of hiking - wiggling cramped toes, stretching your foot to its full length, and feeling the blood tingle as circulation returns. Delightful! However, while the trailer has been stationary, we are not. Along with an "industrial-strength" push of article writing and updating and improving our web site, we have done some exploring and had a few adventures.
Superior, AZ must be an original "don't-blink-or-you'll-miss-it" place. They claim a population of around 3,000. That might be accurate if dogs and roosters (both of which are plentiful and allowed to roam free) are included. The town has two claims to fame. Matty Earp, Wyatt Earp's common-law wife, is buried here. And, Superior was the setting for two movies. Superior looks to have been built during hard-times and it has been going downhill since. But visually, Superior is located in the middle of some of the best scenery we have found thus far in the southwest.
Superior, actually started in 1882 as the town of Hastings, was located about three miles west of the town's present location. Hastings was basically a "tent town" supporting the Silver King Mine. When the mine "played out" in the 1890's, the town quite literally picked up and moved to its present location to support the Superior Copper Mine. The town was originally laid out with two streets. Main Street climbs up the hillside to Magma Street, the second street, which leads to a mine entrance. By 1902, a Post Office was established and the town was "on-the-map."
Our campground is on the flat-land below the town. To the east of our campsite is a nearly 2000 foot cliff of corrugated red rock called Apache Leap. To our west, is a huge solitary mountain called Picket Post. The upper section of Picket is composed of the same red rock as Apache Leap while the lower section is grayish-brown rhyolite or rotten granite. An Apache legend explains the horizontal white rock as the shoreline of the "great flood" and the red columns of stone as the warriors who complained to the Great Spirit about having to leave their homes.
North of the campground, the view is of flat desert land. On the horizon are "sky islands." "Sky islands" are mountains that appear to rise from the earth out of the haze. South of the campground, and over a rise, is the town of Superior and the old Superior Copper Mine. While we cannot see the town, the chimney and (ugly) slag-pile are visible from our site.
There are few conveniences in Superior besides the Post Office. Two-gas stations (with very reasonable priced gasoline), a video store, a couple of small (convenience store small) markets, three bars, two restaurants, a truly beautiful High School (built in 1927) and six churches. The little library has an amazing collection of old (published between 1880 and 1920) books about Arizona. Globe, some 27 miles east of Superior, has a Safeway, Walmart, and laundromat so Suzi is happy. For movies, doctors, dentist, and "real" shopping we must go to "the Valley." That means a 60 mile trip to Mesa or Phoenix. Oh well, we don't want to get spoiled and it is probably good training for the future.
While here we are doing the Tonto National Forest at a leisurely manner. We have visited all but one District Ranger office and surveyed most of their campgrounds. A few will have to wait until warmer weather but that's okay. Actually, we did try to reach the last few but found, although it was warm, sunny, and pleasant at 3000 feet, at 7000 feet it was cold, cloudy AND
SNOWING! That was something of a shock. We were able to find a non-snow covered section of road wide enough to turn Kermit (our truck) around and get out of there. We'll go back in March.
Another adventure we experienced was a small flood - inside the trailer. To reduce weight, trailer manufactures use many methods to keep get a trailer light. One method, use of plastic. Our shower stall is a plastic shell, pipes are plastic, spigots are plastic, even the drain is plastic. Besides being light-weight, plastic also has some flexibility. In our trailer, after a lot of flexing, the joint between the plastic pipe and drain broke loss. We tried to repair it but had a few problems. First, the access space is very small. Fred, who had the upper body strength, couldn't get his hands in there. Suzi could but lacked the upper body strength to do the job. And there was a matter of tools. Nothing in the toolbox would work so we tried one of the adjustable jar opening devices from the kitchen. After three
hours we discovered the problem was not a lose pipe but a pipe that was sheared through. (No wonder the carpet in the hallway/living room was so soggy.) The next problem was finding a plumber. Easy in a metropolitan area but in a place halfway between here and there the challenge was huge. Well, we got lucky and found Mr. Hopkins who was willing, for a price, to drive all the way to Superior. Bless his little heart and
expertise we can once again enjoy both our shower and a dry carpet.
One of the best things about Arizona are the sunrises and sunsets. They are fabulous! One morning the sky will be decorated with pink, peach, and white cotton candy and that night be very patriotic with stripes of red, white, and blue. Do any of you remember the neon colored clothes we wore in the '60's? The inspiration for those day-glow orange, pink, and yellow must
have been the Arizona sky at sunrise and sunset.
Next month we have plans for a lot of fun things - visit some sights and festivals, go hunt for Apache Tear stones, host a visit from our, John and Rosemary Hogan, do some prospecting, and have annual check-ups for us, Tory and Kermit. Of course, we'll continue to press forward with our improving the web site, working on the Guides and articles. In the meantime, we will be thinking of you all and wishing, as we always do, you could be here, sharing our experiences.
Suzi and Fred