Jan 2016-Part 2 ~ Driving to Quartzsite

 

On January 7, another snow storm had moved into the area and I’d waited until the afternoon of the 8th for the road to clear. I finally left Cottonwood and started on my way to Prescott, via Hwy 89A. I hadn’t done any research on the road or the drive, I tend to just go and see what unfolds.  In this instance I got lucky with the road conditions, as this road winds up through the town of Jerome, and continues to be narrow with sharp bends for about another 11-miles, with a speed limit of 25 mph, partly because of the many sheer drop offs along the way. As the road gained in elevation it wound through pine trees, and the snow accumulation was heavier. There were a couple of slick spots, but for the most part the road was clear of snow and was just wet.

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I wish it had been a nice sunny, dry, day, because Jerome looks like it would be fun to explore. The road through it had such sharp switchbacks it reminded me of some small villages in England that cling to the coastline, and where the houses are built on almost vertical cliffs, except this used to be a copper mining town. It actually claims to be America’s most vertical town, and largest ghost town. Next time I’m in the Sedona/Cottonwood area, I’m going to plan to visit Jerome and spend some time there.

 

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In Prescott I enquired about the weather, and a place to camp for the night. More snow was in the forecast, and despite my request for a camping location that would not lead me into deep snow, that’s where the visitor center sent me. The road wound up into the mountains, and the snow got deeper and eventually reached a point that it wasn’t even plowed. With more snow in the forecast, I just pulled into the first place I found that it was safe and legal to park, and climbed into both of my sleeping bags. I was ready for a long, cold night. When I woke in the morning, it had snowed quite a bit. I’d deliberately parked my vehicle so I could get a good run out of there (as even in four-wheel-drive, a person can get stuck) and I made it out without any problems.

 

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I had to decide what to do, stick around and explore Prescott (brrrrrr!), or keep going south. I checked on the routes and although I wanted to drive 89A to it’s surmise, I decided not to because it continued in the same fashion as before, and with snow in the forecast was not the wise choice. Instead I drove Hwy 69 to Interstate 17. I truly dislike interstates, but I had little choice this day. However, I got off on the first road I could so I could relax and enjoy the drive and scenery. I was once again in lower elevations, and the snow had turned to rain, with the occasional ray of sun peeking through the clouds. The scenery had changed too, and I was delighted to be looking at a landscape covered in enormous Saguaro  and Ocotillo cactus. I felt like I was finally getting somewhere. Smile Then I noticed that the washes crossing the road were beginning to fill up, and that the other cars were going really fast. I realized that if I didn’t get a move on, I too would risk being stranded between two washes for a while, so speeded up and raced the washes which were filling very quickly. You can see the water pooling on the desert soil in the images below. It was quite exhilarating.

 

 

By now I wasn’t very far from Quartzsite, but for some reason was hesitant to go straight there, so I camped that night in the desert, and the next day I drove the last leg to my planned destination. The Rubber Tramp Rendezvous in Quartzsite, AZ. the RTR will be covered in the next post, and it’s a part of my journey I’m excited to share with you all.

 

 

Until then,

Remember to savor the journey, but be willing to change the course when necessary.

 

Roxy ~ a Nomad for Nature

 

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6 responses to “Jan 2016-Part 2 ~ Driving to Quartzsite

  1. I have been through Jerome also. There was a little store there where you could buy some diet pepsi.

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  2. Hi Roxy, Love your blog!
    Please excuse me if I have missed references to your means of route planning in previous posts, but since you must cover vast distances in your travels, I would be interested to know whether you use any form of route planning app with gps navigator, or do you simply use a road map and wander free as your mood takes you?
    Lawrence

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    • I rarely have a planned destination, or route. This past winter I made a decision to go to the RTR, and then in February to Slab City to meet newly made friends, and I had to go back to work in Colorado in May. Otherwise I usually just go… Even when I have a place to go, I will look at the map that morning or the night before, and decide on a route. I might take into account the weather, but if no bad weather is imminent I usually just go and see what happens along the way. Sometimes it might take me several days to go 50-100 miles. I like to drive roads I’ve not been on if possible, and if I see a sign for a wildlife refuge or something along the way (as long as its free) I may stop and investigate it. Sometimes I’ll stay overnight. I just go with the flow, a person misses so much when driving fast with only a destination in mind. I really prefer to savor the journey. I do try to avoid interstates and cities though, I’m not fond of them at all. Oh, I don’t own a GPS, I love maps, have loved them ever since I was a little girl.

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  3. You are so brave, Roxy! I’m an urban van dweller and I love interstates. I also like house sitting, so I can enjoy warm, cozy houses with wifi and kitchens where I can cook.

    That said, several decades ago, I had adventures very similar to yours, only I was not alone. I had a very adventurous husband and we had a four-wheel-drive Jeep. I admire you deeply for your bravery!

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    • And I think you are brave…urban van dwelling and interstates, scary stuff…seriously. LOL. I feel so much safer away from cities and big towns, and the busyness that goes with it. Good job were not all the same, or we’d all be living in on place and the country would tilt sideways…:-)

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