Sunday, December 13, 2009

Betsy Suggests A Sunday Drive - Payson and Bumble Bee - or not

In my defense, it was looking pretty nice when I suggested a drive up to Payson to check things out.  We got on the road, and the drizzle started.  By the time we got off I-17, and headed toward Payson, it started to pour.  For some reason, I thought Payson was just a few miles off I-17.  It's more like 50.  Kim humored me and we kept on driving.  And then we encountered this:


So we turned around.  Payson will have to wait until another time.

We saw an exit for Bumble Bee and decided we should check it out.  About one mile from the exit, it pavement stops, and it turns into a Primative Dirt Road, not regularly maintained.  It was 5 miles to Bumble Bee.  About 2 miles in, it got so rough that we decided to turn around and head back.  Looking for a place to turn around, we came around a curve and were greeted with one of the most vivid rainbows I had ever seen.  Too bad these pictures do not do it justice.

Bumble Bee, it turns out, is a ghost town, "once a flourishing stage stop on the Prescott-Phoenix stage line.  In the mid 1930’s an attempt was made to bring Bumble Bee back to life by making it into a tourist attraction. Several new buildings were constructed, but the attraction never drew the tourists they hoped for.  Over the years, the property changed hands a number of times, until the entire town was placed on the market and purchased in 1960 by newspaper king, Charles A. Penn. Though Penn had plans to restore the town and build a museum, it never happened."  (

Unless there is another road in, I can understand why it did not thrive.  We were in a Ford F250 truck and it was not an easy drive for us.  I can't imagine what it would be like in regular car.

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