After my last post from about 24 hours ago, it may come as some surprise that this post is being written from the couch in our living room in Phoenix while rain is pouring outside the open front door. Plans escalated quickly throughout the day yesterday.
First, our planned trip to Prescott — the city Kathryn and I had never visited together — was called off after realizing just how long the drive would take from Cottonwood. Google Maps had told us Prescott was less than thirty miles away, which was true in purely linear terms. However, thanks to a pesky range of mountains in the way, there’s no way to drive from Cottonwood to Prescott in a straight line. Of the two shortest routes Google Maps suggested, one involved a winding road through a mountain pass, while the other involved backtracking almost halfway to Phoenix. Both would take almost 1.5 hours each way. It didn’t take long for us decide against spending nearly three hours of our Friday in the car and choose to see a bit more of Cottonwood instead.
After an aborted attempt to buy a new flashlight at the local Home Depot and stocking up on water and ice at a nearby supermarket, we decided to try a diner on the edge of Old Town Cottonwood called Bing’s Burger Station. It was Kathryn’s choice, and a very good one at that. Kathryn ordered a veggie burger, I had a fish sandwich, we each had a Mexican Coca-Cola, and we shared a large order of fries. The sandwiches were great, but the hand-cut fries really stood out.
While enjoying our lunch, Kathryn pulled out her phone and got an updated weather forecast for today. Compared to a few hours earlier, it was getting out of hand fast. It called for steady rain from the early morning and into the early hours of Sunday morning. Living in Arizona, we enjoy seeing rain when we can, but if we’re going to spend an entire day reading books and drinking beer while watching the rain, we agreed we’d enjoy it more from our patio in Phoenix. After returning to our campsite, we took advantage of another hour of relative peace and quiet, and then started breaking down our site. By about 3:30 pm — roughly 23 hours after we arrived — we were at the ranger station, letting them know we had abandoned the campsite, and getting a refund for our unused time.
On the way back to Phoenix, we stopped at one of regular places, Rock Springs Cafe near Black Canyon City, for a pie and coffee break. They seated us in the bar area, and since it was near quitting time for a lot of folks, there were some colorful characters afoot. Kathryn ordered a slice of her favorite, rhubarb crumb. I ordered key lime, but since they were out, I settled for my backup, blueberry crumb. As always, it was worth the stop.
When all was said and done, the three-night tenth-anniversary camping trip became a one-nighter instead. And, looking back, we wouldn’t have changed a thing.