Road Trip Phoenix - Flagstaff w / pics

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desertdog
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2007/02/19 20:30:24 (permalink)

Road Trip Phoenix - Flagstaff w / pics

Well, my ten-year old is running track this year and her first big meet was up in Flagstaff yesterday. We got up early and headed out the door by 7:00 am. Although we were greeted with a nice sunrise, the day would prove to be gray and overcast.



Flagstaff is a 2-3 hour drive from our house, depending on how much stopping you do along the way. This trip was pretty much all about getting there so we only made one stop, less than an hour into the trip. This is a stop I usually always make when heading up to the high country…Rock Springs Cafe in Black Canyon.





I have been a big fan of this place since I moved to the Phoenix area 10 years ago. The food is always good and it has a great Roadfood atmosphere. I ordered two scrambled with sausage, hash browns and a home-made biscuit with a side of sausage gravy. The waitress offered home-made salsa, which I gladly took.



This was one awesome breakfast! The biscuit was big, moist and tasty, especially with some excellent sausage gravy over it. The hash browns were nicely crisped and buttery and the home-made salsa, over the top good. I have to tell you, I was tempted this time to turn right instead of left to give the Amish Café down the road a try, at this point I was sure glad I didn’t.



After a very satisfying breakfast, I wandered over to the pie case for a look at Penny’s Famous Pies. As you can see, these things are works of art, esp. the cream pies. Penny will not even make the pies during Monsoon season; she says the humidity kills the meringue. Regretfully, there was absolutely no room in the stomach for a slice, so I vowed to get back here some afternoon and have one…or two, pieces of these wonderful creations.



Fresh pies waiting for the pie case…



So back out on the road, we start to climb out of Black Canyon and the Bradshaw Mountains to our west. This area has some incredible stories dating back to before the turn of the last century. Mining in these parts really hit a high in the late 1890’s and eventually became one of the State’s leading producers of Silver and Gold. Colorful place names still exist like Bumble Bee and Lost Pick Mine, although the towns and the mines have been long abandoned after the ore ran out.

After crossing Bloody Basin Road and Big Bug Creek we came up to the exit for Prescott. http://www.cityofprescott.net/visitors/

Prescott (or Preskit as the locals say) has been bought up lately by a lot of Californians looking for a quaint and inexpensive place to retire or have a second home. The town has many Victorian-style homes and “way back when’ was the Territorial Capital for a number of years. The town has lost some of its charm over the years because of its Yuppification, but it is still worth the diversion to visit this historic town.

Prescott is famous for it’s County courthouse, built in 1916, the Frontier Days Rodeo, and of course, for Whiskey Row, where back in the Wild West days over 40 bars and saloons existed along Montezuma Street. There are still a couple watering holes here and there, my favorite, sitting kitty-corner from the row is the Prescott Brewing Company. Great food and excellent beer, my libation of choice being the Ponderosa IPA. http://www.prescottbrewingcompany.com/beers.html

Continuing on north past the exit, we crossed the Verde River. This area is worth taking some time to explore, with the site of Camp Verde just off the road as well as Montezuma’s Castle and, a bit to the northwest, the town of Cottonwood.

Camp Verde is the site of an important Military Fort during the Indian Wars between 1860s-1880s. The pony express used the Camp as a resting/protection point and it was the base of operations while battling the Apache Indians in this area. Several of the buildings still stand and is an interesting visit for history buffs. http://www.pr.state.az.us/Parks/parkhtml/fortverde.html

Montezuma’s Castle really isn’t a castle and has nothing to do with the great Aztec Montezuma. It is actually a cliff dwelling built by the Sinagua Indians back around 1200. From the informative visitor’s center up to the ruins is a very short walk, so if you are passing by, I highly recommend stopping for a quick Native American History lesson. http://www.nps.gov/moca/index.htm

Picture from a past visit.




Cottonwood is a great place to stop off, esp. if you are RVing it. Plenty of campgrounds run along the picturesque Verde River and there is plenty of good fishing and bird watching along the river if you are into that kind of thing. http://www.cottonwood.verdevalley.com/

Along the way from the freeway up to Cottonwood is the Out of Africa Wild Animal Park. This place was located down here in the Phoenix area but moved a couple years back to Cottonwood/Camp Verde. It is an extraordinary facility with its premise of helping injured and sick wild animals survive and thrive. It's a thought provoking and hands on look at some amazing animals. http://www.outofafricapark.com/

Further north we can see off to our left the red Rocks of Sedona. This town is so famous I don’t even need to go into it. If you have never been there, next time you are in AZ, get yourself over there. It is visually stunning. One tip, be sure to drive the Oak Creek Canyon up to Flagstaff if you are in Sedona. It’s a beautiful drive unto itself.

Picture from a past trip.



We finally arrive in Flagstaff at 10 AM. The temperature in Phoenix when we left 3 hours earlier was 66 degrees. In Flag it was 36 and cloudy. No snow was falling but by the look of the piles of snow laying around they had had plenty lately. The San Fransisco Peaks loomed over the town, covered in snow. I’m sure lots of folks were enjoying a day of skiing up a the Snow Bowl Ski Resort. http://www.arizonasnowbowl.com

Humphrey’s Peak is the tallest of the mountains there, rising 12,643 feet above sea level.



We got over to the Walkup Skydome located on the campus of Northern Arizona University (NAU).



The Arizona Indoor Classic track and field championships attract hundreds of participants from all over the southwest. Southern California, Las Vegas and Arizona being the most heavily represented.



As usual at track competitions there is plenty of time spent waiting around, so I went across the street from the University and visited the Riordan Mansion. The Riordans were a group of brothers that came out to Flagstaff in the early days of the town and started a logging business.

After creating a successful business they built this “duplex” in 1904. The house was nearly torn down to expand the University, but luckily it was saved as an historical site and now offers tours and information about this very interesting period in Northern Arizona.



After my 10 year old ran her first heat, we had a break in the action so we went out to grab some lunch at another favorite of mine, the Beaver Street Brewery. http://www.beaverstreetbrewery.com



The girls each ordered spaghetti off the kids menu and I got the Brewery’s signature Beaver Street Burger. The menu is quite diverse, and I often “settle” for one of their delicious wood fired pizzas. But today seemed like a burger day to me, and I’m glad I chose that.



In their words it’s “A 1/2 lb. patty of freshly ground beef blended with garlic, fresh basil and sundried tomatoes. Grilled to perfection and served on a crispy, chewy bun with havarti cheese, basil pesto mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato and red onion rings. (Due to the presence of sundried tomatoes, even well done burgers may appear red in color.) “



In my words, it was a very good burger, and filled me up for the rest (well almost) of the day. I washed it all down with a beautiful Pale Ale (only one, I had to be a respectable parent, after all.)



Flagstaff is a very interesting city, and a great place to stay and use as a base for exploring the northern part of the great state of Arizona. http://www.flagstaffarizona.org Las Vegas, Hoover dam, Navajo country (Monument Valley), the Grand Canyon, all can be had from Flag.

But be sure to nose around the town and find lots of little mom and pop shops, great little cafes, historical buildings (the Babbitt building in the middle of town harkins back to the Babbitt family, who moved here from the east to start cattle ranching, and ended up diversifying into any number of businesses inc. a mortuary.), the train station (now the tourist office) and the Lowell Observatory, where Pluto was discovered. (the ice ball, not the dog.)



At the end of a very long day with lots of track and field watching and a little site seeing, the girls wanted to eat something quick before we headed back to Phoenix, so we grabbed the first Mexican restaurant we saw…Garcias Mexican restaurant.

I was still somewhat full from the late lunch, so I had a Taco ala carte and an iced tea. The food was nothing special and the service was slow, probably because they were so busy with all the track folks in town, so we didn’t get out of Flagstaff before 8 PM. On the positive side, traffic heading down the hill was light, so we actually made it back home in exactly 2 hours.

Sure it made for a long day, but for me it is always nice to be able to travel somewhere out of the ordinary and learn a little about the surrounding area I am driving through. Arizona is rich in colorful history, one just needs to take the time to explore the surroundings to have a better appreciation of what those who came before us experienced.

#1

18 Replies Related Threads

    John A
    Filet Mignon
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    RE: Road Trip Phoenix - Flagstaff w / pics 2007/02/20 07:54:03 (permalink)
    You did it again DD, outstanding.

    John
    #2
    pamelakrest
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    RE: Road Trip Phoenix - Flagstaff w / pics 2007/02/20 08:22:04 (permalink)
    AWESOME PICS !!!!
    I am a picture hound and this was totally awesome. I wish more ppls would post pictures
    Pam
    #3
    SassyGritsAL
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    RE: Road Trip Phoenix - Flagstaff w / pics 2007/02/20 13:56:35 (permalink)
    Great job of posting, and I'm sure great food. I love to see the pictures w/the stories. It makes me feel that the people who are posting are more real (does this make sense?). Yours and JohnA pics are some of the best. In fact, I wish I were a millionare and I would hire JohnA to cook for me.
    #4
    susanll
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    RE: Road Trip Phoenix - Flagstaff w / pics 2007/02/20 14:06:28 (permalink)
    Oh boy, I had forgotten about the Rock Springs Cafe. Wonderful place. I left Phoenix in '89 and it's nice to know that some things haven't changed.

    There is a similar place in Wickenburg we would stop in at on our way to LV. Name escapes me now.

    Update: It was/is the Gold Nugget
    #5
    rouxdog
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    RE: Road Trip Phoenix - Flagstaff w / pics 2007/02/20 16:15:01 (permalink)
    Desertdog,
    I did almost the same run last may on my way to pick up my wife at the Phoenix airport returning on a direct flight from Hawaii.I made a 5 day trip out of a 1 day trip. Hey she'd been on vacation, why should't I! From Williams(cheap motel and a couple good roadfood meals)to Flag down through Sedona, spent the night in Cottonwood. I enjoyed lunch at the Rock Springs Cafe. Great place, food and people. Always enjoy your visuals!
    #6
    catosaurus
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    RE: Road Trip Phoenix - Flagstaff w / pics 2007/02/20 16:19:20 (permalink)
    I was in Flagstaff over the weekend and ate at both Macy's and Beaver Street Brewery, both favorites. Your photos are great! By the way, I also spent two nights in Winslow at the restored La Posada hotel (and ate some fabulous meals in their Turquoise Room). It's worth the trip, too.
    #7
    tamandmik
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    RE: Road Trip Phoenix - Flagstaff w / pics 2007/02/20 16:35:17 (permalink)
    The one picture of the Red Rocks was not enough. Sedona is probably the most beautiful place to visit in the lower 48 states, with the possible exception of the Northern California coast.
    #8
    billyboy
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    RE: Road Trip Phoenix - Flagstaff w / pics 2007/02/21 00:06:41 (permalink)
    WOW!! I spent a couple of weeks out in Tempe and Scottsdale, but wished I could have seen more of Arizona. I was touring with a theater company and the two people I was with despised anything that coudn't be found in a mall, so I didn't get to see as much of the outdoors aspect as I would have liked. That cafe looks great and that breakfast is making me hungry!
    #9
    Fieldthistle
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    RE: Road Trip Phoenix - Flagstaff w / pics 2007/02/21 04:32:50 (permalink)
    Hello All,
    Desertdog, a huge thanks from this boy from the east. Your photos
    open up a new world to me. I have got to travel pass the Mississippi.
    Take Care,
    Fieldthistle
    #10
    John A
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    RE: Road Trip Phoenix - Flagstaff w / pics 2007/02/21 07:42:54 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by SassyGritsAL

    Great job of posting, and I'm sure great food. I love to see the pictures w/the stories. It makes me feel that the people who are posting are more real (does this make sense?). Yours and JohnA pics are some of the best. In fact, I wish I were a millionare and I would hire JohnA to cook for me.


    LOL, thank you. You would have to move to Daytona Beach, I could never get my wife to leave the kids and grandchildren. To tell the truth, me either.

    John

    #11
    wheregreggeats.com
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    RE: Road Trip Phoenix - Flagstaff w / pics 2007/02/21 08:45:45 (permalink)
    ... sparks the wander-lust in me. Thanks.
    #12
    Greymo
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    RE: Road Trip Phoenix - Flagstaff w / pics 2007/02/21 09:03:38 (permalink)
    Now these are what I call REAL Roadfood pictures..............just great. Thanks for posting such an interesting day.
    #13
    desertdog
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    RE: Road Trip Phoenix - Flagstaff w / pics 2007/02/21 18:28:34 (permalink)

    Thanks for the replies! Traveling and Food have got to be two of my favorite things...unfortunately I am probably having too much of one and not enough of the other lately. Need to see about changing that...

    As they say, ya only live once!

    DD
    #14
    redtressed
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    RE: Road Trip Phoenix - Flagstaff w / pics 2007/02/21 18:46:07 (permalink)
    Boy I miss that path from Phoenix to Flagstaff. A good deal of my family from my dad's side live in Phoenix/Tempe/Mesa/Scottsdale.When my aunt was still alive, we went out quite often and ALWAYS went up to Flagstaff, meandering the whole way..that route has some of the best scenery in the US, in a relatively short trip. Thanks for bringing up the memories.
    #15
    redtressed
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    RE: Road Trip Phoenix - Flagstaff w / pics 2007/02/21 18:52:30 (permalink)
    Desertdog.....tell me if you know of this place...I think it was on the outskirts of Tempe. It was a model of a small "Cowboy" town and featured a steakhouse. The interior of the place was decorated with Men's ties......cut off in the middle and hung from the ceiling. Patrons who entered with ties, promptly had them snipped off. If one dared to order a steak well done, an old dirty boot was delivered in it's place, initially, to "chew on". I can't remember the name nor the quality of the food, but it was sure cool then to a girl of 12.
    #16
    desertdog
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    RE: Road Trip Phoenix - Flagstaff w / pics 2007/02/21 19:34:18 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by redtressed

    Desertdog.....tell me if you know of this place...I think it was on the outskirts of Tempe. It was a model of a small "Cowboy" town and featured a steakhouse. The interior of the place was decorated with Men's ties......cut off in the middle and hung from the ceiling. Patrons who entered with ties, promptly had them snipped off. If one dared to order a steak well done, an old dirty boot was delivered in it's place, initially, to "chew on". I can't remember the name nor the quality of the food, but it was sure cool then to a girl of 12.


    You would be referring to the Pinnacle Peak Patio, but it is not in Tempe, it is up in North Scottsdale. It is still there and they still cut your tie off if you come in with one on. The place has become somewhat touristy, can't remember the last time I had a steak there.

    It's actually just around the corner from Greasewood Flats, a place I prefer due to the setting, local crowd, good music and the burgers. Sunday evenings at Greasewood this time of year are esp. fun. All those who have been out riding (motorcycles) show up after 5 PM and the place gets jumpin !

    If I get up there this weekend I'll post a couple pics.

    #17
    Foodbme
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    RE: Road Trip Phoenix - Flagstaff w / pics 2007/02/21 19:41:18 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by redtressed

    Desertdog.....tell me if you know of this place...I think it was on the outskirts of Tempe. It was a model of a small "Cowboy" town and featured a steakhouse. The interior of the place was decorated with Men's ties......cut off in the middle and hung from the ceiling. Patrons who entered with ties, promptly had them snipped off. If one dared to order a steak well done, an old dirty boot was delivered in it's place, initially, to "chew on". I can't remember the name nor the quality of the food, but it was sure cool then to a girl of 12.

    The name of the place is The Pinnacle Peak Patio and it's still there. It's in North Scottsdale. There's a great place right across the street calleed Greasewood Flats.

    DESERT DOG NOW YOU"VE DONE IT! We'll have every ner-do-well and their brother wantin' to move out here. Keep this good stuff to yourself!(GREAT STUFF!)
    #18
    desertdog
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    RE: Road Trip Phoenix - Flagstaff w / pics 2007/02/22 08:58:11 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Foodbme

    quote:
    Originally posted by redtressed

    Desertdog.....tell me if you know of this place...I think it was on the outskirts of Tempe. It was a model of a small "Cowboy" town and featured a steakhouse. The interior of the place was decorated with Men's ties......cut off in the middle and hung from the ceiling. Patrons who entered with ties, promptly had them snipped off. If one dared to order a steak well done, an old dirty boot was delivered in it's place, initially, to "chew on". I can't remember the name nor the quality of the food, but it was sure cool then to a girl of 12.

    The name of the place is The Pinnacle Peak Patio and it's still there. It's in North Scottsdale. There's a great place right across the street calleed Greasewood Flats.

    DESERT DOG NOW YOU"VE DONE IT! We'll have every ner-do-well and their brother wantin' to move out here. Keep this good stuff to yourself!(GREAT STUFF!)



    I'm afraid the flood gates have been open for quite a while, my friend!

    Do you plan on coming up for the Fountain Hills Great Fair this weekend? Also, on Saturday, March 10th is the Chili Cookoff down at the fountain, My brother and I might be entering...

    If you're planning on either, let me know and we'll hook up.



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