TheWhoFarm’s visit to Senator John McCain’s Hidden Valley Ranch and Farm. And the ensuing tow.

The day began in Prescott, ed Arizona, ascariasis with TheWhoFarmMobile parked outside Coffee Roasters, a coffee shop known for it’s hospitality, slow pace, and conversation.  Nobody seemed much concerned with the financial crisis that morning.  We have not had terribly too much time to reach out to media from the road, but sometimes, the media finds us.  Or more accurately, when the media finds us, they tend to want to do a story.  One man up early walking his dog happened to be a reporter for the Prescott Daily Courier, and after he brought his dog home, he came back with his notepad and camera to find out more about TheWhoFarm.  He had a gentle, inquisitive manner, and asked a number of coffee shop patrons what they thought of our project.

A former rodeo star (with badges to prove it) said he’d enjoyed organic tomatoes in his salad and though the next Presinent would too.

Another local who heard we were headed to Sedona reminded us that Senator McCain has a farm and ranch in Cornville, just a few minutes out of the way on our journey.

A visit to the McCain farm seemed to be an excellent opportunity to preview what the Senator might like to grow should he become the next resident at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.  (Disclaimer:  Yes, we know that Northern Arizona and Washington DC are situated in different climate zones.)  We don’t mind the occasional detour, so we plugged Hidden Valley Road into the GPS, and after passing through Jerome, a revitalized cliffside former ghost town, we were at an unmarked rocky desert road.  An old California transplant with a “Gipper” vanity plate on his Jeep told us that we’d be fine on the road down.

Before long, we happened upon a valley with Sycamore trees, and signs for Hidden Valley Ranch and Hidden Valley Farm.

No Trespassing Signs were posted prominently, so we parked outside, hoping a human being would greet us.  And sure enough, a groundskeeper appeared.  He told us that he couldn’t really share any information, but that he’d get some other personnel.

Those personnel came quickly on their golfcart.  We told them a little bit about TheWhoFarm and TheWhoFarmMobile and explained that we’d like to have a look around.  They told us that they were not authorized to invite in unannounced visitors.  We asked if they’d like to sign the petition respectfully requesting our next President plant an organic farm on the lawn of The White House.  They respectfully declined.  We offered them literature, but they told us we ought to bring our materials to the Senator’s campaign office instead.  They told us we could take a few pictures so long as they were not in the frame, and that then we’d better be on our way.

About halfway down Casey had remarked that it might not be so easy getting back up the road.  And sure enough, his observation was correct.  Sure, we sport ultra-lightweight GaiaSoil on our edible roof, but no matter how you parse it, to paraphrase the Flaming Lips, a school bus on top of another school bus weighs a ton.

So, we called a towing company.  And another towing company.  Neither had a truck available that could rescue us.  At which point the Senator’s personnel returned to inquire what was going on.  We explained, and they were nice, but told us politely that if we couldn’t get towed by dark, we ought to call a taxi service and find ourselves a motel.  In other words, they were not into the idea of us sleeping in TheWhoFarmMobile outside the Senator’s ranch.  Finally, we found a company willing to come give it the old college try.

While we waited, we sliced open the sweet watermelon we’d picked up at the Hollywood Farmers’ Market.
And within an hour, Lucky arrived.  The motto on the side of his truck read “We meet the nicest people by accident.”

He knew what he was doing, and within ten minutes, he had TheWhoFarmMobile raised up and told Casey to steer in neutral.

And up the hill we climbed, Arizona’s senior Senator’s farm and ranch further and further in the distance.

Lucky told us that he would normally charge a fair penny for his services, but that since he liked the concept of an organic farm on the lawn of The White House, he’d give us a nice break.  All in all, a cool $90 for the bailout.

And then it was on to Sedona.  We arrived under the cover of night, and were treated to a delicious meal at Bliss Cafe, where most of the produce is sourced from the adjacent garden.  Imagine that!

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