Tuesday, May 7, 2013

BOO-tiful Arizona

 Hi Kids,
When Miss Elaine told us we would be going to a ghost town, Tiger and I were a little scared.  She explained that a hundred years ago, Jerome, Arizona, had been a busy mining town with thousands of people living there.  When all the copper in the area was mined, there was no more work so almost everyone moved away.  Many of the buildings started to crumble and fall apart.  Miss Elaine drove through Jerome when she was your age -- a long time ago.  The streets were empty and the buildings were abandoned.  It was a real ghost town.

 The building on the left only has the front remaining.  Fortunately there were buildings still standing and after a number of years, people started moving back.  A lot of them were artists, depending on what they created to make a living.  Tourists started coming to see the art and the ghost town.  Other people started restaurants and places for visitors to stay.  

If there are any ghosts here now, they are hiding.  We didn't see any!

The town is built on the side of a steep hill.  The streets zigzag back and forth because it is too hard to drive straight up.  There are many stairs that go from the bottom street in town to the top.  People use them because it is a shortcut -- but it's a hard climb to get to the top of town.  The hill is so steep that many of the buildings have their front doors on one level and their back doors a floor or two below!  This would not be a good place to sleepwalk!

 Our favorite store was the kaleidoscope store.  Have you ever looked into a kaleidoscope?  The name comes from three Greek words -- "kalos" meaning "beautiful," "eidos" meaning "shape" and "skopeo" meaning "to look at."  Looking in a kaleidoscope, you see beautiful shapes.  It's made with mirrors and loose bits of colored glass, beads, etc.  One of the kaleidoscopes was so big that Miss Elaine could take a picture inside it.  Isn't this pretty?

 We had lunch in Jerome, then drove down into the valley which is called the Verde Valley.  Do any of you speak Spanish?  If you do, you'll know that "verde" means "green.  Can you see why they named the valley Verde?

The Verde River flows through the valley and has cut canyons in the rocks.  We took a train ride through some of the canyons.

 The train cars were very comfortable -- and they had snacks!

It was a little chilly so Emily stayed inside with Mr. Jack where it was warm.

Tiger liked riding in the open car where he could see better.  He liked the cool wind in his fur.  

As you can see, the scenery was very beautiful.  We saw lots of beautiful places in Arizona.  We'll be sending more blogs soon.  

Tiger and Emily

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