Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Surprising Prescott

Peaceful!  And yes, there is an adult
beverage in that red solo cup.
Our short stop in Prescott was filled with pleasant surprises.  Namely, how much we liked the downtown and the campground.  There is an awesome National Forest campground just a few miles south of town.  We pulled in and marveled at how great the camp sites were and set in a beautiful pine forest.  The site we chose was a long pull thru with a large patio that sat up on a hill and overlooked the other section of the campground (that was closed for the season).  There were no hookups but our MiFi found 3G and our television antenna picked up a few major stations.  And all this for 5 bucks a night (one of us – I won’t mention who – has a Golden Age Passport).  Our intention was to spend four days in Prescott before heading to Tucson but the forecast for “freezing precipitation” sent us southern girls packing after two days. 
Prescott was a pleasant surprise and the downtown resembles more of a western Colorado town than something found in the southwest.  Although it was once the capital of the Arizona Territory, it is more proud of its “Whiskey Row” than its' former political grandeur.  No wonder I got a good feel about this town!  Whiskey Row got its name because of the many saloons that lined the town square.  Not even a widespread fire in 1900 could stop the saloons and debauchery that was happening in Prescott.  After all, behind Whiskey Row were the brothels.  Just a few days later the fire construction was in full swing to rebuild the saloons.  But this time they were using bricks and mortar instead of wood.  Meanwhile saloon owners erected tents, corrugated buildings or anything else they could to keep selling alcohol.  Whiskey Row is alive and well today with an assortment of bars, eateries, and boutiques and adds to the charm of the historic downtown.

The Chamber of Commerce is housed in the original firehouse
and jail.

Normally there is not too much excitement in campgrounds (except for the time our neighbor had a heart attack and had to be rushed to the hospital) but yesterday the prescribed fire across the street made us take notice.  A plume of smoke erupted and slowly wafted toward us as we were pleasantly eating our breakfast at the picnic table.  Then the crackle of flames and snapping of trees really got our attention.  The fire was across the street but the tinder dry conditions in the campground were somewhat cause for alarm.  Last summer we spent a week at a Florida campground that was completely destroyed by fire when a controlled burn became uncontrolled.  Luckily no one was injured but the campground was annihilated.  So, despite our confidence in the young Forest Service firefighters, we decided to stay and watch the burn for an hour or so.  The thick smoke sent us inside the coach and we could barely see through the campground but thankfully the flames always stayed on the other side of the road.  One who always thinks the worst, I kept thinking about the replacement value clause we have in our RV insurance policy.  We decided that we had better take Spirit with us downtown - just in case.  

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