Show Low, Arizona

My mother-in-law passed away a few years ago.  She was cremated and wanted her ashes spread out west where she had lived.  About a month ago, my wife ,Patti, my son, Mikey, and I made a long road trip to Arizona.  First stop, Flagstaff Arizona where we went to the Lowell Observatory.  I can see why large telescopes are placed on high mountains. They seem to have more stars.  It was here that Pluto was discovered.

Grand Canyon

Patti and Mikey enjoying a view of the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

People outside the safety barriers taking pictures. Every year 1 or 2 people fall to their deaths.

The next day we drove to the Grand Canyon,  The Grand Canyon is a truly amazing place. Staying only one day did not do it justice.  We will have to go back one day.  Back to Flagstaff for the night.  The next day, we drove to Show Low, Arizona to visit some childhood friends of my wife, Ray and Kathleen Brown.  On the way we stopped at Winslow, Arizona. Of course, I had to have my picture taken “standing on the corner”. Then on to Show Low.

According to a legend, the city’s unusual name resulted from a marathon poker game between Corydon E. Cooley and Marion Clark.

The two men were equal partners in a 100,000-acre  ranch; however, the partners determined that there was not enough room for both of them in their settlement, and agreed to settle the issue over a game of poker (with the winner taking the ranch and the loser leaving).

After the game seemed to have no winner in sight, Clark said, “If you can show low, you win.” In response, Cooley turned up the deuce of clubs (the lowest possible card) and replied, “Show low it is.”

As a tribute to the legend, Show Low’s main street is named “Deuce of Clubs” in remembrance.

Our hotel, the Holiday Inn Express, was located on Deuce of Clubs street.  As we were checking in, I got to talking to the person checking us in. His name was Devin Carver. As usual the  conversation turned to fly fishing and fly tying. It turned out that Devin was a fly fisherman and fly tier. In fact, he only fly fished and only with dry flies. After we checked in, he took me to his truck where he showed me his fly boxes. His signature fly is the Banty, a fly of his own creation.  As he said, “It’s an ant variant.” The body is peacock with two short rubber legs. The wing is deer hair tied caddis style. Devin states that this fly is his go to fly  –in fact it was the only fly in the box– and worked great on his home waters, mostly lakes and small streams. It’s very effective for trout and panfish. He gave me one of his flies to try. I’ll send him a few of mine.

Banty

Banty tied by Devin Carver

We spent the evening of the Fourth of July on a mountain top at Ray and Kathleen’s house eating steak and finally watching fireworks in Show Low, about 10 miles away, from their back porch. After spending one day in Show Low we continued on to Phoenix, where Patti and I met 29 years ago and then on to Tucson where Patti grew up. After a couple of days visiting old school friends, old family friends, and multiple cemeteries we headed back home.  Although it was a long trip, we all enjoyed it.  However, it was good to be home.