One gets the sense that the Ghosts of yesterday, Keep the Dreams of Tomorrow Alive in Jerome, Arizona. Sitting at 5000 feet, the small town is literally built into Cleopatra Hill and overlooks the Verde Valley in Northern, Arizona.
The town was once a thriving mining community which excavated gold, silver and copper from the bowels of the earth below it. The community grew quickly as many followed the money to the mountain town. As it goes with many boom towns, history dictates a quick rise and early fall to the community. In the early 1900s, Jerome was a thriving city made up of several churches, hotels, saloons, miscellaneous businesses and gambling halls. At its height, Jerome once supported a population of more than 14,000 residents. Mining operations began to decline in the area in the 1920s and by the 1950’s, no more than 100 individuals called Jerome home.
With conviction a town once dead can discover new life. The fires, sink holes and industrial economic upheaval could not ruin the Town of Jerome, and from the ashes rose an eclectic renaissance where the community now thrives. Tourism, artistic endeavors, and ghost hunting is now the basis of commerce in Jerome.
What is most interesting about Jerome, is that the City does not hide from its tumultuous decline. The remnants of brick buildings once burnt down now serve as landscape for recently completed artwork; their masonry shells protecting and showcasing individual skills of those who now reside in the area. If you’re in the vicinity, it worth visit. If the reported ghosts that haunt the town don’t get you, the winding mountain roads and scenery surely will.
It’s cold and blustery outside today, so we took off to an indoor paintball arena. It was me and my two sons out to find some needed adrenaline. Winter has a way of making one cranky so one needs to find a way to get out of the house and do something nutty and fun. Paintball is awesome because it has a sense of danger, mixed with competition and exercise. The danger comes from the dreaded paintball hit. When you get shot, it feels like someone slapped you across the face. Not only does is sting but it can leave a nasty bruise as well. But it’s that burst of pain when the paintball finds your body which makes your adrenaline flow. I am in my mid-forties but I was out there with teenagers, twenty something’s and teens and having a blast. Any Paintball facility will make you wear a safety mask which covers your eyes and ears but wear gloves as well. A hit to the tip of the finger is robust pain. Wear gloves to help protect your digits, they will save you some embarrassment when you start crying from a hit to the index finger. I am slow and out of shape but I still had a pretty good kill ratio. Maybe I did not forget all of that military training.
I have been exercising pretty much every day over the last 27 days and have only eaten healthy food. With the exception of one glass of milk, all I have drunk is water. I lost approximately 9 pounds but have done so without going hungry which is great. While playing paintball, I got extremely winded. I believe it would have been 15 times worst if I have not been training every day in December. So I just have to keep on taking those baby steps forward to 26 Miles. What is most important is having fun along the journey.
How can I mix my love of paintball with my passion for motorcycling? Maybe some sort of Mad Max Style Motorcycle Jousting Tournament. Just substitute the horse for a motorcycle and a lance with a Paintball Gun. It could be massive fun with a ton of crashed cycles and broken bones. Maybe it’s not my best idea but it would be fun!