Road Trip: Prescott Arizona

The long anticipated road trip to go visit my parents in Prescott Arizona if finally here. The trip down from northern Utah was about 9 hours and 40 minutes via a very scenic route which is highway 89. I got on the road by 5:15am, beating any possible Saturday morning traffic on I15.

The beautiful views start as you turn onto Highway 20 and then onto Highway 89. It’s worth pulling over from time to time just to take in all of the wild rock formations.

While heading down Highway 89, you will have intermittent cell service. If you are using Google Maps, download the map before you start the trip. Also if you use a streaming music app, download the playlist. I downloaded the map but didn’t download the playlist from the app Tidal – it was a mistake.

So while being 20 miles away from my parents house, I get pulled over for speeding. The area has many dips and hills so visibility can be limited in seeing on coming traffic. The highway has areas that you can pass slower vehicles but doesn’t have a passing lane. I see an opportunity to pass a slower truck towing a trailer with an ATV/side-by-side. I turn on my turn signal, pass the truck, get back into the lane of travel and saw a highway patrol traveling in the opposing lane. I slow down, realize he drastically slowed down and turns around. I pull over as I knew I was speeding to get around the truck I just passed. The officer was pretty upset since he caught me doing 31mph over the speed limit on radar. I’m given a traffic ticket with a court date and sent on my way.

Note that if you are given a court date, you could stop by the court house before your scheduled date to resolve the issue. The ticket will say “at or before the date and time indicated”. I tried to confirm if this was possible by calling the court house but I was given a recording several times for a few days to call back. I stopped by the court house on the morning of August 4th.

I had two other people ahead of me and interacted with a semi-friendly officer at the small court house. I was also able to see the judge shortly after. As I was having a discussion with the judge I clearly learned how dangerous the stretch of road I was speeding on was. As it turns out, it had the highest head-on collisions in the state. I did ask why this stretch of road had passing areas at all. The response was because of slow moving trucks that frequent the near by Waste Management site. I didn’t have any response as I wasn’t about to argue. If this is the most dangerous stretch of road, why not either implement passing lanes or reduce how many passing areas are allowed.

After the discussion with the judge, final cost of this ordeal was a fine of $580 + $29 (credit card service fee) = $609. I was also ordered to take an online driving education course which is $120. Over all the bright side is that no one was hurt, I didn’t get arrested and didn’t have my vehicle impounded or receive the maximum punishment of 30 days in jail.

Dinner was interesting yesterday: fish taco’s at the Palace Restaurant & Saloon in historic Whiskey Row. It is the oldest business and the oldest bar operating in the state of Arizona. The saloon opened in 1877 and then rebuilt in 1901 as a terrible fire destroyed much of the district. The famous patrons would include Wyatt Earp, Virgil Earp and Doc Holliday. We were not able to have a beer at the famous bar unfortunately. It was one of the few pieces that was saved from the fire. It is a main attraction of the saloon and was full the entire time we were at the saloon.

The interior decor is absolutely something to see – it has a genuine feel of being period correct. The servers also dressed the part, all unique in dress – tying the atmosphere together.

Check the saloons official website out:

The following morning we took a nice bike ride on the near by Peavine and Iron King trails: a total trip of 12.5miles. With an elevation gain of only 741 feet, this trail is very flat. The views here are awesome – you are riding through the Granite Dells about a mile into the ride. Most of your fellow hikers and bikers will be found here and near Watson Lake. The wild granite formations are certainly a big tourist draw.

After the bike ride we headed to Jerome, a beautiful old copper mining town in Central Arizona. The drive from Prescott on 89A through the MIngus Mountains is a fantastic scenic route. You’ll find several camping and hiking spots in theses mountains.

The town of Jerome is fascinating since it was built into the mountain. You’ll find quite a few bed & breakfast places, ghost tours, winery shops, and tourist t-shirt/trinket shops. We walked several streets exploring many of the small shops. You can find a calendar of events and more info on the town here:

After walking around Jerome, we drove to Sedona as it wasn’t very far away. The red rock scenery is simply awesome. I can see why it is such a massively popular tourist area. We found parking and walked the streets, checked out several shops and found a place to eat.

As you may know, popular tourist areas aren’t usually known for great food. I looked up several pizza places via google maps, scanned a few reviews and ended up eating at Sedona Pizza Company. The service was good, beer selection was pretty limited and the pizza was lacking any real flavor at all. I wouldn’t go back.

On my final day of the trip, we drove down to Kingman to visit the Arizona Route 66 Museum. I was expecting a fairly large car museum but as it turns out the car museum is the largest collection of electric cars. It’s interesting to see what ever happens to some one-off project car. A few have found a new home here at Route 66.

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