It rare that I like a town shortly after arriving in it for the first time, but that happened in Show Low. Ruth and I went there because we had not explored that part of Arizona and I was used to reading raves about its community museum.
Show Low has an elevation of 6,347 feet, making it a cool getaway for parched desert dwellers. The White Mountains that cause this altitude contain more than 30 lakes. Fool Hollow and Show Low lakes are either in or near town and magnets for fishing fans and campers.
Show Low’s setting is superior. The town spreads out as it grows to showcase its glorious Ponderosa Pines. Some of its literature boasts that this is the largest stand of these trees in the world, and that was probably true until forest fires altered the landscape.
Show Low is on the eastern edge of the Mogollon Rim, which I had to relearn how to pronounce–mag ee on. Some say “muggy own”. A local citizen told me that Mogollon is the lowest level of the Colorado Plateau. A natural feature of Arizona, Mogollon’s volcanic uplift gives this state some heat-relieving high country in summer and 2 major ski resorts in winter, one of them called Sunrise, which is 42 miles southwest of Show Low.
July is Show Low’s biggest tourist month with about 40,000 outsiders showing up. July is especially popular because of this town’s huge and often unique 4th of July parade. Check out its 2016 Freedomfest entry form on showlowaz.gov and the parade’s YouTube awesomeness.
Show Low has a pleasant appearance. One of the fastest growing cities in the Southwest, its population has increased 40% since this century began. Mormons were its first settlers in the 19th century. Although it was established in 1870, it wasn’t incorporated until 1953. Today it has all the amenities of a much larger town like a Walmart Supercenter and WME Show Low 5, a cineplex that boasts, “All Stadium, All Rocker-Loveseat, All Digital Sound”. It may be up-to-date, but Show Low’s main street is still Deuce of Clubs.
Tomorrow I’ll tell you about its unconventional yet small-town-normal Historical Society Museum where Ruth & I experienced a warm welcome and spent far more time than we planned. How often does one get to experience a thunder gourd?