Warning – this post is info dense with few relevant pictures. The pictures are from our experience in and around town but might not be related to what you are reading.
We were starving by the time we finished looking at land, so we grabbed food at Wendy’s. Seeing the menu of Frosties made me really glad that tomorrow is cheat day.
Our next task was to visit town hall and see if we could get maps for the properties we were interested in. While visiting them had given us an excellent sense of what they were about, we really had no clue as to their boundaries. After calling town hall, we were directed to seek maps at the County Offices, which as luck would have it, were nearly adjacent to our hotel.
Our Visit at the County Offices and Silver Charm
We entered the county offices around 3:30ish and were immediately greeted by Jason. He appeared to be in his mid-30s and was energetic with an easy smile. Like the other staff members, he was casually dressed – designer white-washed jeans with decorative buckles, cowboy boots and a western button-up with elaborate trim details.
The office had a relaxed environment, completely unlike what I had experienced in Connecticut (and I have been to offices in several cities – Manchester, Glastonbury, Enfield and New Britain). I don’t think I saw cowboy boots in any of them. Instead of working with us at the front counter, Jason had us come over to his desk and take a seat.
He had no problem bringing up the maps we needed and he even offered helpful advice about points of interest around each of them. While he chatted with us, he was interrupted two or three times by new people who came to the front counter. He would smile at them and tell them that “somebody would be with you in a moment”, completely and not-so-subtly delegating the task to someone else in the office. We basically had his undivided attention for our entire visit, which was probably around 40 minutes.
At one point, we asked about the miniature deer we had seen gallivanting around all over town. He told us they were mule deer and then segued into his recent hunting expedition. When I asked whether elk were in the area, he took on a flabbergasted and excited look. Apparently, Silver is an elk hunting mecca. Only ~110 – 160 permits are given each year. Having heard Jacque’s tales of the numerous elk in and around Payson, combined with the fact that we had only seen mini-deer in Silver, we were a little skeptical.
Also, two people in Silver who described the deer said they get “pretty big”. However, for anybody reading this in Connecticut, rest assured your deer are bigger. I felt like our dogs could play with these deer, especially the young ones, without risk of injury.
During our conversation, Jason told us about a neat monastery up in the Gila National Forest that imports coffee from Brazil, roasts it and creates their own flavors. It sounds really neat and we hope to check it out at some point in the future.
Jason also revealed a property of great potential. However, in order to protect our interest in this gem, we aren’t going to say anything about it at this point.
Leaving town & the giant moose
Armed with our plot maps, we started out of town with the plan to revisit those properties that were along the way. It was helpful to see their boundary lines – in at least one case, we were completely off base and had previously trespassed on land not for sale. Ooops!
We got caught up at one site after we decided to walk the fence boundary. As it was getting dark during our visit, we got to watch a SPECTACULAR sunset. We left Silver sometime around 6:15pm and headed toward Arizona, this time along highway 180 westward instead of southbound along 90.
About 2 minutes after hitting the road, we passed a giant moose! Kidding, it was a spectacularly large elk. I guess Jason had been telling the truth. The elk was standing below the height of the road but his neck loomed high, at the height of the car, at least. His antlers put him above even our Thule box. We debated turning around to look at him for about 5 seconds. By the time we made it back to his location (which we disagreed about), he was gone.
I’m glad we saw him because his appearance and proximity to the road gave us cause for caution on our night journey over and down the mountain. The drive appeared to be pretty – pines and many mountain switchbacks. Most of it was veiled by darkness but we plan on seeing it again on the return trip.
Payson – ELIMINATED
After experiencing the charm and splendor of Silver, we have decided that Payson can’t compete. From our drive through Prescott last January, we know it has star-power and it is therefore still in the running. We plan to book it to Payson, sleep there tonight, grab our stuff from Jacque and head to Prescott in the morning.