We left Kanab on Sunday at 5am, having camped 2 nights at Crazy Horse Campground (the same RV Park we stayed in the summer of 2013). We had to get back to Flagstaff, 4 hours away, pick up Sherlock at the pet sitter’s, take a short nap, put away our camping gear and get back on the road to Phoenix.
Ross had to be at the airport by 6pm to get a flight to El Paso, Texas, where he would have to stay the night and renew his greencard in person in the morning. Me and Blair got a hotel in Phoenix and would wait until Ross’s return flight arrived the next evening.
On the way to Phoenix we decided to visit the amazing, haunted old mining town of Jerome Arizona. Jerome is known for its “haunted” atmosphere, with haunted hotels, haunted hamburgers, and haunted history tours year round. We’ve also visited in late October, when their Halloween festivities really amp up and it’s pretty amazing; Dead historic characters (miners, Victorian women etc) walking around town, haunted tours at regular intervals all day, and live reenactments in some of the partially gutted old buildings.
On the way there we found ourselves stuck in Traffic and behind schedule, but we would still have a couple hours to hang out there before leaving for Phoenix. I spent time in the truck looking at menus, trying to find a place where we could get something to eat. On our previous visits we either brought a picnic or just got a beer, having had a hard time finding places with anything vegetarian. This time however we found Haunted Hamburger, a place where we could get a custom burger, and also allowed dogs on its patio. Parking can be really difficult in Jerome however and our usual parking lot was under construction. After we nearly drove halfway to Prescott by accidentally going too far into town and finding nowhere to turn around, we found a spot on a super steep cobblestone street that was big enough for our truck. It was a bit nerve wracking parking such a heavy truck at such an angle but..it was still there when we got back so we did good!
We were two streets away when the restaurant texted that they were ready for us and thanks to the stairs that connects everything, it took us about 5 minutes to get there. Since we had Sherlock, we got to sit outside where there was an amazing view of the valley below this “town hanging on a hillside”, though no matter what street you’re on in Jerome, everything is so steep that there’s almost always a great view. Our burgers were great and beer tasty. After we were finished we were already running behind so we booked it out of town.
After spending another 2 hours+ in traffic, we arrived at the airport and me and Blair were off to our hotel. Unfortunately, even though it was a hotel me and Ross use often, Extended Stay America, it was nothing like any I’d been to previously. I looked forward to walking around the clean, carpeted hotel in my socks, cooking food on a nice stove, borrowing movies from the front desk and doing laundry in clean, new machines, but we ended up in a location in a bad neighbourhood with outdoor accessed rooms, stains on my bed, a shady laundry area, a fridge with a door too close to the wall, no cold water in the kitchen, no fan in the bathroom, and a grumpy woman at the front desk. What irritated me the most though was that when we arrived the woman forcefully told me to keep Sherlock outside – outside in PHOENIX ARIZONA – the hottest city in the US – while they slowly and tediously checked in the man in front of me and then myself. Blair stayed outside with Sherlock, but what if I’d been alone? Leave your dog in the car? Tied outside in the heat? Completely unreasonable. They’re a hotel that is completely pet friendly yet “not dogs in the lobby”. This was unique to this location so far as I knew and a complaint I won’t let up on. Someone’s dog is going to suffer because of them.
When we woke the next day we headed out to the Desert Botanical Gardens as early as we could, but not early enough. It was already high 90s when we got there and recent rain made it high humidity as well. Tickets were $24 each but we decided to tough it out and see it all, bringing our own water and copious amounts of sunblock.
The gardens have sporadic shade trees and seating, but much of it is pretty open. We stopped and refilled our bottles at nearly every fountain we came across but managed to walk it all at a pretty slow pace, seeing every area. This was my 3rd or 4th time to the gardens but somewhere I always go when in Phoenix. It’s constantly changing and evolving, pretty cool to see, and there’s always things I forgot about and get to see like the first time. This time, me and blair probably saw more wildlife than any other time I’d been there. Quail with babies trotting behind, Mourning doves and babies in a nest, lizards, ground squirrels, funnel spiders, rabbits and other noise little birds I forgot the name of. They were plentiful, happy and throughout the gardens, enjoying the water and the seeds of the trees. Every time I go to the gardens I think there won’t be any blooms unless it’s spring but, as I learned this time, cactus bloom whenever they feel like it, so long as the weather is warm, so we still got to see some amazing blooms.
We had all kinds of plans for after the gardens but were pretty wiped out by the sun. We checked on Sherlock and found a place to eat near the hotel and downtown Phoenix, People’s Pizza, one of many place in the city that now apparently has vegan pizzas (just two years ago we couldn’t find anything). We sat on couches and had the place pretty much to ourselves, afterwards just going back to the hotel to relax. A couple hours later, Ross was back and we were back at People’s Pizza for dinner (I talked about it so much it just made sense that we should all go).
Ross had had a busy time in El Paso of arriving late then getting up early for his appointment; followed by hanging out at the uncomfortable airport most of the day while he waited for his flight.
We left the next morning and the 5 day holiday weekend was finally over. We were all sore, beat and tired. We caught up on sleep over the next couple days and kept our evenings free, having done so much in that short time, we felt we deserved a break. At least we know we can pull it off! and Thanks to Rover.com, we were able to pull it off without having to worry too much about the pets – for yet another blog.