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Monday, Mar. 2, 2015

Road trip creates bonding experience

Saturday, February 23, 2008

It has been more than 50 years since my brother and sister and I have gone on a trip together. We recently had an occasion to escort my 91-year-old aunt to Wickenburg, Ariz. It proved to be a great time for all of us to get together and share memories and enjoy each other's company.

I was relegated to driving once we arrived in the Phoenix area and were making the trip to Wickenburg. My brother assumed the role of navigator in the right front seat, and our younger sister rode in the back. My brother complained about my inability to handle more than one direction at a time and, after we missed a couple of exits, I good naturedly told him he was fired. He went to the back seat while sister moved to the front and took over looking for the exits.

Later in the week, we made a trip to Sedona, Ariz., and then decided to go on a scenic back way that was a series of twists and turns back down to Wickenburg. Along the way was the most vertical town in America, an old mining ghost town by the name of Jerome that was occupied by about 150 residents. It was built on the side of a mountain and now artists and crafters of all sorts live there and have helped bring the town back to life. It was really unique with garages built in the side of the mountain and a twisting and turning road leading you ever upward through the little town that clings precariously to the face of the cliff with a 30-degree slope.

Brother, meanwhile, slept through this part of the trip. When we were about 20 miles on the other side of Jerome, he woke up and said, "Where are we?"

By now, he had taken so much grief from the other two of us, my sister and I both said, "Man, you really missed it. That was probably one of the highlights of this trip for us to drive through this ghost town and see all the unique buildings and the craft shops, etc. That is just a memory we won't forget."

He complained that we should have awakened him. That, of course, brought the response of, "You snooze, you lose," by the two of us in the front seat.

Once we arrived safely home, I pulled up Jerome, Ariz. on the computer and promptly called brother on the phone to suggest that he might want to see what he missed since it had been so special.

I'd better be careful, though; it might be another 50 years before he goes on another trip with us.

Dick Hedges
Fort Scott Community College