Arizona Road Trip

10:03:00 AM

It was summer, my nephew was staying with us, and I had a lot of free time to kill. What better way to fill some time than with a road trip across the southwest. My best friend Roman, my cousin Nathan, and my nephew Nico planned to spend a few weeks exploring the great state of Arizona. Setting off from Ontario California Roman, Nico, and I was off to pick up Nathan outside of Casa Grande, AZ. Casa Grande is a massive adobe house that was built sometime in the mid to late 1400's.

The ruins were some of the first national sites to be protected by the federal government. Nathan called and we were told to meet him at a local Burger King where his friend was going to drop him off. We departed the museum and found Nathan for some reason standing outside of the restaurant in the 110-degree heat. He shoehorned himself into the back seat of my Ford Focus ZX3 Kona edition and we set off with a number of stops. Heading up Interstate 10, we made our way to Phoenix and stopped for lunch, Phoenix is one of those cities like Las Vegas, you just wonder why people choose to live there. From Phoenix, we decided to take the back road into Prescott where my Great Grandparents lived. Up highway 60, then on to the 89, through the towns of Wickenburg, C0ngress, and Yarnell. The landscape changes from harsh desert to pine trees and lakes as you climb into the mountains. My Great Grand Parents had lived in Prescott over 30 years and were still independent, it was a great treat to stop in and see them at their place.

We spent the night at Granny and Papa's and after Granny had made sure we had eaten enough for the rest of our trip we set off toward the Grand Canyon. We took 89 north out of Prescott which dead ends into the interstate 40. We stopped in Williams where we got a hotel and unpacked the car. After eating at a local restaurant we headed out for a day at the Grand Canyon up highway 64. Having been to the Grand Canyon many times I really enjoyed seeing Nico's reaction upon his first time seeing the canyon. After a full day of exploring we returned to our hotel in Williams and decided that it was time for a proper dinner. We headed down to Rod's Steakhouse on historic Route 66 (the main street is Route 66) it has been there since 1946 and has a real American feel to the place, the food is also out of this world amazing so if you ever need to stop off on the way to the Grand Canyon and only a large slab of beef will do, stop at Rod's Stakehouse.

We decided that we needed to spend some time unwinding and a few days in Sedona AZ was just the ticket. I had not been to Sedona in years and discovered that it had become quite popular with the hippie crowd, not real hippies but the wannabe hippies that still drive Land Rovers. But it is a nice place, we had Mexican food, found a hotel and decided to explore the town. It was on a short trip that we found Slide Rock State Park, a collection of natural water slides and pools that makes beating the summer heat a blast.

It was decided that we like Sedona so much that we just stayed for a few days and went to the swimming holes. It was a blast and I really recommend stopping off and spending at least a day in the water.

But being a History Nerd I forced the group to see some more historical landmarks before we headed back to California, including Montezuma's Castle and Tuzigoot National Monument. Both built in the 1300's it was an interesting look back into early native America.

We decided as always to take the long way home and Roman wanted to get some fireworks so we headed towards Oatman AZ along route 66 and stopped off in Laughing NV before heading home. Oatman is a town Roman and I would go to when we were in Boy Scouts as part of our Colorado River Trip we did every year. It is a small town overrun by donkeys and has western gunfights, they are famous for having a donkey as the Mayor. See my photo below with the Mayor.

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