Headed home, but slow like

Now that's more like it!  Perhaps since my previous meal had been so disappointing, my breakfast at Waffle House the next morning seemed like the best meal I'd eaten in a long time.  It was delicious and perfect in every way.  The only thing that would have made it better was if Pearl Fryar had been there to join me.

My advice to you: if you find yourself on the road, sick of all the lowest common denominator chow you've been forced to ingest, head toward a Waffle House for a bit of relief.  I had my favorite plate: eggs scrambled with cheese, raisin toast, bacon and hash browns extra crispy with onions and jalapenos.  Based on my previous meals in Arizona, I imagine they had to import the jalapenos from Texas and they've been closely tracked with special paperwork due to their spicy nature.

There were two stops I wanted to make in Phoenix after breakfast: Apache Reclaim and Sunnyslope Gardens.  Apache Reclaimation is a salvage operation that focuses on electronic and mechanical stuff, plus they've got another 10 acre lot nearby that's piled high with much larger high tech (and low tech) junk.  I first spent a giddy hour shopping the dusty shelves of the store, lingering longest on the bearing aisle.  Yes, aisle.  I came home with a whole huge pile of different bearings and they are SEX-eeeeeee!  And yet as fabulous as that is, this place is not just a wonderland of parts - there are shelves and shelves of mysterious and arcane electronic gizmos with dials and needles and lights.  That's where I found a turquoise 50s era time card clock/punch that I can't wait to use for an art project.  At the enormous junk yard location, I uncovered the front piece of a 40s or 50s era Zenith television complete with thick tinted glass.  That thing is going to make about the most bad ass frame you've ever seen.  Aside from all the awesome shopping, visiting Apache is also like taking a trip to a poorly kept technology museum.  For example, on my brief tour, I saw several multi-million dollar testers (used to evaluate silicon based microprocessors) lodged in large piles of rubble, weeds growing from the robotic arm.  I'm telling you, if you ever need to take over the world, there has to be sufficient technology in this 10 acre plot of electronics to at least yield a couple of death rays!  When the attendant let me out the high razor wire topped fence, I smiled a smile of deep contentment for both what I'd seen and what I'd managed to lug home with me.  Just wait until Mark sees!

My next stop was a folk art environment I've had on my list to see for a while called Sunnyslope Gardens.  It's on a humble little side street in working class Phoenix, tucked behind a trailer park.  The fellow who created it died many years back, and unfortunately, it can only be viewed from the street at present but I decided to go by and see what I could see anyway.  It was mostly frustratrating, maddening really, to be able to just see the focal point of the garden way in the distance.  From what I could see there were lots of intriguing busts tucked in between the pottery shard walls and structures.  I would sure have loved to go in and see them up close, but apparently the woman that lives there now isn't too keen on tours and the fence is pretty forboding.  Too bad.

Ah, well.  It would be just downright cheeky for me to complain about  my luck.  I got back on the interstate and headed toward my destination for the evening, which also happens to be one of my favorite cities in the U.S.: Bisbee, Arizona.  I had reserved a tiny little trailer at the wonderful Shady Dell Trailer Park ( http://www.theshadydell.com/Rates.html ) and I could hardly wait to get there.  When I arrived, I leapt out of the car and threw my hands high above my head and shouted, "Yeaaaaa!! I'm at the Shady Dell!"  The clerk inside behind the cash register smiled brightly and applauded my grandiose entrance.

The trailer I had rented this time (this was my fifth stay) was the Homemade, a 10 foot wonder made at home from plans sold in the back of Popular Science. It was astounding to open the door and see just how cleverly everything fit in that little bitty space.  It was really cozy, but not the least bit clausterphobic.  While I was poking around, I found a 60s era Spirograph set stashed in the top of the closet.  I was absolutely thrilled!  It was the EXACT set that I couldn't continue living without...oh, let's say, in about 1968.  I remember staying up with a flashlight under the covers after my weary mother relented and gave it to me late one Christmas eve to placate my incessant begging.  I could hardly wait to start playing with it, but I made myself put it away because I still needed to go take my walk for the day.  I decided to drive into the old part of Bisbee, park the car and just walk for the entire hour.  Every time I visit, I'm usually driving back and forth, so it would be a great opportunity to just meander and see the things that can only be seen on foot.

It was a pleasant hour and I was rewarded with many beautiful gates and fences along the way.  After my walk, I stopped and had some pink ceviche for dinner before heading back to the Shady Dell for some serious Spirograph action.  I wanted to make an early night of it since I'd be driving a good long way the next day, and I wanted to get up extra early to make sure I could have some breakfast at the fabulous diner called Dot's there at the Shady Dell. 

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