Two Days in Prescott Valley, AZ

People hear “Arizona” and they automatically think broken wagon wheel in the middle of nowhere, complete with a lot of tumble weeds and unbroken miles of desert in every direction. While the seven to eight-hour drive from So Cal to PV is filled with lots and lots of nothing, PV or Prescott proper is more small town “Mayberry” complete with historical courthouse and park in the literal center of town than a single-street Tombstone-type “community” that spilled out into the desert at either end of the street. There’s no way that mom would have left idyllic Carlsbad for that. Besides they have a Costco and In-n-Out Burger only a few miles away, what else does anyone need?

So driving in from Vegas where the average travel speed was about 80 mph, I had to continuously “reduce speed” to the point where the last 20 miles of the trip, I crawled into town at about 20 mph, with lots of stops due to construction and traffic. Being from So Cal I know how to live with traffic (just turn up the tunes or call someone to while away the hours), but I found this traffic didn’t speak well of those who came to PV to get away from all the So Cal hustle and bustle. Ha! But sure enough, definitely by the second day I started getting into the slow pace. Get one thing done then take a nap until it’s time for an early dinner, TV and the day is done. That was a “full day.” Hmmm, provided I have a good fast Internet connection, I could probably handle this. Now that’s scary.

On Day Two I managed to talk dad in a morning walk around the neighborhood. I’d pretty much fallen off my own workout schedule ever since I wrote about it, but there’s nothing like being in a new neighborhood to bring out the “explorer” genes in me and off we went. As we rounded one of the first corners there was an open area between lots that they’ve left open for rain run-off. I’d just watched the Lord of the Rings over the past week and it struck me that I could see across this completely undeveloped open plain all the way to the horizon up to the distant hills. I hadn’t seen that kind of open land near residences since I was a kind growing up in Southern California in the ’60s and ’70s. I had to agree that there was something beautiful about these fields and hills.

There was a community center that had just opened recently that marked the mid-point of our walk. The place was brand new, spotless and well equipped with workout equipment, a pool, tennis court, basketball court, pool tables, library (with a couple computers), an informal lounge and dining area, and open patio areas in front and behind. Let’s just say that dad and I were pretty impressed and when we got a chance to talk to the center’s director I made sure dad got a copy of their activity schedule, etc. That was a good adventure that earned us more nap-time (I think that’s considered legal currency in such places…). Well, we did manage to get in a trip to Costco and a hotdog lunch, followed by more nap-time.

All this nap-time proved to be quite essential because I ended up going with Creagan and Tami to the local micro-brew, then sushi then some dancing at the Bird Cage. Oh the Bird Cage… many of my nights during my first visits to Prescott when Creagan first moved there usually ended at the Bird Cage. Hot, hot bartender… I fell in love pretty much every time we went there. Now the last time we’d gone to the Bird Cage was during a 24-hour Huntington Beach, Prescott “Burning Man” celebration, Bird Cage dancing then drive back to Huntington Beach/Long Beach road-trip (oh yeah, there was a two-hour nap when we first got to Prescott before going to the party). Though the Bird Cage hadn’t even been mentioned as part of the evening’s itinerary. Damn, we had fun. So much fun that I ended up sleeping in the back of the rental car when Creagan drove it back to his place. I had to be back on the road at 4 AM, but didn’t regain consciousness until 5:30-ish. Oops. I’m still a bit sore from all the dancing, but I do have a stupid grin from the festivities. Damn, I’m getting old for this, but it sure was fun. So much for the slow life. JBB

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