Heading out I-84 from Boise we went east and then hit I-15 south through Utah as we began our Spring Fling. We deemed it the Southwest Investigation Tour as we drove and chatted about our plans which would loop us back home by the beginning of May. (And here we are already past mid month! My how time does truly fly.)
We hadn’t planned a road trip when we headed home from our two month Snowbird Escape to Thailand. Then we got home to snow, deep on the ground still, coupled with the spring rainy season. With outside work to be done we threw caution to the wind and plotted a fast escape.
Our first stop was two nights up Highway 14 to Duck Creek Village, Utah for my son’s 35th birthday. I literally cannot recall the last birthday I spent with him. He and his family were hosting his best friend from his childhood years at their house for the weekend which made it even more special. We made a lavish dinner with crab cakes made from the giant legs Costco carries and Rack of Lamb also a favorite from Costco. There were many other courses accompanied by good wine and an Oreo cookie ice cream cake specially decorated for my boy just as I did during his growing up years:-) There’s nothing like celebrating life with family!
Duck Creek is surrounded by beauty. Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks and Brianhead Ski Resort are worth investigating in this territory just for starters. The natural beauty of Utah is some of the best in the west and year round outdoor sports rule in this area. There was over 50 inches of snow when we left the mountain at nearly mid April.
We drove Highway 89 to the Veterans Memorial Highway (I-17) in Arizona and back to the warmth of sunshine as we stopped to gaze in awe at the expansive Glen Canyon Dam. The drive skirts the edge of the Grand Canyon and unfolded the deserts spring flowering beauty to us. This Spring Fling was about investigating possibilities of locations in closer proximity for future Snowbird Escapes or even business opportunities for winter months. We know for certain that staying for winter in the mountains of Idaho is surely not on our road to bliss 😉 Although, being too far away, the full year round, from our family is not exactly okay either. So. We investigate.
We took a cursory drive through Flagstaff. Our research has proven it’s not under consideration because of colder winters with some light snow. We considered a stop to soak in the sedate beauty of the community of Sedona but opted out on this trip.
Our next destination was Phoenix. This is a sprawling large population area and without exactly knowing why, we are certain this is not the right place for our escapes. We did however enjoy a Diamondbacks vs Padres game. Chase Field is an easy park to get to in the downtown corridor and we found easy access parking for this Sunday day game, in a garage for $15. Even though the high was predicted for 87F, I was super disappointed that the roof was closed. Baseball and warm sunshine are a perfect match to me. It was still fun but I would have loved the exposure…hahahahaha, guess you can’t have everything all the time and still appreciate it! #gratitude
Heading west on I-10 we escaped the feel of the city of Phoenix that we decided was okay for a weekend escape for sports or music but not much more to us. Making our way through Wickenburg, which we found to be clean and healthy our lunch stop destination was to visit friends at a little gallery on US Highway 60 nearly to Wenden. This is a fantastic little abandoned hotel renovated by the owner to be a shared space gallery. Quirky, quaint, gorgeous items are to be found at the Courtyard on 60 Gallery. My dear friend sits the gallery in exchange for studio space. This is definitely a worthwhile wander around to stretch your legs. We enjoyed our visit over burgers and salads at Don’s Cactus Bar after we toured the gallery.
Next we headed to Yuma, the city with the most sunny days in the USA, to spend some time getting to know the place. We wanted to get a feel for the area and it’s people. The weather surprised us with rain the first day which was quite ironic as it is so rare in-this desert town. We really drove this valley and it’s country side, it’s beautiful farmland and it’s quaint downtown. Up and back over and down. We found a great bar named Friendly Tavern. We wish the owner well. He was working the night we stopped in and we found him to be super personable and knowledgeable about his business. We’d highly recommend his spot for an eclectic crowd and good music. We found great Italian and 1/2 price already reasonably priced wine in Historic downtown at Da’ Boyz and walked down to catch a movie at the end of the next block after dinner. There is quite a large number of businesses in Yuma, some of which serve tourists and some are more locals oriented. The city is clean and we felt safe in all areas of it. We are interested in it because of its warmth. But not the dead of summer heat. We found it to be as we expected, it will most likely see us again.
We popped down the 29 miles and walked over the border at San Luis Rio to get our feet wet with exploring Mexico and drove the countryside on our return taking in the abundance of desert farmland in the Yuma area.