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mermaidcamp

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Copper Art Museum in Clarkdale, AZ

October 7, 2014 1 Comment

One highlight of my recent trip to the historic and supposedly spooky Historic 89A from Cottonwood to Jerome was the new museum housed in the old Clarkdale high school. This old building with giant windows lets in an abundance of natural light. This is really the perfect place to display copper. Jerome, the mining town up the hill, is a famous ghost destination and artist colony. There was a very large copper mine that brought wealth to the town. The family that has started the museum owns a copper shop in Jerome. They rent the ground floor of the high school building, and rent the upstairs to residential tenants who serve as security at night. I think it is a great gig to live upstairs because the view, the location, and the fact that the copper art is always downstairs make it uniquely attractive.

The very extensive military and kitchen collections are on permanent loan from private collectors. There is a temporary collection of antique tin cookie forms, mostly Santas, but bunnys and other holiday shapes as well. I learned a lot from the extensive charts and informative posters. The museum covers the history, the myth and meaning, the mining, and the art that resulted. I love the look of copper, but appreciate the other qualities it has, such as antibacterial. Everything is covered well and the staff (owner) checks in frequently to see if the patrons have questions about the exhibits. I saw him take great care and a lot of time when kids were visiting with parents. There is no formal tour, but the space is small and the guest is invited to ask for more guidance. I normally spend an extra long time in museums, and this was no exception. I was fascinated and needed to look at all the detail. I noticed other patrons were also sitting down and spending time looking deeply at the displays. One of my favorite rooms contains spent artillery shells from WWI that were turned into “trench art” by soldiers. I believe anyone would enjoy seeing this museum. It has artistic and historic value displayed in a place that makes it shine. If you are in the Clarkdale area to ride the train, don’t miss this awesome museum just around the corner from the train station.

Cutting Losses-Unexpected Twists of Fate

September 6, 2014 1 Comment

I like to be very punctual. It is polite, which is fine, but if one has a few extra minutes to compose oneself in any venture rather than rush, the odds improve. Leaving only the bare minimum of time for preparations of any kind seems foolish to me. I think I developed these beliefs while doing a lot of traveling around the world. There are always some unexpected time suckers in each mode of travel. In airports we are helpless if our flight is cancelled or delayed. In a car traffic can stop us in our tracks on the road. Sometimes we have no other option and must endure wasting time or spending it in ways we abhor. Today I count myself as lucky even though I have postponed a trip I looked forward to taking that will not be available again for 8 months.

We had reserved a place on the Grape Train, a wine tasting moonlight train ride on the Verde Valley Railroad. We were excited and ready to go when we found the battery in my car to be dead. I have a BMW, so the battery is hidden under the back seat and the replacement battery is not carried by everyone. We fiddled around with the car for a while, then went to a car rental agency, determined to save the weekend plans. I now feel fortunate that this agency had a very odd system that involved doing the paperwork on 5 or 6 clients before anyone was given a car. We had been processed, but as we waited for the car we did some math. We asked ourselves “What is the very last minute we can leave here and make the train on time?” We reached the conclusion that it was already the last minute, and after all this anxiety we still could miss our departure at the train depot. We thanked the inefficient clerk and cancelled the rental. It was a favor, a blessing in disguise. If they had rushed us into a rental car we would have rushed home, grabbed the bags and hit the road. By showing us what could go wrong right out of the gate, at the rental agency, these good folks saved us a high anxiety drive through Arizona with possibly disastrous results.

The moral of this story is about time. The entire drive might have turned out to be a waste of time.  I called the train company and was given an entire year to use the tickets I purchased. I also let the landlady know we were not going to be staying with her tonight and she offered to give us the night if we come later and stay for 2 nights at her place. The only “lost” money was a booking fee from Air bnb, which is fair and reasonable. I also think that we will enjoy staying for 2 nights in Clarkdale and doing the train ride when the fall colors have begun.  We were poised to have a high anxiety rush, and now we will have plenty of time at home, and after the car battery mystery has been solved we can take a more leisurely trip.  Thank you, car rental company that shall not be named, for saving our weekend plans!!

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