My kids have been gone for a couple weeks now; they head over to Germany to stay with the Grandparents for the summer, so the weekends are pretty much my choice, esp. when my Wife is off working.
I had Saturday all to myself so I decided to go do a little hiking…again. It is one of my favorite things to do besides eat, and they actually compliment each other.
I haven’t been up to Prescott in quite a while and, since it is only about an hour and 45 minutes from my house, I thought I’d head up there for the day.
Prescott sits at about 5500 feet, so it is quite a bit cooler than Phoenix, which is a big plus this time of year. I drove into town only to discover an Arts and Crafts fair going on around the Yavapai County Courthouse.
Barry Goldwater announced his candidacy for President on the steps of this courthouse. His Uncle ran a very successful mercantile business here in the early days.
It looked (and smelled) interesting, so I decided to hit that on the way back, and drove on through town out to the Thumb Butte Picnic Area and Trailhead.
The folks in Prescott are lucky to have this great bit of nature right at their doorstep. The hike around the Butte is via a well maintained 2 mile trail that takes you up to the very base of the Butte.
During the late summer and fall you can actually hike up to the top of the Butte, but it is currently closed off due to nesting sites of the Peregrine Falcon.
Along the way, there are the typical flora of this area and elevation.
The Pines are always a welcome sight,
and the aptly named Alligator Juniper is quite common.
Manzanita grow in abundance here, with its very recognizable red bark.
When I see Agaves such as this one, I am amazed at how nature can create such a uniformly perfect plant.
The views from the top are excellent, with a nice look down into Prescott and the surrounding area.
I headed back into Prescott after about an hour and a half and found a place to park and walk around.
After the hike, I was a bit hungry (and thirsty) so the first area I headed for was “food row.” As I was walking over I noticed a couple places across the street that I thought I might want to check out later…
Just as I turned around here was Bill offering me a piece of delicious looking pizza, I tried the pesto pizza and was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. RECOMENDATION: Try Bill’s Pizza when in Prescott.
The next stand I hit was Molly’s Tamales. Although not on the menu, they had a wild sockeye salmon tamale that I just had to give a try. Result? Very good. I could see that it could be a bit dry, but they kept them quite moist and had to say I was satisfied with my $3.50 purchase!
Now to address the thirsty part. I NEVER go to Prescott without having one (or two) of my favorite beers, the Ponderosa IPA over at the Prescott Brewing Company. http://www.prescottbrewingcompany.com/
It used to be, if you had a beer coaster from a brewery/ bar that they didn’t yet have hanging on their wall, you got a free beer. (They have a giant book that lists all the coasters.) Laws have changed and now you get one for $1.50, which anyway is still a great deal for such quality beers.
Food-wise, overall the food at the PBC is above average. I like their pizza; the Bangers and Mash, as I recall, was very good last time I was there, and the Jalapeno Hummus makes a great appetizer. I just noshed on the PBC Pub Chips, which is a healthy portion of seasoned potato wedges for a $1.99. I couldn’t finish all of them…wanted to save room for later.
I finished up there and had a walk down the infamous Whiskey Row. During the heyday of the mining rush, this street had no less than 40 bars and saloons serving up trouble. Some things never change, though. See the drunk Cowboy crossing the street in front of oncoming traffic? http://www.whiskeyrow.us/history.html#
Most are gone now, but there is still a few that keep up the tradition. Hotel St. Michael is on the corner, I’ve stayed there once, it is supposed to be haunted, although I never saw/heard anything. My Whiskey Row-induced snoring probably chased the spooks away…
I had another walk around the fair, but was getting drowsy from my hike/food/beer. Since I had a blanket in the truck, I went and grabbed that and found a nice shady spot close to Wayra, “The Wind” (a very talented gentleman playing pan pipes) to relax a bit.
Ahhh, now that was nice! A cool breeze was blowing, the trees were rustling and I had Wayra playing John Denver’s “Annie’s Song” on the pan pipes. During my ½ hour “meditation,” I think I may have lost conscience at some point.
Bringing myself back among the living, I decided to finish the day by having a look at some of Prescott’s famed Victorian Style homes then try one of Kendall’s Famous Burgers.
The homes are certainly well kept treasures of this beautiful town. It’s good to see they locals take such pride in Prescott.
Last stop before leaving was Kendall’s. When I went in the place was packed, and the line to order was long. Off to the side they had a separate counter for Ice Cream/Malts/Sodas, but my sweet tooth wasn’t working today, so I passed and headed to the burger line.
I ordered the UPTOWN burger (1/2 lb) with Cheddar and Bacon. Waited again for some time because they “don’t make it till you order it.” When it came out, I was a bit disappointed, just kinda unimpressed with the thing…anyway waited again to get at the condiment bar, (the lady in front of me absolutely HAD to have everything they offered on her burger)…finally got my mayo/ketchup/pickle and sat down to try this FAMOUS burger.
I couldn’t finish this hockey puck. I had ordered it medium, but obviously they could’ve cared less how I liked it. The meat was also over-worked, making it tough AND it had absolutely no flavor. The bacon was the only thing I tasted.
It is clear that this place thrives on unsuspecting tourists for their business. Too bad, it has a nice “burger joint” atmosphere (which lures people like me in) and they have the setup to do a really good burger, but the proof is in the patty…two thumbs down on this one. One point to make: The Onion Rings looked Excellent. I noticed that they are hand battered, I will stop in again just for that reason.
So that was my trip to Prescott. Overall a good way to spend a Saturday. There are plenty of other places I’d like to give a try while I’m there next time. Summer in Phoenix will encourage me to make another trip soon!