Nearly twenty years ago, I lived outside Wickenburg at the Wickenburg Inn guest ranch. I lived in a pickup camper near the horse paddocks and close to my six horses I took with me for my winter job taking people for horseback rides on my smooth-gaited Tennessee Walking horses and Paso Finos.
Back then, since I lived in a really small town, Kanab, UT, I thought Wickenburg was a large town with lots of stores, shops, and motels.
So, on this Saturday night, I drove into town expecting to find an inexpensive, but clean motel room. Even though it was early, I was tired and really wanted to settle in for the night. As I drove up and down the main drag through town, I was dismayed to find that several of the motels were closed, or they had been converted to provide permanent residences for workers in the area.
I stopped in a couple of bars out of curiousity, just to see what was going on on a Saturday night and was disappointed to discover the "No Smoking" law in Prescott is not a statewide law. I think the proprietors of these establishments would be surprised at the people who might venture out for an occasional drink . . . if they didn't have to endure the thick pall of smoke.
It was warm enough to camp out, but I didn't know where any campgrounds were, so I headed on down the highway, finally finding the Burro Jim motel in Aguila.
The proprietor was a little, shrunken woman in her late 80's. She didn't accept my Discover Card for payment, and although I was reluctant to use my cash, I didn't want to put a charge on a different credit card. I'm sure she was glad to accept my cash . . .
The linoleum-floored room had not changed since the place was built in the 40's or 50's. I actually liked these characters . . .
Though I had been too tired to continue driving very far, it was too early to go to sleep, so I drove down the road to the local bar. What an interesting experience. A woman at the motel assured me they had great fans to get rid of the smoke. Only a smoker would think the air in that place was clean . . .
One young man was buying drinks for many of the other patrons. One drink he called a SoCal was made in a glass tumbler. It consisted of 2/3 Southern Comfort, an ounce of a bitter apple liquer, topped off by an energy drink like Red Bull. Oh my . . . I can't imagine finishing such a drink without getting sick.
After about half an hour of mingling with the locals I headed back to the motel room where I settled in for the night.
In the morning, I took some pictures of the outside "decor."
I didn't get too far down the road before stopping to take a couple of pictures of this place.
and the sign out front.
Across the street, there was a little "swap meet" where I talked with a woman for quite a while before deciding to get a little bear fetish and a sterling silver basket necklace.
I reluctantly got back in the car for the last, long stretch of road between my lengthy adventure and home, during which I got another picture of the wind generators near the top of the steep grade up from the desert floor towards Jacumba.
Before I started to empty the car, I should have taken a picture of it. It was so full. It will take me weeks to sort through everything and find "homes" for all the "memories" I returned with.