Thursday, October 30, 2014

Road Trip! Prescott, Cottonwood, and Sedona!

7:30a.m. and all my morning chores were done. Nothing on the plate today, so what's a guy to do? Road Trip... Max and I loaded up some snacks into the Jeep and pointed the front bumper north!

The last time I had made the trip from northen AZ down to Tucson was about 96'. Surly a few things had changed in the past 18 years. Cities and towns, yes... The scenery was pretty much the same, go figure? It was spectacular way back when, and it didn't disappoint today either.

Retro Teardrop... $6,999.00
Phoenix really is in a great location. A nice circle trip for the day took me through much of the more well known scenic spots in the north part of the state. Of course this is only the tip of the iceberg, so to speak, but it was a full all be it relaxing day.

In years past this direction was taken in a motorhome. Sure it is scenic, but once you get into towns, finding a place to set for a spell for picture taking can be a bit tricky. Not to mention the 50' max length restriction going through Jerome. A small artist community built on the side of a mountain with sharp switch back corners. Narrow streets, and zero parking. Forcing you to just keep on driving.

Kitchen with spare tire storage at the bottom
Many beautiful photo ops were missed because I can't drive and take pictures at the same time. At least I got to see the sights, too bad for all of you!

My first stop was in a little town of Dewey AZ. From the highway I noticed a couple teardrop trailers in an RV dealer's lot and just had to stop take a look see. Max needed to stretch his legs, so I had an excuse for stopping for a bit.

The owner, I presume, was just arriving, and like the consummate salesman I assumed him to be, was on me before I had put my foot on the ground getting out of the Jeep. I clearly stated I was
just a looker, passing through for a day of sightseeing.

With no pressure to make a sale, he was the most obliging host, showing me his wares, and chatting about the area. He highly recommended being just far enough away from Phoenix, and at a higher elevation, to have cooler summers, and barely noticeable winters.

A little further up the highway I ran across my first official Art Van.  Covered from top to bottom with everything Eagle, it was easy to spot while
driving. I had to turn around and go snap a picture. I have no idea if it was a customer's van at the restaurant, or just a clever way to draw customers off the highway.

Either way it was doing the job. I had to almost stand in line to get a clear shot of it. A couple of ladies were spending some time giving a a close inspection.

I turned NW toward Prescott and looked for more natural sights to see. I wasn't disappointed.

On the way to Jerome out of Prescott
Prescott is a nice area. More of a summer retreat for those with money to spend. Prescott Valley is more accessible for the average man. Still at a high enough elevation to be comfortable in the summer, but not as exclusive and pricey as Prescott proper.

For the most part the real scenery started when I turned north on 89A, towards Cottonwood, and Sedona. It didn't take long to realize you were in Grand Canyon country, some of the vista's were long and spectacular.

Whenever there is an "A" after a road number you can be assured it will be worth taking it slower, and pulling over often.

The camera got a workout, and every time I got out of the Jeep Max acted like I was abandoning him
A burger at Mickey Dee's alongside a classic VW
on the side of the road. Talk about separation anxiety!

The one thing that stood out along the ride was the improvements to the highway system. I drove through more roundabouts today than ever before. They kept the traffic flowing, but because of the huge number of them, speeds remained reduced too.

I grabbed a burger in Cottonwood, and let Max inhale a small bowl of water. Having a large diet Coke with me when I drive, I have to make a point not to forget the little guy. He gets parched too.

Heading toward Sedona brought me into red rock country. The quantity of huge red formations is overpowering, sadly traffic meant I could only
look and keep on moving for much of it.

The one thing I remembered from my last drive through Sedona was the narrow two lane road through the center of town with cars all parked at an angle. Being in a motorhome the idea of stopping for a closer look see was impossible.

Things have changed a bit. For most of the drive through town it is 4 lanes of open roadway with traffic moving right along.

Just as I approached the northern end of town, it dropped down to that well remember two lanes with rustic store fronts and tourists wandering everywhere. The world renowned Pink Jeep tour rigs were ambling every which way hopping to
drum up business.  There was one orange rig giving tours as well... A full  sized Hummer decked out with plenty of extra seats.

 I felt making the last leg of the run to Flagstaff was more than I wanted to tackle today. Instead I cut cross country on Hwy 179 heading over to I-17. I think it was a good choice because the views of the red rock formations were even more grand.

Once on 17, it was south again and back to Phoenix. It had been a full day, clicking off most of 250 miles in the process.

Like I mentioned at the beginning, with Phoenix being in the middle of many great sites, I will have a
hard time choosing which direction to go next.

For sure it will be somewhere new for me, this is all uncharted territory from here on out.

I'm going to make a stop at the nearest Highway Patrol office. I'm curious if I can tow a lightweight Teardrop trailer behind my Jeep when I am flat towing it behind my motorhome.

It would be nice to have a small teardrop for short excursions when I'm settle in for a few months with the motorhome.

The problem is when I move everything to a new location, it all has to come in one trip.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing thing is that they can get that van inspected!