Thursday, 9 June 2016

Fire and Brimstone, chased off a mountain by a dragon.

Nothing especially interesting on the first leg of my Eastern bound trek unless you call leaving ALL my shirts back in LA and dashing from a fiery beast. More about the beast in a moment.

Dumb dumb, dumb!  Was so impressed that I was able to further reduce my Eddy Bower case in weight that I outsmarted myself.  One thing I really hate is the daily lugging of bags from the car into my motel and back out again the next morning.  So smarty-pants figured how to reduce the load from six to just three bags.  The thing about car travel is since your not limited to weight or quantity you tend to take more. Seemed like I’ve finally found the ultimate packing process.  Well, yes, and it would have worked had it not been for one tiny flaw.  When leaving my daughters place in LA I left all my shirts and dress slacks, hanging in the closet in a garment bag.  Those very items I'd removed from my case and figured I could leave in the car and gab when needed.

Got to make a quick run to Prescott’s local Wal-Mart tomorrow morning to top up on their $5.99 short sleeve shirts

As a point of safety, I never pick up hitchhikers. Still it seems that the authorities have to remind drivers against it. None more so than those who have state prisons close to Interstates.

As if a reminder to not stop for hitchhikers is needed

You know your heading into the really hot country when signs advise you to turn off your air conditioning to avoid overheating your engine.  Still, regardless of the heat, the desert has a beauty all of its own.

A raw beauty.  Appears lifeless until you hear that ominous rattle.
Sure love their flag. Nothing is too big.

That dragon I was alluding to was a flash forest fire that erupted shortly before I started my climb up and over the Bradshaw Mountains on state highway 89.  Close to reaching the summit and only a short distance from Prescott (8 minutes, 3.7 miles), two state troopers shot past me, as the fire roared into full force, and they closed the road off.  I was forced to go back down and retrace my footsteps, in my case tire tracks, to highway 93 then North to highway 96 to reach Prescott via the back door.

Retreating to the detour.  This smoke wasn't there when I started my climb.

This detour added considerable time and distance to my drive, not to mention that 96, for all intent and purposes, is a goat trail topped with a coating of asphalt so it can be called a highway. It wound and dipped, turned and climbed and descended over flash-flood creeks that have road signs of encouragement that read “if flooded don’t cross”.  The detour added 3 hours and 120 miles to the trip, all in the dark.   One bonus in taking this road was that from the backside of the mountain, in the dark,  I could clearly see the fire and it looked like a crown on the mountaintop.  

At night the dragon looks scary. Wouldn't want to come face to face with it, day or night.

They say that forest fires take on a life of their own and this one looked like a real fire-breathing monster.  


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