The road to Prescott Arizona

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After weeks of regularly hitting 105 to 110 degrees, last night a thunderstorms rolled in and dropped our temperatures , so after breakfast, I geared up and was on the road by 8:00 am. I hadn’t really intended on heading to Prescott which is 100 miles from home, it just kinda snowballed on me. It was so nice out, I just kept going to the next town and the one after that, until I wound up in one of Arizona’s best “ old West towns”.
So here we go, first I headed for the town of Wickenburg, which I just blew past, then I turned North on Arizona State Rt. 89 and headed towards Prescott.

The first town I pass through is Congress, just a wide spot in the road.
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Just past the edge of town there is a local landmark, frog rock.
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The approach to Yarnell hill, I will climb more than 3,000 ft to the top and exit into the town of Yarnell.
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Yarnell Hill,
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When I got to the town of Yarnell, I veered off of the main road and explored some local roads, this town is surrounded by huge boulders, they are everywhere, the community is very rural and rustic, people nestle their houses down in between the boulders.
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Just past Yarnell, I entered Peeples Valley, ( yeah that’s the correct spelling ) This is a beautiful stretch of road, it sort of plateaus out into rolling hills and grassland, punctuated by huge old cottonwood trees. This is home to gentlemen ranchers, thoroughbred horse farms and herds of Black Angus cattle. This outfit is serious money, Hidden Springs Ranch, there’s even a YouTube video about it if you’re interested, they raise, board and train race horses, it’s a no expense spared facility.

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Leaving Peeples Valley, I blow through the tiny town of Wilholt and start the ascent to Prescott. The road I’ll be riding is still part of highway 89, but it is also called White Spar Rd. This road is an absolute riot! Twenty miles of twisty mountain two lane, it’s constant left, right, up, down, hairpin turns and deep drop offs on the side of the road. It is extremely technical and demands your attention, you especially have to watch out for cars crossing the center line. On this road the elevation will reach 6500 feet before dropping down into Prescott.
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For a desert dwelling city boy, pulling into a higher elevation pine forest the morning after a rain, was pure heaven. The air was crisp and clean and smelled like pine.
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As soon as I pulled into Prescott, I made a beeline for the historic downtown area. Whiskey Row and the courthouse square. Prescott has so much history, it is truly one of our real old West towns, people that live here love that culture. Prescott is home to America’s oldest annual rodeo, and it is the stuff of cowboy legends.
This is Whiskey row, the saloons , hotels and ( former brothels ) date back to the 1870’s.
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This is the Grand one, The Palace. The oldest saloon in the West in continuous operation, Wyatt Earp, and Doc Holliday used to drink and gamble here.
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In 1900 Whiskey Row caught fire and most of the buildings were burnt out and later rebuilt. The local patrons worked together and carried the Palace’s ornate hand carved bar across the street to save it.
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As I said, the locals love their Western heritage. Towns like this are magnets for colorful people.
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So this has been fun but with rain clouds threatening, I gassed up my bike and burned it for home, 200 hundred miles today and I just beat a thunderstorm home. :cool:
Today was a welcome break from the heat, it felt really good to get out.
Till next time,
Bob
 

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I always enjoy Prescott when I go there. I always like to go to that 2 or 3 story mall off the square. The diagonal parking. It's just a great place to explore.
 
I always enjoy Prescott when I go there. I always like to go to that 2 or 3 story mall off the square. The diagonal parking. It's just a great place to explore.

Yeah, I agree. I have spent a lot of time in Prescott. At different times, my sister and her family lived there and so did my parents. I have drank beers and hung out in those old saloons.
In the courthouse square, every summer (in non Covid times) , they have art and craft fares every weekend and live music in the band shell. And so many good restaurants and interesting places to visit. If this stupid virus wasn’t going I would’ve stopped at a favorite little pizza shop right on the town square for lunch.
 
For a desert dwelling city boy, pulling into a higher elevation pine forest the morning after a rain, was pure heaven. The air was crisp and clean and smelled like pine.
:D
Reminds me of the camping trips into the Taos mountains in N. Mexico. Used to run the ol' RD350 up 'till it ran out of air. That's where we'd pitch the tent. I can still smell them pines...
 
I really enjoyed reading this and the pictures always take me back there..its like you have your own Arizona Highways travelogue plus your sense of history makes these reports as colorful as the desert covered in Spring blooms...:cool:
 
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:D
Reminds me of the camping trips into the Taos mountains in N. Mexico. Used to run the ol' RD350 up 'till it ran out of air. That's where we'd pitch the tent. I can still smell them pines...

People think of Arizona and they naturally think desert. But we have six National forests in the Eastern and Northern part of the state, including the largest stand of Ponderosa Pines in the country. I always thought how nice it would be to live up in the pines, but every single year we have forest fires that run people outa their homes. My folks nearly got burned out of their home near that road I came in on.

Simply beautiful Bob, great story and wonderful pictures. Thank you for sharing, it has made my work day a little brighter. :cool:

Thanks Boog, I appreciate that.

Very nice Bob - you sure live in an interesting place!

Pete

Pete, you’d love it here. I can see you now drinking whiskey and playing poker in the Palace saloon, with a derringer in your vest pocket in case some slick tried to cheat you at cards. :D
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After weeks of regularly hitting 105 to 110 degrees, last night a thunderstorms rolled in and dropped our temperatures , so after breakfast, I geared up and was on the road by 8:00 am. I hadn’t really intended on heading to Prescott which is 100 miles from home, it just kinda snowballed on me. It was so nice out, I just kept going to the next town and the one after that, until I wound up in one of Arizona’s best “ old West towns”.
So here we go, first I headed for the town of Wickenburg, which I just blew past, then I turned North on Arizona State Rt. 89 and headed towards Prescott.

The first town I pass through is Congress, just a wide spot in the road.
View attachment 172391 View attachment 172392
Just past the edge of town there is a local landmark, frog rock.
View attachment 172393 View attachment 172394 View attachment 172395

The approach to Yarnell hill, I will climb more than 3,000 ft to the top and exit into the town of Yarnell.
View attachment 172396

Yarnell Hill,
View attachment 172398 View attachment 172399 View attachment 172400 View attachment 172402 View attachment 172403
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When I got to the town of Yarnell, I veered off of the main road and explored some local roads, this town is surrounded by huge boulders, they are everywhere, the community is very rural and rustic, people nestle their houses down in between the boulders.
View attachment 172405 View attachment 172406 View attachment 172407

Just past Yarnell, I entered Peeples Valley, ( yeah that’s the correct spelling ) This is a beautiful stretch of road, it sort of plateaus out into rolling hills and grassland, punctuated by huge old cottonwood trees. This is home to gentlemen ranchers, thoroughbred horse farms and herds of Black Angus cattle. This outfit is serious money, Hidden Springs Ranch, there’s even a YouTube video about it if you’re interested, they raise, board and train race horses, it’s a no expense spared facility.

View attachment 172414 View attachment 172415 View attachment 172417
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Leaving Peeples Valley, I blow through the tiny town of Wilholt and start the ascent to Prescott. The road I’ll be riding is still part of highway 89, but it is also called White Spar Rd. This road is an absolute riot! Twenty miles of twisty mountain two lane, it’s constant left, right, up, down, hairpin turns and deep drop offs on the side of the road. It is extremely technical and demands your attention, you especially have to watch out for cars crossing the center line. On this road the elevation will reach 6500 feet before dropping down into Prescott.
View attachment 172408 View attachment 172409 View attachment 172410 View attachment 172411 View attachment 172412

For a desert dwelling city boy, pulling into a higher elevation pine forest the morning after a rain, was pure heaven. The air was crisp and clean and smelled like pine.
View attachment 172418 View attachment 172419 View attachment 172420

As soon as I pulled into Prescott, I made a beeline for the historic downtown area. Whiskey Row and the courthouse square. Prescott has so much history, it is truly one of our real old West towns, people that live here love that culture. Prescott is home to America’s oldest annual rodeo, and it is the stuff of cowboy legends.
This is Whiskey row, the saloons , hotels and ( former brothels ) date back to the 1870’s.
View attachment 172421 View attachment 172422

This is the Grand one, The Palace. The oldest saloon in the West in continuous operation, Wyatt Earp, and Doc Holliday used to drink and gamble here.
View attachment 172423
In 1900 Whiskey Row caught fire and most of the buildings were burnt out and later rebuilt. The local patrons worked together and carried the Palace’s ornate hand carved bar across the street to save it.
View attachment 172424 View attachment 172425

As I said, the locals love their Western heritage. Towns like this are magnets for colorful people.
View attachment 172426

So this has been fun but with rain clouds threatening, I gassed up my bike and burned it for home, 200 hundred miles today and I just beat a thunderstorm home. :cool:
Today was a welcome break from the heat, it felt really good to get out.
Till next time,
Bob
Bob, I want to join you on your next trip to the mountains !!
 
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