Over The Meadow And Through The Woods
by Nick Coons
Jan 14, 2004
It wasn't exactly a direct route, but it was scenic and the trip took us
through a varying climate. We started at our home in Chandler, drove up
I-17 to the Carefree Highway, west to Wickenburg, up through Congress and
into Prescott, north to I-40, through Williams to Flagstaff, had dinner,
and took I-17 back home. The weather ranged from warm to snow, and views
changed just as dramatically.
For anyone who has never been
, or who has been here but only to one place, you may not know that this
is actually very common when driving for more than two hours. Depending
on where you go, elevations go from below 1,000 feet to above 7,000 feet
(and up past 12,000 if you get off of the main highways).
The State of Arizona comprises the extreme south-western portion of the United States. It is bounded on the north by Utah, on the east by New Mexico, on the south by Mexico, and on the west by California and Nevada.
first major stop was in Wickenburg, founded in the 1860s for mining. And
the local businesses seem to take advantage of this with advertisements
of "mining" this and "gold panning" that. We traveled up SR 89 on our
way to Prescott, passing through Congress, seeing various remnants of the
past and awesome mountain views, and then valley views once the rode guided
us into the mountains. Through Wilhoit and into Prescott where I've visited
countless times, we stopped for a mere 15 minutes and were on our way.
continued onward and upward through Chino Valley and Paulden until SR 89
dropped us off at I-40. As we approached Williams, we took a little detour
through Historic Route 66, which used to be a "America's Highway" connecting
the east to the west before interstates were laid. Parts of this highway
still exist, though much of it is deteriorated and non-maintained. The
businesses along this route play into the while "happening fifties" facade
which remind me of my favorite black-and-white sitcoms from the past.
into Flagstaff, we stopped off for dinner, and then strolled down Milton
with the brisk evening air coming at us. The temperature, a little too
brisk, led us to a small coffee shop for some hot chocolate and hot tea,
which we slowly sipped on our way home traveling south on I-17.
you have the time during a long weekend, I'd highly recommend making such
a circular trip. That is, not taking the same route out as you do coming
back. It adds only a small amount to the overall driving time, but gives
you the opportunity to see much more scenary and history.