Why hurry? No reason to pop out of bed. Earlier in the trip I could easily leave the bed-making for housekeeping, down a “free” hotel breakfast, and head to the next adventure when I believed there was adventure. But today, I tell myself I’m heading to comfort, routine, reliability of the known–home.
Home is every bit as wonderful as a trip, often better, but there is no housekeeping, or prepared breakfast. So quietly, with more measured purpose we leave the hotel and start to head home.
Pinetop is clearly a vacationeer’s home away from home. It is made for people who enjoy genteel fishing, walking, biking, communing, “puttering” until the cocktail hour. There aren’t any shear mountain sides for the muscled summer enthusiast to scale, no dune buggy trails for the wild-eyed scraggy man wearing pink or orange wife-beater shirts, no raging
rivers for the thrill seekers in life jackets that I noticed…only soothing summer enjoyments for quiet chair sitters under tall, skinny, thirsty pines that need more water than they are getting.
The naive would think life in tranquil Pinetop as it moved into neighboring Show Low would be private. They would be wrong. Please note the cameras on every corner to watch driving speed. I admit it. In the 45 mph zone fast lane I followed a car for six blocks going 35 mph and I passed on the right (after six other cars passed us, but Sam was cringing) and got to a whopping speed of 52 mph. I hope I’m not sent a ticket.
So off we went through beautiful pine forests and then through the magnificent Salt River Canyon in Fort Apache and San Carlos Indian Reservations. In a state that is home to the Grand Canyon, the Salt River is a mere pretty girl. If it were somewhere else people would be paying money to see it.
We came out at Globe, an active copper mining town. Two months ago we came to Globe for a day trip to see the Besh-Ba-Gowah Archaeological Park and have lunch. There are about a dozen Mexican food restaurants
here. This time I was able to count three bookstores and six antique shops in this town of less than 8,000. It appears copper-mining, Mexican-food eating people who enjoy antiques or enjoy getting rid of antiques live here.
And before long, around 2:30 in the afternoon, after we had passed Miami, we were home with 2,052 miles more on the car. It was a great trip. Perhaps I’m in a freer life now. I think I understand comedian Jake Johannsen’s words, “I’m from Iowa. It took a long time to realize we were free to go.”