El Nomad and Solo decided to pay their respects to The Mother Road by visiting Seligman, a town that commemorates old Route 66. Wolf and Cranky planned to ride to Sedona, Jerome and Prescott. Sandy and I had not been through Oak Creek Canyon since 1981, so we decided to do the same thing in the Equinox.
Before we hit the road, I stopped at the Mobil station at Exit 161 and found that the train robbers weren't the only crooks in Williams. They were charging $3.89 for a gallon of 87 octane. The Shell was charging $3.99. I though maybe Saudi Arabia has self-destructed until Sherm informed me by text that this was a local phenomenon. We also got Sandy her morning smoothie at the golden arches before heading east on I-40.
We left I-40 for I-17 in Flag and then immediately turned south on Highway 89A. This took us down into Oak Creek Canyon on new pavement. We followed a Nissan who followed a white minivan that had passed us before we hit the curves. Unfortunately, the minivan was not up to the challenge and eventually pulled over to let us by. The rest of the drive to Sedona was a hoot, although the last part was a little congested with walkers and parked cars.
We didn't stop in Sedona. After driving through the fancy red rock scenery and through quite a few traffic circles, we left town and continued on to Cottonwood. We stopped for a McDonald's burger to eat while driving and then, after more traffic circles, we started up the hill to the quirky town of Jerome. It is built on the sheer side of a mountain and was jam packed with tourists on this sunny Saturday.
Leaving Jerome southbound, a first for us, we traversed the winding road over Mingus Mountain towards Prescott, cresting the summit at 7,023 feet. Unfortunately, after doing a brilliant job recording Oak Creek Canyon, my photographer had lost interest. Trust me that the road was challenging and fun and the views were very nice. We eventually descended to Prescott Valley and then took 89 into Prescott itself.
Leaving Prescott, we took Highway 89 north through Chino Valley and joined I-40 at Ash Fork, the flagstone capital of the world. We drove through the old Route 66 town and digitally captured the same establishments we did last year. We also got photos of the memorial to Ash Fork's role as a transportation centre in opening up southern Arizona and some of the flagstone inventory at the Dunbar Stone Company.
Yvette was closeted in her room doing an online exam for a course she was taking. The rest of us sat around and swapped tales about our days.
Five of us decided to go to Rod's Steakhouse for supper. El Nomad, Solo, Bucky, Sandy and me. The margarita was good and so was Sandy's pina colada. Likewise for my sirloin, but sandy's prime rib was not up to standards. I regret not sending it back for her.
By the way, the "You are driving the wrong way" sign was appropriate. Yesterday I encountered a lady in a pickup truck coming down the one way street the wrong way. I flashed light and she just shrugged.
Jim had some snacks he put out as we sat around talking. There were a lot of goodbyes since some were leaving early in the morning. Some of us would be reconnecting at Topaz Lake in a few days, others we would see in Arkansas in the fall. For still others, it was a question mark. But all our life's a circle, so we will see the rest somewhere down the road.
Sandy and I were in our room by 9:35, where I sorted through 300 photos and got a preliminary blog entry for the day posted before I went to bed about 11:00.
Today's Route (190 Equinox miles):