Friday, August 24, 2012

A Post in Pictures: Prescott


Instead of driving downtown in the rain 9:30 on a Tuesday night just to check out the late night record show (Barenaked Ladies), my family drove up to Prescott in the July rain, 9:30 on a Saturday morning just to check out the annual Indian Art Market.

 

No, no - don't worry. This isn't another Sedona disastrous car trip story. This is about a man driving in on-and-off torrential rain for a couple of hours to take his woman to a Native American art fair. Man, that man loves his woman, especially considering that she was about to ask him for two pair of earrings after he drove all that way, white knuckles on the steering wheel.

While Papa tensed his body and locked his eyes on the truck ahead as the wipers swooshed madly, our kids exclaimed excitedly about the downpour pounding and streaming at our windows, and we were treated to commentary from our daughter about some low-floating clouds (Look! It's like they're hanging in mid-air!).

Finally, we got to Prescott around lunchtime and parked in front of the courthouse. Then we scrounged around in the car for old jackets abandoned in there since winter. They smelled like sour milk and stinky feet (the whole van does actually), but they would help keep out the rain.

We took the long walk before the beautiful Arizona Territorial Courthouse on our way to lunch at Prescott Brewery. The walk was cold and wet and confused, because it was only 60 something stinkin' degrees, still pouring, and we actually had no idea where the brewery was and saw no guiding sign. After asking some locals for directions, we were on our way across the street and paddling - uh I mean padding, though a canoe would have been welcome - down the sidewalk toward a hip indoor shopping venue.

When we stepped inside, we were wet through, and my husband, holding our Danny Sammy, was making puddles. The brewery wasn't open yet, and no amount of puppy dog eyes on the glass was going to persuade them to unlock their doors early. So we went up two flights of stairs to the restrooms and had ourselves a collective potty break.

When we finally sat down in the restaurant, I peremptorily ordered a beer sampler without waiting for my Man's input. I felt bad about that, especially when I saw how much beer came with the sampler, but then I didn't feel bad when I tasted the Petrified Porter. Yum! I savored the coffee notes in it, and it was just the thing for a woman with wet hair to warm up to. The food was good, and the kids behaved, thanks in part to sketch-a-doodles our server provided. We all passed around the offerings; nobody kept their dish to themselves. Between pretzels, nachos, hamburger, pizza, mac-and cheese and dips, we were well-fed and ready to head out to the market. Better yet, the rain had cleared.

Territorial Governor's "Mansion" 


The Market was on the grounds of the Sharlott Hall Museum, what once was the Territorial Governor's home. My kids love that place, because on display are all kinds of medical tools, like bloodletting instruments and bullet extractors,

 
antique pistols,
 
and a mummified mouse that was discovered beneath the house.

I loved showing them how simply people used to live.

My kids were not so thrilled when we spent the next couple hours surveying the vast array of jewelry in booths winding all around the grounds, the mud squelching beneath our shoes. I was waiting for something to grab my eye and beg to be worn by me for years to come, but every piece that did so seemed to cost a car payment. Finally, though, we had our "finds".

Before we left we bought the kids some lollipops to keep them happy on the haul home, and my Man snagged a picture of the Palace Saloon while stopped at a light. It's an Arizona landmark. Wyatt Earp, Doc Holiday and Earp's brothers Virgil and Morgan stopped there on their way to Tombstone in the late 1870s. In 1900 there was a devastating fire that raged through Whiskey Row, the line of businesses across from the courthouse. Patrons saved the ornate bar from the Palace Saloon, carrying it outside and across the street to the Courthouse plaza before continuing to knock em' back. The beautifully carved bar is still in use today. It's one of those great Old West stories.

Prescott is one of those great Old West towns.

2 comments:

  1. Well, now I have to go there and see it for myself. You know, reading your account reminds me of many such family days thirty plus years ago. Here comes nostalgia again.

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    1. I remember our excursions, though not as well as I bet Vinca, Annie and Nate do. You even took us to Shiloh, didn't you? But I definitely recall trips to Montgomery Bell Park.

      I'd love for you to come out and visit and head up to Prescott with us.

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