Literally Chillin’ in Prescott, AZ

While planning our winter sojourn into Arizona last summer, a month’s stay in Prescott was on our list of stops.  Pronounced “PressKit” by locals, the city is nestled at an elevation of 5,200′ and boasts weather that normally averages 70º.  We heard good things about the city and planned to take a break here after several months of more intense travel.  It was time to just slow down and do some looking around in one of our fav states.

Prescott, Arizona

The city of Prescott surrounded by mountains, lakes and Ponderosa Pines

A few days after our arrival, some unseasonably cold Fall weather rolled in, bringing rain, hail and light snow.  And it looked like the cold was going to prevail for some time.  Since we’re weather wimps we altered our plans and cut our stay in half.  As many of you travelers know, weather can make or break a stop – and it was unfortunate that we couldn’t enjoy more of the opportunities offered in this nice city.

Prescott Arizona

Hey, this isn’t what we signed up for! We left a day before yet another cold storm hit the higher Arizona elevations

Of course, the beauty of living on the road is that we can change our plans nearly as quickly as the weather can.  Don’t get me wrong – Prescott, with its four distinct seasons, granite mountains, lakes, streams, and great town is still a very desirable place – but not for us at this time.

Prescott, AZ

Looks like there won’t be any outdoor activities today!

The silver lining amidst nightly dips in temperature and cold, crisp autumn days was hanging out with friends and making new ones.  We knew Paul and Nina of Wheeling It would be at Point of Rocks Campground (Steve’s review here) when we arrived, and we pulled in just a few sites away.  We soon met Paul’s dad and stepmom, and learned about their winter RV plans.

Although we already owned Betsy in 2011 and were planning our trip to Alaska, we were still working when we began following Nina’s blog.  It is pretty much required reading for folks contemplating full-timing, or already doing it for that matter.  We’ve learned about many topics that interest us – boondocking, workcamping, photography, beer tasting, health care – the list goes on and on.  And Paul’s blog, Investing For a Living, contains excellent information for us rookie personal investors as well.

Mead Tasting

Paul shows Steve the way to the Superstition Meadery

Fun Times in Prescott

We had never heard of Mead, but fortunately Paul and Nina were happy to introduce us to it at the local Superstition Meadery.  Mead is not beer nor wine, but rather an alcoholic drink created from fermenting honey with water and various fruits, spices and/or grains.

Considered to be the oldest alcoholic beverage and referred to as “Nectar of the Gods” by ancient Greeks, we were impressed as we tasted a dozen-sample flight.  With crafty names like Lagrimas de Oro, Amnesia and Dancing Goat, we were intrigued as each of us picked our favorites.  Mine was Honey Highway (12% abv), flavored with Prickly Pear and aged in new oak.  I could probably get addicted to this particular Nectar of the Gods!  Don’t miss this place if you want to try something fun and unusual while in Prescott.

A flight of mead

Sharing a flight of Mead – alcohol content ranged from 8% to 16%

Unlike our first meeting with Paul and Nina two years ago somewhere in the desert near Yuma, our social activities here were not so limited.  Paul’s dad Armando and stepmom Ana joined us for a fun dining experience of Tapas, Sangrias, Mojitos and beers at El Gato Azul.  We all shared a dozen different Tapas and again enjoyed picking our favorites. Maybe not our healthiest meal while in Prescott, but the fun of sharing the various foods and spices, along with the great company, allowed us to overlook the health factor this time.

Tapas at El Gato Azul

Healthy?  Maybe not so much.  Tasty?  Oh yeah!

Social

Paul, Steve, myself, Nina, Ana and Armando.  Steve was amazed that the server memorized our 12-tapa order and drinks, never writing anything down!

“Happy hour” is a social time in any campground.  It’s an hour (OK, usually several hours) to catch up, exchange travel stories and just “shoot the breeze” over drinks with old and new friends.  At Paul and Nina’s happy hour we met Bill, a photographer, and Dianne who revealed that she follows our blog (thank you, Dianne!).

Wheeling It

Nina, Paul, myself, Bill and Dianne enjoying happy hour at “The Beast”

When it was our turn to host, we invited new friends Bill and Pamela to join us.  Steve had struck up a conversation with Bill when he walked by one day, and was stunned to discover that Bill had lived right up the road from him in Brentwood, CA for several years.  Not only that, they had also worked at the same national laboratory, although at different sites, for many years.  These two had a lot to talk about – what a small world!

Bundled up for the happy hour

Everyone’s bundled up for this happy hour, but still happy!

Lowes Travels

Pamela, Steve and Bill with their doggie Abbey  They are in the process of buying a home in Prescott.  Hope we can meet again!

Polly

Paul and Nina’s wonderful dog Polly and I got along very well – my new BDFF (best doggie friend forever)

Great company always overrules any weather-related complaints we may have.  All of the friends here, old and new, made our stay bearable and enjoyable.  We wish you all safe travels and hope to meet up again somewhere down the road.  Maybe I’ll have some lumpia ready to go when we get back together 🙂

Point of Rocks Campground

Betsy’s front yard, granite rocks!

The Point of Rocks RV Park is nestled within the Granite Dells, and we were happy to pull Betsy into a small site that faced a rock formation.  It became our personal climbing wall that I scrambled up several times during our stay.

 

Next up:  Scrambling the rocks, lots of granite rocks!