It’s around noon and I’m just about finished packing gear for our weekend tour in Arizona’s high country. It’s been raining up there, so I check the forecast, then give Phil a call to give him an update.
Answering the phone, Phil says, “What? It’s Friday already? We’re driving up there today?” Hmm…what more evidence do we need – that guy works too hard.
I’m happy that Phil pulls his Suburban into my driveway about 3pm, and it’s me who is not quite ready, but almost. We head east on US60, through Superior and Globe, then up through the Salt River Canyon, Show Low, and we finally roll into Pinetop just before dinner. The skies are partly cloudy and threatening rain here and there, and in one spot we enjoy a pretty fine rainbow.
Our friend Jules Moore is already in town, settled in at her motel. She had reservations for and checked the Timberlodge Inn briefly, and made a quick decision to stay elsewhere, opting for the Bear Mountain Inn just down the road. Phil and I check in at the Timberlodge, and are greeted by a slovenly teenager who pretty much has no future in the service business. The regular manager soon greets us, however, and she is a pleasant German lady. Rooms at the Timberlodge are clean enough, but spartan, and the room rates are really too high for what you get. Still, Phil and I are comfortable enough, and, after mixing up some Gatorade for tomorrow, we set off for dinner.
We find The Chalet, which advertises seafood, and it looks like they have cold beer too. Jules has already eaten takeout, so she decides to retire in her room for the evening. Phil and I both enjoy a chicken dish over pasta, plus a duck appetizer and a couple of cold beers, all of which is more than we can eat.
We hit the bed early but of course it is difficult to try to sleep in a strange room. Eventually, I put in my ear plugs and manage to drift off.