Eighty one miles - a mere 81 miles.....
Eighty one miles that:
1. I will NEVER come even CLOSE to traveling again - with ANY form of transportation.
2. Left me feeling like I had been rung through the washer or hit by a truck - whichever would be worse - or even both!
3. Left me seriously wondering about my research and navigating skills - or lack there of.
4. Made me thankful that Derek was at the wheel.
5. I will try my hardest not to persuade other's not to take - unless they have a rig larger than ours.
If you LOVE the road from Sedona to Prescott and all the areas in between - tread forward carefully - I have A LOT to say and it isn't all nice!
Darn - I hate when a trip goes bad .....
It all started out innocently enough and with HUGE expectations. Obviously THAT was one of the problems - notice how when something is totally blown up in your mind there is a similar correlation to the actual blow up that occurs when the two don't match.
Sunday morning - yes, SUNDAY MORNING - following our tour of downtown Flagstaff we began our trek south. Looking back I'd say that SUNDAY MORNING was definitely our first and worst mistake.
Following a winding, narrow and STEEP desent, that left you feeling like you'd just been on a amusement park ride, we came into a valley. Notice the number of cars.
Yes, beautiful trees - thankfully something good to look at. One of the issues with this area is that you cannot stop unless you have a Red Rock Pass. Fair enough I guess - only $5/ per day. However, we didn't get one and that is ok because really - even if we had wanted to pull off we couldn't.
THE PLACE WAS PACKED!
For MILES and MILES.
So, we just enjoyed the view from the van.
An area of nice red rock to be sure.
Can't get enough of the yellow leaves!
Not a great shot but I had to move fast. Oh dare to dream that THIS was OUR vehicle.
We finally reached Sedona. Now, I don't know about you but we have heard a ton about Sedona. People seem to say S E D O N A with a glaze over their eyes and even foaming at the mouth. We felt so out of touch that we had yet to experience the WONDER of SEDONA.
Well, wonder no more! We could not get through and out of the place fast enough. As we drove through my heart sank and the idea of stopping went right out the window. It was ALSO VERY PACKED - cars everywhere. But that was ok - really - nothing for us to stop for.
I'm sure that a lot of people LOVE Sedona - I mean there were so many people there that they must. But not us. Too shiny, too fancy, too new, too busy, too touristy, too boomeresque, and I bet too expensive for the the little Wood Clan.
The only shot I took of downtown Sedona didn't even work out - here's the closest thing - a Sedona neighbourhood.
Ahhhhhh - south of Sedona headed to Cottonwood. Here the road is actually quite nice - we were breathing a little easier.
We sailed through Cottonwood - not a lot to see on the Alt 89 going through so no pics.
By now my mind was set on Jerome. We didn't stop in Sedona but let's FOR SURE stop in Jerome. A 19th century copper boomtown perched high on Cleopatra Hill. Now a bohemian place complete with galleries, shops, boutiques and eateries - it might be our kind of place.
Although by the time we actually GOT there I again started to have my doubts. First, off - it is winding, narrow and STEEP drive up and WHAT! Yup - more cars and people.
What is up with this place - why are there SO MANY PEOPLE?!
I get it - it's SUNDAY!
Coming into Jerome - where are we to park?
Yup - a traffic jam.
And so - sigh - we didn't stop in Jerome either. No place to park and even if we did we would have had to deal with the crowds.
Jerome seems to be like a little Bisbee. We'll take Bisbee any day - at least there are places to park!
Leaving Jerome behind - great - more winding, narrow roads and full of blind corners.
Not to far ahead we actually found a place to stop. I think we all needed a break as did our van for working so hard on the climbing. It was nice to be stopped - not to be swaying back and forth for a while.
Eventually we completed the 81 miles and pulled into Prescott. I've never been so happy to see a place I have never been to before. It was about 3:00 pm and since we didn't have any idea on where anything was we headed downtown to the Chamber of Commerce/Visitor Center.
Was I too hard on the drive on Alt 89 do you think? I don't know - maybe it's just me. The road was way to curvy for me and therefore totally out of my comfort zone. And I wasn't even the driver. So thankful that Derek grew up driving British Columbia roads and can handle corners and elevation changes like a pro. For me it made my head light and my stomach..... well - you know.
I did do my research about Alt 89 - I KNEW it was winding and such. I had also learned that big rigs shouldn't take it and now I completely see why. And by the way - if you have a large rig - and I mean anything larger than our camper van....
DON'T TAKE THE ALT 89 FROM SEDONA TO PRESCOTT.
Just don't do it! And don't do it in a car unless you LOVE curves.
We did pass a Class A Motorhome looked to be about 28' and a Class C about the same size. When they appeared Derek and I both groaned. Poor people.
Ok - ok - I'm done.
We did it - we now know what we thought we were missing - we can strike it off the list - we will never do it again - we are moving on.
Prescott on the other hand turned out to me a great place - so much so we spent three days there. What we did there is up next.
Teresa (now recovered from the Sedona to Prescott adventure)
TODAY'S INTERESTING LINK: While in the USA we actually just get all of our wifi for free. We hit hotspots and when none are to be found we do without. We did for a moment consider picking up Verizon for a month or so but after looking at the price we nixed that idea. If we boondocked for any length of time then we would for sure invest in an internet system. And if we did that I would go back and read Nina's (Wheeling It) recent post - Internet Connectivity on the Road. Looks like the way to go to me.