We got up around 6:15 and were in the motel lobby by around 7:00.
The motel served a free breakfast. The food was less than stellar.
They had scrambled eggs and sausage
The eggs looked like they were freeze-dried but not rehydrated. The sausage was greasy and not very good. The do it yourself waffles were just ok but the coffee was good.
Around 8:00 we got on the road and headed out of Prescott on Senator Highway. In the old days they called it the Senator Trail.
For the first seven miles it was paved. You can see the elevation on the sign to the right in this picture.
Then the road became a fairly good dirt road for several more miles.
As we drove through the forest we saw a small herd of Mule Deer.
At an opening in the forest we could see snow on the mountainside.
Off the side of the road we could see this steel framework for some kind of building.
We could hear the rushing of a stream in the canyon below the structure. A little further down the road we could see the stream
and a pretty waterfall.
We continued down the road along some steep cliffs.
As we continued we saw snow on the ground under the trees.
We passed this ornate steel gate.
We had some nice views of the mountains to the south west.
We stopped for a break in a nice clearing with a small creek running through it.
It looked like someone had been doing some prospecting in the area. At first we thought that this was a tunnel but
it only went a few feet into the side if the hill.
Even though we were high in the mountains we still saw some cactus.
I think these are Agave plants.
As we continued down the road we crossed that same little creek that was in the meadow about eight times.
Eventually we came to a log cabin along between the road and the creek.
Here is a sign by the cabin that explains its history.
After checking out the cabin we continued on our way. The road started getting a little rougher.
Around 11:00 we stopped for lunch. It was a little early but the free breakfast didn’t last very long and we found a perfect spot under a big tree.
After lunch we got back on the road and started climbing out of the valley where we had lunch.
We drove along a ridge for a while.
At one spot we could see where someone had lost a large piece of some kind of equipment over the side of the canyon.
Eventually we came to a stretch of trail that was more like the kind of trails that we are used to.
We took another break at a camping area and it was decided that every couple had to have their picture taken if front of this old tree; so here is ours.
Around 2:30 we arrived at the community of Crown King.
Here is the general store.
We got accommodations at Bradshaw’s Mountain Guest Ranch. I think that our group took every “room” they had.
Some of us had rooms and others of us had cabins. Patti and I had the ranch house.
It was a bit larger than we needed but there wasn’t much choice.
We had two bedrooms.
The front bedroom where we decided to sleep:
The back bedroom:
A living room;
A dining room with a gas fireplace. I am now sitting at the dining room table writing this post.
After getting moved in we went to the saloon to check it out and have a beer.
The inside of the saloon is very spacious and apparently can get very busy on the weekends.
This is the right side.
This is the left side.
Here is the bar.
Around 4:30 we went to The Mill for dinner. This used to be the actual stamp mill for the mines in this area and has been converted into a restaurant.
There is still the old stamp equipment inside the restaurant and lots of other memorabilia.
In the ceiling is an old ore car. I don’t know what the wheel with all the lights is.
One section had an original tin ceiling.
The waitress was a real cutie with a great personality and the food was very good.
Scattered around the grounds were a lot of old mining equipment.
Crown king is pretty cool and worth the long drive to get here; I hope we come back here again some day.
Tomorrow we will be taking the back way from Crown King to Wickenburg. It is supposed to be a fairly tough trail and should take the whole day.