I was one hour south of Sedona, Arizona and I was on my way to a ghost town. I had been driving down a winding dirt road. I was in the middle of a desert with cactus and cattle in the background. While I was passing through the Bradshaw mountains, there was nobody to keep me company. I was headed to Bumble Bee, which seemed to be most popular ghost towns that Google provided me with.
Bumble Bee was an old mining town. A place where gold miners had come way back in the day. While driving through this land, I had accumulated a passenger. Its name was loneliness, and I wanted to toss it out right away, but it just wouldn't get out. I begged it to go away. Why now? How poetic of it to come along for the ride with me in a ghost town.
A few miles down the road I had seen an ATV that was coming towards me. It began to slow down, and then unexpectedly stopped. So then I did the same. I had a chat with 2 of these gents, Aaron and Phillip.
Aaron worked at the dude ranch here and lived in town with his girlfriend Cheryl. Phillip was Cheryl's brother and came out for a visit.
I asked these two about what there was to do, and what there was to see. Aaron pointed me along to the next ghost town, because the town of Bumble Bee had nothing to offer for a passerby like myself. Just a dude ranch and a long stretch of road. We exchanged numbers just in case I were to get lost or stranded, and then I was on my way.
About a half hour down the road was Cleator, which had one bar and many shacks surrounding it. The bar keepers name was Chris and he told me about the history of Cleator, and then gave me a small tour of the bar.
Several original buildings remain and are all occupied in Cleator. The water supply comes from a river nearby, so it's a treasured commodity. The bathroom has signs that read "If it's yellow, keep it mellow. If it's brown, flush it down" There were dollars bills covering the wall, written with signatures, sayings and quotes from travelers and weekend party goers.
I was surprised when Chris took me to the back of the bar, where it opened up to an outside patio. There were many ski doos, surf board tables, and a boat sitting in the sand.
Despite the long drive to "The Cleator Bar Yacht Club", its a popular place that gets many visitors during the weekends. People go all in and even have their nuptials here. Yes Im talking about weddings, getting hitched, tying the knot. Whatever you may call it, couples stand on the boat and say their "I Do's" to each other at this bar, in this small town. Population of 10.
The tour of Cleator Bar and Yacht club was over, and Chris pointed to a house that was directly behind the bar. It being one of the three I could see. He said, "Go talk to Harmony. She's cleaning up the house for her mom who will be visiting soon.", he smiled and turned around to go back inside. I thought i'd mosey my way over to the big shack of a house.
I walked onto the porch, and with the front door being wide open, I introduced myself to the women who was hanging up some photos on the wooden walls. "Harmony?" I said. She turned around "Hi!, that's me!" she said smiling.
I like to think Harmony and I became friends instantly. She offered me a cup of coffee and Baileys, and we chatted while she was continuously cleaning, and while I took photos of her animals.
She had a rambunctious curious kitten named "Gus Gus" that she had rescued from a mountain man who wanted to use it as bait. Gus Gus was hoping and pouncing on and around everything, inside & outside. There also were two dogs in the house, one that was missing an eye. The original owner of this dog died here in this small town, and in his will he wanted Harmony to take his dog. A week later the dog pokes its eye out from running into a stick, and also wants to eat the Gus Gus while he's pouncing around chasing flies.
These are not your average pets. These pets are still considered wild creatures out here. I absolutely loved them.
Harmony told me her mom was coming into town tomorrow night to celebrate her birthday. When I was helping Harmony stuff condoms, candy and confetti in the piñata I had wished I didn't have somewhere to be the next morning. A party in a ghost town sounded like a thing to be a part of.
We said our goodbyes, and I wandered around to take some more photos of what was surrounding the house. Mostly of old cars sitting around the land, next to its neighboring plant life.
Across the road from the bat, there was a sign that read Yard Sale. The yard sale goes on 7 days a week, because this was on someone's dusty front lawn, and they sold many rusty metal objects, and lawn knick knacks to visitors who were ready to take a treasure out of Cleator.
It was time for me to get back on the road before it got dark and to a place where I could get reception again. 20 minutes later my phone reached connectivity and I had a message waiting for me. Aaron, whom I had met earlier invited me to come back to town, to eat drink, shower and sleep if I needed. I was in. I was tired and the sun had already went down over the mountains.
The population of Bumble Bee is 8, and no, I didn't forget any zeros.
I ate fresh elk burgers with all of them, reminisced about stories of my travels and learned more about my hosts and the ranch. I went to bed with a roof over my head, food in my belly. I had gratitude to cuddle me all night long. Loneliness had been tossed out of my journey, and I was sleeping on cloud 9.
Asking the universe for comfort and company provided me with these experiences. I gained many new friendships, with 2 whole towns in one day!
Life a gift.
Aaron and Cheryl were the towns gold to my heart. I had such a good time with them that I decided to come back to town a few weeks later. This time I was able to feed the farm animals in the early morning. Bumble Bee has my heart forever <3