Friday, April 23, 2010

Arriving to Arizona On Earth Day

Earth Day morning began with a rainbow arching over our campground on the outskirts of Silver City. After more than two months in New Mexico, we entered Arizona as we drove over many vast windswept mesas and mountain passes, where one half of the sky would be roiling with thunderheads and the other with bright sun and cottony cumulus. Large signs warning of dust storms and the potential for zero visibility reminded us that the weather here is both fickle and powerful. Great gusts blew clouds of dust into the air, dust that danced across the highway ahead of us like ghosts rushing to cross the road and disappear into thin air. 

Near the town of Rodeo, Arizona, which itself seemed almost like a ghost town, a wild wind blew horizontal rain across the road, demanding dutiful concentration and two steady hands on the steering wheel. 

Along that windy route where we half expected to see a tornado touch down and pick up our rig like a Matchbox Car, we came upon a lonely and relatively unattractive memorial commemorating the surrender of Geronimo, that most famous of Apache leaders. Geronimo's surrender signaled the end of The Indian Wars, and his eventual demise in captivity was a sad moment in history, especially since he was denied the right to return to his homeland. Interestingly, we visited Fort Pickens, Florida in January, which was the site where Geronimo and many of his followers were imprisoned for some time. 

A few hours later, we arrived to the intriguing town of Bisbee, an old mining town built into the hills and now filled with art galleries, cafes, nice restaurants, and antique and jewelry stores. Visitors can also tour the old mines that helped to bring prosperity to this area with silver, copper and other important metals. We stopped into one of the aforementioned cafes for a snack, and at Mary's behest we even spontaneously viewed an apartment that's available for rent beginning next week. 

Luckily for us, the brother-in-law of a good friend in Boston is the chef at Cafe Roka, the best restaurant in Bisbee and is rated as one of the top five restaurants in all of Arizona. We were welcomed like old friends and treated to a most exquisite five-course meal. Keith had steamed mussels followed by grilled gulf shrimp in a tender spinach crepe over lobster ravioli, and Mary dined on a savory tart made with locally grown organic basil, spinach and asparagus.

We were served several courses of appetizers, including a small bowl of lime sorbet to clear our palates before the main course, and dinner was accompanied by a lovely semi-dry California chardonnay chosen by our very efficient and attentive server. Dessert was a delicate slice of Key Lime Pie and a flourless chocolate cake like no other, served with very fresh decaf coffee and cream.

We likened this experience to a meal we had on our honeymoon in 1989, when we were sent by our innkeepers to a restaurant where we were also treated like royalty and served a multiple-course Italian meal at no charge. Our meal at Cafe Roka was not only memorable and delicious, it also included the making of new friends whom we hope to see again. We would love to return to this very interesting town where we could picture ourselves living some day, perhaps as (former vagabond) retirees. 


  1. Wow! What fun! You all deserve a nice treat. How kind of him to provide it for you.....Looks like a neat place....

  2. So glad the two of you enjoyed it! Come back and see us again!

  3. Thank for sharing your feelings with others. we should plan before traveling. first of make budget & choose appropriate place as well. you can find our more assistance from Hank Freid easily