Thu, 15 Apr 2004
Pronounced press-kit with the accent on the first syllable, if you please, has plenty of $4, (with Golden Age pass) and "dispersed" free campgrounds in Prescott Forest right-on the edge of town. Fellow in the Forest Service Office, two blocks from the Chamber of Commerce downtown, told where the free places were and gave us a map. The town sure seems like a Mecca for shoppers with malls everywhere and every major chain represented including Cost-Co gas. Forest is mostly very open with Ponderosa Pine, Pinyon, small live oaks, alligator juniper, etc. with lots of evidence of Bark Beetle damage, the big wildfire they had two years ago and prescribed burning since. Temp went down to 44 degrees F last night but we were cozy inside and the daytime temps were perfect for walking around. Senator Barry Goldwater's uncle, Morris came out here in 1876 and was a major politico, starting the State Democratic Party, etc. Barry, who later switched sides (then softened his right-wing stance in old age) played a major role in supporting a local museum dedicated to preserving Native American arts and ceremonials. We visited there today and picked up a really interesting video on Curtis who came out west at the beginning of the 1900s and made a photographic record of the vanishing tribal cultures. We took a strenuous hike in the forest and Bill is dozing now. I think the local Ponderosa forest cannot compare with the beauty of the area around Dutch Flat. We sure are enjoying the cool weather and may stay a day or two before going on to Cottonwood. Can't believe we have so little time left in Arizona. Many of the places we want to see haven't even begun to warm up yet! Next year we will have to plan to spend at least the month of May here, too.