We started the morning in Prescott by partaking of the free continental breakfast offered by the motel. At least it was in an area where there was plenty of sunlight. As we ate, we (maybe just I) couldn’t help overhearing a group of four young people having a conversation while they ate. They appeared to be part of a wedding party; perhaps including the bride and groom. I honestly wasn’t interested in what they were saying until one of the women started talking about her father, and how embarrassed she was by his pride in using old-fashioned (her term) software to create digital art.Her fiancee/husband chimed in to say how her father was also using outdated software in his work. And they all laughed. I really wanted to say something snide about them, loud enough for them to hear, but it was a beautiful morning and I played it cool.
We drove into the historic downtown area of Prescott and parked on the courthouse square. I was impressed by the number of beautiful sculptures on the grounds. The sculpture in this picture memorializes the Rough Riders from the Spanish American war. The sculptor was Solon Borglum, brother of Gutzon Borglum who designed Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.
From Prescott we retraced our drive, north this time, to catch the 89A turnoff to Sedona. Once we got on 89A we settled in for a scenic drive. Cindy, of course, was driving because there were mountains on the route. In fact, we pulled off the highway to follow a road, much of it dirt, to the top of Mingus Mountain. It was worth it! There is a launch point for hang gliders on the mountain, and we walked over to it to look down. It is not a sport that I will be taking up. Do you ever go up to such a precipice and have the urge to step off? No? Me neither. Plummeting to my death is not how I want to go out.
We dawdled for a bit, and then got back into the car to return to 89A. The two lane dirt road was just as spectacular going down as it was going up. (Ignore your phone, Cindy! Keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel.)
A ways further north we came to Jerome, Arizona, where the main street is a series of switchbacks going through town. I thought it would be a good place to visit; Cindy felt otherwise. So on we went towards Sedona.
Let me take a short break from the travel narration to update you on what was happening back in Lafayette. You may remember that the insurance claims adjuster told us that there was a $5,000 limit on our Gold Star homeowners policy. When we heard that, we had immediately called home to stop the work being done on our house. The estimate we had been given for the cleanup was $10,000 and we at least wanted to pause things until we got home. When we called we were told that $6,100 of work had already been done. Fine. But stop work now.
Well at some point, I don’t recall when, we got another call from the adjuster saying that after reviewing our policy she realized that there could be more available for repair and replacement. We both breathed sighs of relief and gladness brightened our hearts. Now we were torn between taking our time to enjoy the trip and rushing home to see how bad things were.
Back to the travel narrative: As we got to Sedona we were both impressed by the beauty of the red rock formations. Trina had also been to Sedona and thought that it would be a good place for a family vacation. She thought that she and her family, Michelle and Lee and Wyatt, and Cindy an I should spend a week there some time. As we drove through the town on the main thoroughfare we started looking for a place to eat lunch. Nothing we saw amid the tourist attractions and jeep tour establishments caught our fancy. We decided to stop at one of the visitor centers to get a better idea of what was available. Let me say here that I am used to a city or town having a visitor center, but there seemed to be a number of them in Sedona. We stopped at one that was in a small outdoor mall. The lady working in there was quite helpful. She gave us maps on which she marked some sights that she thought we might like. She also gave us coupons for discounted meals. And she really wanted us to go to the office of a timeshare where other discounts could be had. We smiled politely, thanked her, and went in search of a nearby restaurant where we would get a 10% discount. We did some window shopping as we walked to the restaurant. The stores seemed pretty upscale; but everything in Sedona seemed pretty upscale. We found the restaurant and had a good lunch. The bill, with the discount, came to $10 more than we had paid for dinner in Prescott. I wasn’t sure that it was that good of a lunch.
Taking the map that we had been given, we set out in our car to drive to the Chapel of the Holy Cross. The Chapel is built in the rocks above the town, and is well worth seeing. I stayed busy taking photos of the surroundings while Cindy went inside to explore the gift shop. She emerged and took some photos of her own before we got back in the car and headed back towards the center of town. As we drove we talked things over and decided tat we didn’t really want to spend the night in Sedona. Speaking only for myself, I found all of the upscale glitzy touristy stuff built around all of the natural beauty a bit off-putting. Cindy and I both felt the pull of the road back towards home inviting.
So we got back on 89A and headed north through more natural beauty. We were anxious to make some time so when we reached Interstate 40 we got on and headed east. As we passed through Winslow, Arizona I wanted t get off and find the corner mentioned in the Eagles’ song “Take It Easy,” but Cindy wanted to put more miles behind us. Lost opportunities. Finally, when we reached Holbrook, Arizona, we stopped for room and dinner. Cindy pulled into a gas station, and I as I pumped gas she did an online search for a reasonably priced motel. She chose one that was just down the street from us. When we pulled into the court, I could see why it was cheaper than most of the others. It seemed run down to me, but it suited Cindy. I went into the office and got us a room. When we pulled the car down to the room, I saw that the door to the room was open. As I approached the door, a man walked out and said that the room hadn’t been cleaned yet. Could we come back in an hour? I hesitated, but said sure, we could go eat dinner first.
We found a nice Italian restaurant about mile away and had a good meal. When we returned to the motel we found that the door to the room was still open. I walked into the room and found one man sitting on the bed and another on a stepladder, peering up into a hole that had been cut in the ceiling. The cheap carpet squished under my feet. The guy on the bed turned to me and said “A pipe burst and flooded the room. You should tell the people in the office not to rent this room tonight.” Ya think? Plumbing problems seemed to b following us. I decided that I didn’t want to stay at that motel no matter what room they gave us.I went back to the office and told them I wanted our money back even though they had a policy of no returns after 15 minutes. They evidently had quite a trade in short-term transients. They complied without arguing. I had seen a number of motels near the restaurant where we had eaten, so we drove to one of them. We got their last vacant room. And I was pleased.