As I mentioned in an earlier post, Cottonwood is installing even more sidewalks. People actually walk them. Yes, they walk to the store instead of hopping into a car to get to everything. Cottonwood also has its share of roundabouts. Here along West State Route 89A, roundabouts abound. On East State Route 89A, motorists encounter stoplights. I guess that makes us West-siders more modern.

What Cottonwood does not have—yet—is an indoor mall. I just heard a rumor that since they are putting in sidewalks, we are soon gonna get a Target and an Olive Garden. My friend checked out the rumor by phoning the Clarkdale City Council for confirmation. It was news to them. So for now, we have to make do with our Wal Mart, and with the oodles of mom & pop-owned restaurants scattered around. Except for the chain fast food operations, we foodies have to rely on independently-owned restaurants. Eat your heart out, folks! We have a delightful mix of casual (mostly) to more upscale places to dine. Who needs chain restaurants?

Cottonwood has a very wide main street. Last Saturday, bikers three abreast and half a mile long rumbled down east 89A under police escort as they headed probably to Jerome. This gigantic Arizona Rolling Thunder group had just dropped off hundreds of presents for the Toys for Tots campaign. Brian and I happened to be driving in the opposite direction when we saw a cop car’s flashing lights coming toward us, along with the recognizable sound of those Harley mufflers.

Clarkdale, a neighboring town that abuts Cottonwood, will have Santa arriving this weekend. Clarkdale’s Santa provides children free pictures with the man from the North Pole. That’s pretty rare and special.

Cottonwood has four thrift shops, and until recently had five. The Humane Society’s is under reorganization. I am in my glory sifting around for treasures at Second Chance (benefitting victims of domestic violence), The Mission (helping the indigent and homeless), Goodwill (putting people with disabilities to work) and St. Vincent DePaul (also helping the poor and the homeless). Plus, there are estate sales practically every weekend scattered around the Verde Valley. And garage sales.

What Cottonwood has not is escalators (haven’t found any yet), skyscrapers, or zoos. Of course, there’s the Out of Africa Wildlife Park on the road to Camp Verde. While we don’t have commuter trains, we have the Verde Railroad Excursion Train, and we have local route buses, including one that goes back and forth to Sedona. Our skyscraper is Mingus Mountain.

Currently we have diamondback rattlers taking their last sunbath before hibernating for the winter. Our homeowner’s association sent us an email with a warning to be watchful, as one resident found the dreaded snake coiled up in a corner of his carport.

We have a picture show, and fairgrounds. And, we have lots of sunshine. And like you, we’re getting ready for Turkey Day Thursday. Hope yours is a good one.

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