PAYSON

By: joealaska , 1:55 AM GMT on October 22, 2012

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Friday I drove around Clifton / Morenci looking for some photo opps, but little was found.

I headed south, cutting across to Safford, Arizona. Mount Graham is the landmark there. Then I cut south on 191 to I-10. West I-10 until I got to Rita Road exit in Tucson. Traffic was stopped due to construction. I sat by an exit for several minutes. After no motion was happening, I exited and saw a LOT of Tucson via surface streets.

I ended up in Catalina, near where the CHOLLAS live. Checked into a hotel, then headed over to their house. It is located in a big retirement community which has a nice golf course. I played it several times many years ago.

They live in a very nice house with desert landscaping front and back. CHOLLA took me on a ride in his golf cart (he does not golf...) through the neighborhood and along the golf course.

Then it was back to the house where MRS CHOLLA (Chollita?) had begun dinner. We enjoyed their back yard outside and sat inside in their Arizona room.

Maggie kept forcing me to drink her Margaritas, and I relented to the pressure.

All in all it was great evening of relaxation and good food with good friends. I am grateful for their hospitality!

They are soon heading to CHILE, hope they keep us informed of their adventures.

Next morning I was off north on RT 77 to Globe. Then further northwest on RT 188 past Lake Roosevelt, eventually hitting RT 87 (The Beeline Highway). I turned north for the last stretch to Payson. Made the big climb up Rye Hill. Checked into the Comfort Inn and headed to meet my realtors Jim and Suzi.

We looked at houses all afternoon. I did see one really nice house, but it had a very small yard. All in all, it was a bit disappointing for the day.

Sunday AM we were back at it. The weather has been perfect since I arrived in the lower USA..

We saw several nice homes in the Payson area. One that stood out was an older home that was completely rebuilt and expanded a couple years ago. It was on a half acre, garden, nice garage. I saw a potential for a pitching green.

Then we headed north to Pine, Strawberry, and eventually to HAPPY JACK, just a half hour from Winslow. There were a couple of large homes there in the pines with large lots of about an acre. I just did not want to get into a home with a long winter. We were at 7000 feet plus there, so we retired back to Payson at 5000.

Oh, and I made an offer on that home I liked.

Northbound tomorrow AM.

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22. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
4:29 AM GMT on October 26, 2012
joealaska has created a new entry.
21. dotmom
4:02 AM GMT on October 26, 2012
Dave: Thanks for the photo and update. Joe looks like he has gotten some of that AZ/NM/CA sun on his face and arms. He looks like he has enjoyed himself. You were kind to entertain him and I know he enjoyed meeting you. The conversation was no doubt lively. Would love to have been a mouse at that table. Anxious to see a new blog and photos. Have not heard much out of him since he has been in the lower 48 - but then he IS on vacation. Glad you are feeling better and hope that continues. dot
Member Since: April 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1304
20. DHaupt
12:56 AM GMT on October 26, 2012
Dotmom, et al.,
Joe got here shortly after 5 PM PDT. He got lucky yesterday and was able to get right on at Lake Chabot. There were very few people up and about. He was pretty undecided about his plans for today. He sort of wanted to play the Sunol course, but was also wanting to get up to extreme Northern California and maybe into the Black Rock Desert country in Nevada, But, he was concerned about cold, stormy weather in that direction. I told him that I doubted if it would amount to much and shouldn't be a concern if he stayed on the paved roads and didn't pull a "Stolpa" by taking off down some old logging road. I'm anxious to learn where he got to. If the weather didn't look great to the north, he was heading south.

In any case, we went to the Peking Restaurant, which we like or its quiet atmosphere and its food, and had a wonderful visit, ate too much Chinese food. I got carried away with the ordering (all sorts of treats that I haven't had for a few years) so we will be eating leftovers for another couple of days. Got a nice photo after the meal of Joe posing with the stack of take-out boxes.

Member Since: March 28, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1075
19. dotmom
2:56 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
Thought maybe today was a golf day at Lake Chabot? No?
Member Since: April 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1304
18. joealaska
1:24 PM GMT on October 25, 2012
Had a nice dinner last night with Dave and Muriel.

Up at 6 AM and I am not sure why.

Will take a tour of the San Francisco area this AM, then I move on. Not sure which way, north / west if possible. But it is all officially heading back at this point.

Tonight I pull in early somewhere to watch the World Series, post photos, and update the my few days on the road.

Member Since: April 2, 2008 Posts: 826 Comments: 687
17. Arbie
5:00 PM GMT on October 24, 2012
Thanks for the picture, Dave. The teddy bear cholla certainly look cute and cuddly, but sounds like NOT! If Joe is stuck in Lodi, CA, then he must be getting close to your house? Are you actually supposed to be getting rain today? ... Back to work--thanks for the break everybody.
Member Since: December 3, 2009 Posts: 5 Comments: 1104
16. joealaska
2:23 PM GMT on October 24, 2012
Oh Lord, stuck in old Lodi again.

More later.
Member Since: April 2, 2008 Posts: 826 Comments: 687
15. DHaupt
5:38 AM GMT on October 24, 2012
Here is a photo that I took way back in April, 1968 in my Kennecott Copper days. Arizona enjoyed an exceptionally wet winter and come Spring the desert bloomed such as few had seldom seen it. This photo was taken in totally wild country, not someone's garden.

Notice the dark girdle of old, dead pods around the girth of the plant. Those are the ones that can really get you because you don't see them against the soil. You will also notice that there are plenty of fresh ones on the ground too. The tend to litter up the ground around the plant. You come blundering along and get one stuck to the heal of your boot. The next step, you drive it into the back of you thigh on the same leg or, nearly as bad, into the calf of the opposite leg.

The individual needles have a thin parchment-like covering that protects the needle and preserves the waxy toxin that coats them. This is a rather young plant. We occasionally got into Cholla Forests where the plants were taller than our field trucks; you could easily walk under them, but shouldn't. A couple of real disasters occurred among our crews. One fellow managed to run into a giant with his dirt bike. He went to the hospital. Another fellow grew resentful of a cholla that was hovering over his work station. He took a pole axe to it. He went to the hospital.

My worst experience was the day that we bashed a giant in one of our field trucks. A piece of it sailed through the gap at the top of a window which we had opened for a little breeze. It got me on the right side of my face. I quickly got a screwdriver under it and expertly flipped it into the neck of my driver -- a good time was had by all. Btw, they burn like nitrocellulose!

Member Since: March 28, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1075
14. Ylee
7:15 PM GMT on October 23, 2012
The scientific name for teddy bear cholla is Cylindropuntia bigelovii). Big love? Okaaay....

I like the Spanish name for jumping cholla: velas de coyote! ;-)
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 98 Comments: 16547
13. Arbie
1:28 PM GMT on October 23, 2012
What I am seeing as common to all the types of cholla is that they all have lots of skinny-ish branches.

Member Since: December 3, 2009 Posts: 5 Comments: 1104
12. Arbie
1:23 PM GMT on October 23, 2012
Now, Cholla, you should have taken the picture of you and Joe in front of a cholla plant and killed two birds with one stone.
Member Since: December 3, 2009 Posts: 5 Comments: 1104
11. cholla
1:20 PM GMT on October 23, 2012
Further explanations on CHOLLA. Not that you really wanted to know.....
It's a Spanish word, pronounced Choy-yah.
There are several varieties of Chollas. They are in the Opuntia family of cactus. In the USA they mainly grow in the southwest, from Kansas south and west to Texas and California. Their range extends south into much of Latin America. The Jumping Chollas are the ones that do the most damage to humans. But many dogs have made trips to the vet to have spines removed from their noses.
Chain-fruit Cholla (AKA Jumping Cholla)
Staghorn Cholla
Pencil Cholla
Christmas Cholla
Buckhorn Cholla
Cane Cholla
Devil Cholla
Klein's Cholla
Sand Cholla
Silver Cholla
Teddy-Bear Cholla (AKA Jumping Cholla)
Tree Cholla
Whipple Cholla
Wolf's Cholla
et al.
Member Since: July 16, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 180
10. insideuk
12:51 PM GMT on October 23, 2012
Given all that I have recently learned about the 'teddy bear cholla' I am starting to gain a newly revised picture of why our CHOLLA may have picked it as a name on WU. It has a slightly negative vibe about it.

It comes as a shock. After all, I'd spent all this time thinking of him as a soft, squashy and sweet loaf of bread with a decent tan and the odd knotty twist...

Aside from all the other good stuff that Payson has to offer I would also like to point out that I have read about the clear quartz crystals, that are said to resemble diamonds, that are apparently just lying about in the area waiting to be found and turned into lovely sparkly earrings.

Just don't be digging that half acre pitching green of yours in the dark is all I'm saying Joseph...
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9. Arbie
11:47 AM GMT on October 23, 2012
I have never been there, but Payson does not look boring to me. I say, keep checking it out.
Member Since: December 3, 2009 Posts: 5 Comments: 1104
8. tengallontx
9:38 PM GMT on October 22, 2012
Joe,
Stay away from Winslow,had a couple I knew that bought there on a "weekend getaway'.HATED it.Extremely windy.Nice song about it from the 'Eagles'
Member Since: February 3, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 16
7. cybersuze
5:29 PM GMT on October 22, 2012
You still in Payson? I googled it and it looks like a right nice area! Hiking, fishing, hot springs! Oh, and golf! and not so crowded as Phoenix and the like
Member Since: April 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 283
6. dotmom
3:41 PM GMT on October 22, 2012
Tell you what Dave, JoeKY has had up close and personal experience with the cholla. We were with JoeA playing golf some place in AZ and JoeKY hit a ball into the rough/desert - and you know the rest of the story. JoeA got a couple of clubs and used them like forks? extractors? whatever, to remove the bigger part of the cactus. It left many souvenirs in dad's thigh that went back to Kentucky with him. It was a while before they were all extracted. Needless to say, I think the ball was left for the jackrabbits.
Member Since: April 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1304
5. DHaupt
2:18 PM GMT on October 22, 2012
I'm afraid that if Joe buys anywhere in rural Arizona, his chow porch is not going to attract fubsy little foxes -- it will be coyotes! AND coyotes just love succulent pussy cats. Fluff might stand a chance as an indoor cat, but Queeny of the Tundra will be mungaree.

I'm just not sure what the great attraction of that particular part of the Great Southwest is. I don't recall ever being in Payson, but I have been to Safford a few times. Kennecott Copper had a property there which, I think, has been developed into a producing copper mine. What I remember is that the country is more brushy than forested, probably cooler in Summer with probably the occasional dusting of snow in the Winter. Not bad climate-wise. But, after you've photographed your twentieth Arizona sunset and 50th cholla cactus in bloom, there isn't a lot of potential.

BTW, for UK's possible benefit, "cholla" is pronounce CHOYAH. It refers to a lovely cactus variety that is simply furry with needles; they are sometime called "Teddy Bear Cholla". They resemble a small tree, having many branches composed of pods of cactus which nature has designed to fall apart with the least bump. One of Cholla's best tricks is to: 1. Stick into the heel of your boot; 2. stick into the back of you thigh on the next step. The best way to remove a cholla pod is to get under it with a screwdriver and flick it off (hopefully not onto the back of your partners neck). If you try to gently pluck it off with your fingers, you will, firstly, stick your fingers, but, worse, only succeed in rolling it up and down your arm, chest or any other body part.

When I was with Kennecott Copper Corp. in the 60s , one of my field crew made the nearly fatal mistake of trying to chop an annoying cholla down with a pole axe. One whack and --whumpf! It collapsed on him. He had to be hospitalized after they pulled out several hundred needles -- which have a waxy toxic coating. But, they are very pretty when backlit at sunset.

Bottom line, I can sure understand wanting to get off a wind and rain smitten island in the stormiest ocean on earth, but am just not sure that Payson is a good pick. But, Joe, I'm with you wherever you decide.
Member Since: March 28, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1075
4. happytoberetired
1:08 PM GMT on October 22, 2012
I agree with DotMom! Whoa, Horse! I didn't know you were leaving Alaska! But then I have been MIA. My bad!
Member Since: January 29, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 267
3. cholla
1:06 PM GMT on October 22, 2012
Regarding UK's comments

Arizona houses have Arizona Rooms
Florida houses have Florida Rooms

In the UK,
Derbyshire houses should have Derbyshire Rooms

My updated avatar shows me and JoeAK before we slurped down the first margarita. And yes, UK, Joe made it back to his correct hotel.

Member Since: July 16, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 180
2. insideuk
11:41 AM GMT on October 22, 2012
I think it appropriate that we refer to your kindly Tucson hosts as The Chollaritas from now on. It would seem that living in the desert can be thirsty work, I’m sure our Joseph looked a fine figure of a man doing a woozie zig zag back towards his hotel that evening.

I wonder if he ended up back at the same hotel he’d checked into hours earlier?

I’d never heard of an ‘Arizona room’ before today, I had to Google that one. Once I’d spied the description I realised they are like the things I’ve seen built over swimming pools and patios on property programs from Florida. They build them to prevent real alligators from lounging about on their children’s inflatable alligators, right?

Do the Chollaritas have a Pronghorn Antelope inflatable they wish not to be pronged? Makes sense to block their path then…

So, this newly rebuilt ‘Cool Mountain Town’ older home that you put a cheeky offer in for then – does it have potential for an Arizona chow porch alongside the floodlit all weather driving range you have in mind to create?

I’ve been looking at property for sale around that area. I found a little place in the woods near Strawberry that stood out from the crowd by virtue of it being triangular. It’s not the most obvious shape on which to build a home, particularly as this was a steeply isosceles triangle with two long equal sides built up from a matchstick length baseline. It looked quite TIGHT FOR SPACE downstairs, with no single piece of furniture being able to meet a wall without creating a triangular open cubby hole. Upstairs you’d need to be a single person, narrow of shoulder, lacking in height and fully committed to wearing only button front cardigans and not over the head sweaters in future. Otherwise you’d likely punch a skylight out with your fist every time you got dressed.

I ruled it out on your behalf Joe, it was no good for a man with your big swing.
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1. dotmom
2:14 AM GMT on October 22, 2012
Phew! Going too fast for me!! I'm dragging my feet to try to slow this buggy down! xo
Member Since: April 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1304

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About joealaska

On June 4th I left Kentucky driving my RV known as Leggs. The trip is mostly unplanned, it will be interesting to see where I end up. Let's GO!

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