The day had been one of satisfaction; we had purchased an addition to our time-share, and were looking to do a little sightseeing for the rest of the day. TLW (The Little Woman) was anxious to see Jerome, a mining town up in the black hills of Arizona. Dusk was settling in, and we thought we would have dinner up there, and turn around and come back down the mountain. Citing the stats from her brochure, TLW tells me that there are 153 hairpin turns along the route to the top.
Up the mountain we drove. At first, Cleopatra Hill, the road seemed straight with slight bends, so I figured that if this is a hairpin turn, the writer of the brochure is a big sissy,
Higher and higher we went, the sides of the road starting to slope steeply downward, the road still seemed straight, but there were no guard-rails. Jumping out to greet me for the first time was the first of the hairpin turns, as all I could see was the abyss behind the curve, and no guardrail, while I stepped on my brakes with both feet! TLW was starting to get nervous, closing her eyes and not seeing the magnificent view of Sedona down below. Begging and pleading, I asked her to open her eyes, while begging and pleading, she asked me to shut my mouth.
Finally, in the gloom of the setting sun on a cold evening, the snow top mountain framed the historical town of Jerome. But, alas, the experience was too much for TLW; she could not bear to eat this high up, so we set out back down from whence we came.
My trusty GPS, had pointed out the route and we began the road back. It is said that the town and the mountain, Cleopatra Hill, is haunted, some may believe that, and some may not. I do.
As we started our journey, things began to change radically, as TLW began to stir once more. She noticed snow for the first time on the ground, and started to become hysterical once more. “Do you remember snow coming up?” Me: “Yes” (I was lying), the snow was beginning to be deeper and deeper, the road narrower and the night darker and darker. The snow now hung on the trees ominously, silhouetted against the dark sky, and blackness with stark white contrast that defied understanding. Suddenly, there was a car, then another coming from behind, as I slowed to a crawl, negotiating the uncertainness of the hairpin turns that seemed to come up at me quickly. Cars from the other direction, forcing me to squeeze to the edge of the road, the sense of standing on the precipice of blackness and deep, deep uncertainty. Higher and higher, we climb, louder and louder TLW became. My heart had stopped beating and my mind was numb, as I had to deal with the road, the darkness and TLW. The GPS was visually telling me of each and every hairpin turn, yet with all that was happening, I couldn’t help but admire the beautiful views that the snow gave up to the adventure. I wanted to get out of the car and savor the opportunity, but with TLW hysterical, there was no chance.
Finally, the GPS started to show the end of the road, which I thought was 89A, the road I started on, but the strange thing was the arrow on the instrument was pointing back up the mountain!
Eeriness overtook the mood of the car as we descended the long hill to the bottom. Leading us around a small area of Prescott, it was pointing us back up the hill once again, and TLW would have nothing of it.
TLW: “We are not going back up that mountain. I will not go up that mountain. I WILL NOT GO UP THAT MOUNTAIN, AGAIN!”
Me: “We have to, it’s the only way back.”
TLW: “No! You are not taking me back up that mountain again.”
Me: “Well, you will have to get out of the car, or close your eyes and keep quiet until I get us over the mountain to the other side.”
Back up we went, higher and higher, the same hairpin turns and snow covered icy roads, the deep abyss, beckoning us once more into the night. But the GPS had a surprise for us, as we went through Jerome once more, it took us down a shorter path to 89A, as all was quiet, the mountain, the GPS and TLW.
Hoping I would have jumped off the mountain? Write to: firstname.lastname@example.org, and suggest one I should try.