We spent four nights at The Point of Rocks Campground–an unusual place, with tree-encircled campsites tucked in among great, softly-rounded, peach-and-amber-colored granite boulders in an area called the Dells– a place famous for its hiking and rock-climbing trails.

Our friend, Caere, had moved to Prescott some eight years ago and we were eager to see her again and understand what had drawn her here.

First it’s the sunshine. Even with cold winters and some snow at this altitude, 5,000 feet, it’s sunny most every day. Prescott has a lovely downtown, with a large green square held down by a classic granite courthouse and dozens of Dutch Elm trees. Yes, Dutch Elm, and most of them seem to be thriving. It was a pleasant, but wistful feeling to see what our ancestors took for granted two generations ago in almost every city and town in the country.

Surrounding the square are lots of galleries, some exquisite, some funky. Odd little mom-and-pop shops and bars line ‘Whiskey Row’ on Montezuma St. The town looks like a place where things wouldn’t be dull for long. The Elks, the Masons, and undoubtedly others have their own stately buildings, and a young couple strolled across the courthouse lawn carrying an ashiko drum, perhaps to some live music event. We lunched at a small café with Moose Drool beer, margaritas and tapas sitting by Oak Creek.

The surrounding countryside has the benefit of four small, but beautiful, dark blue lakes, so there’s a verdant quality not found in other desert communities. Perhaps because of this, Prescott is famous for its pollen season and we were in the middle of it, all suffering from cottonwood, juniper, and every other spring flowering plant. (Irises thrive here!)

The surrounding suburbs are mostly low and earth-toned but few are adobe style. Historically Prescott was a ‘Gringo’ town, and pretty conservative. The surrounding undeveloped hills are, as we have seen before, in the hands of big money and big development, being leveled, and greedily generating sprawl and pretentious gated communities, and strip malls which are changing the character of the place. Many of the developments appear to have stopped for the time being, due to the housing crisis.

Dinner in the Airstream and some catching-up conversation ended a wonderful day in ‘Presskit’.

Explore posts in the same categories: Historic Sites, Weather

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