My parents bought some property in a small town in Northern Arizona. When I say small, I mean small; around 500 people live there. And for reference, my high school graduating class alone had around 700 people. The place has a dirt road leading in and a dirt road leading out – and rumor has it that they don’t want to pave the road because that would mean they’d have to elect some government officials. It was a complete culture shock for this city girl!
However, as we drove into a valley nestled at the bottom of the mountains with green trees, clear blue skies, and a refreshing breeze, the city melted away. It was quiet and peaceful. I’ve never known a feeling like that – the stress of my busy life; and not bad stress that maims your health but the kind from a full and active life, seemed to fall from my shoulders. It was easier to think because my brain wasn’t overwhelmed with an agenda; quite the opposite, for the first time in years I had nothing to do but explore my surroundings. How refreshing it is to escape every now and then!
The place is breathtaking. We did a little hiking on the side of a peak and came to an opening in the trees that overlooked the valley. You could make out the tiny town by pointing out landmarks like the one schoolhouse, the prominent rancher’s property, and a little vineyard in the middle. It looked like a postcard – the sky held big puffy clouds hanging in contrast to the bluest sky around them, the valley was covered in a blanket of green grass-like brush, and the area hadn’t been overworked by commercialism. I could picture the covered wagons and homesteads that originally built the place in the late 1800s. Imagine the long and arduous walk looking for a settlement, all of your belongings on a cart, your family trekking around you, all the while herding cattle to a promised land. And then, one day you choose a path between some mountains and pop out into a rich and beautiful valley with plenty of food for your family and your animals. It astounds me that the town stayed so small but maybe the early settlers wanted it that way. *There was a bloody war between two cattle ranching families that lasted 10 years so maybe that had something to do with stunting the town’s growth.*
Anyways, here are some snaps from our adventure. I can’t wait to see how much fun Luke has on this little ranch with his grandparents and cousins!