Tip Top Mine and Ghost Town
Jeep Trail in Arizona
This trip marks my first outing since I broke down over 50 miles from help. Due to that experience being so very awakening - what with the 2-day hike, the cold rain, the pounding hail, walking in the mud, living on beef jerky and a liter of water, and poaching a night of sleep in an empty, dusty ranch house - I started to hang out at some online forums to find off roading buddies.
Breaking down in the middle of nowhere ain't fun.
Lucky for me, I met Aaron.
He drives an Isuzu Trooper. I'm no Jeep snob: I'll travel with anyone who is fun, interesting, and enjoys jokes. This is Aaron. Our first phone conversation went like this:
I met Aaron at a public place, a Chevron at Carefree Highway and I-17 where we could size each other up. He had a little girl with him, so I took my chances. Off we went to Table Mesa Road.
At this exit, we met another kind soul, Allen Russell. He and I also shared something in common: He was an English major. Even though he's over thirty years older than I am, I managed to come across as a "nice young man." He didn't embarrass me by quoting Milton or Shakespeare, either. I mean that in the sense that I can't quote much of those guys BACK without my books handy.
The guy spoke French, drove a nice Xterra, had a gentle demeanor, a good sense of humor, and oh by the way his son-in-law is Andy Grider. Allen talked about the film Dust To Glory with bursting pride, yet humble pride. Hard to describe, I suppose.
See, as usual a simple day run just wasn't about the road, but the people. Oh crap. How fitting. I'm now reminded of a Shakespeare quote: "What is the city but the people?" (from The Tragedy of Coriolanus). What is a day on the trail but the people?
Someone was trying to get my attention? My Jeep has broken down on me twice. Both times I was alone and far from help. Now, a solo trip is still fun. However, I enjoy a trail with people much more, and in a totally different way.
i know I titled this thing about Tip Top Mine, which we did go to. But this is what the trip was about. If you go to Tip Top mine (which has a neat little ghost town, too), you'll have your own experience.