Thursday, October 18, 2007

Ghost Town

We stopped for coffee in Jerome. It used to be a thriving mining town on the mountainside, but for several reasons the mining finished in the 1950s. The population dropped from 15,000 to a few hundred virtually overnight. Now it is populated by artists and writers, and pretty much all the shops are aimed at the tourist trade. It is a sweet place and we were happy to hang around there for a couple of hours.

We sat on a terrace and drank our coffee. I chatted to Ingrid, the owner of a kind of new age gift shop. She was about my age and she talked with a thick eastern European accent. It turned out she was from Budapest. I asked her what it was like living in Jerome. She explained to me that 800,000 people live in LA (I’m sure it’s more than that) and only 400 live in Jerome – there has to be some reason for that.
Ingrid’s philosophy of life was that whatever, life is difficult, and to live we have to learn survival strategies. I explained to her that my philosophy is that if you are alive it’s because you got lucky – sure life can be difficult but try to enjoy it best you can. She didn’t really buy into that but she did give it some thought.

I have been doing most of the driving and I am in need of a break. It is fun cruising along but also tiring. I wanted to press on to Wickenberg and pitch camp for a few days before we go to Harry’s. We pulled in to the tourist information (it saves so much time as they swamp you with leaflets, maps and ideas of what to do and where to go) and got details of the rodeo action here this weekend. Whahey, two rodeos to go to, plus other stuff too. This town is about mining and horses. There are tack shops everywhere. Tomorrow we are going to the rodeo grounds to try and get schedules so we don’t miss stuff.

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