Archive for April, 2011

Show Low, Snow Flake And Splendor In The White Mountains Of Arizona

In our travels, by way of RV, we have stumbled upon the White Mountains of eastern Arizona, and we can’t help but think that we may have discovered one of the most beautiful places in the western States.  If you decide to come here from the Phoenix area, be sure to travel in the daylight, as you won’t want to miss out on the inspired views.

The sunlit vistas are breathtaking, as the mountains and rolling foothills reflect the ever changing sunlight throughout the day. It reminds us of the beauty of Big Sur on the California coast near Monterey.  Although the trees here aren’t the giant Sequoias, this area does boast to being the largest stand of Ponderosa Pine trees in all the western states.

There is a sense here, of the old west, just a 3 hour drive north of Phoenix, as the log cabin architecture has been preserved in enclaves scattered among the trees. We have found the people here to be very friendly and helpful to us newcomers, and ever ready to share the story of the origins of this areas’ largest city, Show Low.  Apparently, (and don’t quote me) two settlers agreed to bet on a card game, and the one that picked the lowest valued card from the deck, won the right to settle here. Thus, the name “Show Low”, and the name of the main boulevard through the center of town being “Deuce of Clubs”.

Then, there is a nearby town named Snow Flake.  Legend has it (again, don’t quote me) that the town was named by two businessmen, whose names were Mr. Snow and Mr. Flake who thought it would be fun to name the town after themselves. The town of Snow Flake has a charming snow flake hanging across the main boulevard made of white Christmas Lights.

This area has many smaller towns throughout the mountains that also play host to many RV’ers in their attempt to escape the wilting temperatures experienced at lower altitudes through spring and summer. We’ve been told that once the temperatures reach 100 in Phoenix, we can expect the population to expand with temporary transplants, who will remain here to wait out the heat of the valley below.

When we drove the picturesque White Mountain Blvd, also known as HW 260, through a nearby town called Pinetop-Lakeside toward Hon-Dah Casino, we felt like we’d been transported to the winding mountain roads of Santa Cruz, south of San Francisco. We passed restaurants, antique shops, little gift shops and many camping villages and cabin lined lakes, just waiting to entertain guests, anticipating lazy summer days by the water.

Although this area has maintained its Mountain Cabin ambience, we were pleasantly surprised to find all the modern amenities of familiar chain grocery stores as well as Walmart, Home Depot and Lowe’s. There is even a large Hospital, with helicopter facilities,  if needed.

We are looking forward to discovering the many fish-filled lakes that dot the mountains.  We’ve already heard some great fish stories, and we’ve only been here two weeks. There are many leisurely pursuits available in this area such as a large, new library, coffee and tea cafes, a golf course and an archery field, museums, hiking trails and local festivals, which we look forward to exploring.  We also appreciate that there are many churches to choose from.

Last week, we were traveling on the outskirts of town, and saw what we thought must be an auto accident, by all the cars that lined the highway, only to happily discover that the reason for the unusual site of  “spectators and cameras”, was due to a herd of  about 60 elk grazing in a meadow,  just about 50 feet from the highway.  Then, yesterday, just after sunset, we were amazed and surprised to witness at least 75 Elk grazing along the highway that we drive back

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