Prescott, AZ--Thumb Butte
Prescott, AZ--Granite Mt.
Originally uploaded by shermans.
For Judy's birthday, we drove north to Prescott where the elevation is higher and the temperatures are lower. We stayed in a nice inn and, as this picture attests, we test drove our new baby backpack courtesy of my parents. While Ciela didn't find the mountains and lakes as impressive as we did, she did spend inordinate amounts of time studying all the straps and buckles of her new mode of transportation. She's still adjusting to hiking, but we hope she's acquiring a taste for long walks in the mountains and desert. Of course, right now she really has no choice.
Aside from the hikes, we dined at nice restaurant and listened to the National Guard Band perform (and recite patriotic platitudes about freedom and sacrifice, and make simplistic statements about disarmament and foreign policy, and sing "God Bless the USA" prefaced by a complete disregard for separation of church and state claiming America's prominance in the world was a direct result of god liking us better than other people...but hey, the guy was responding to a protest sign that wasn't exactly a subtle discourse on pacifism: "Disarm Now.") on the courthouse lawn (another reason not to bring up god). The music was entertaining until the nationalism kicked into overdrive. And we visited a Native American art show with just some wickedly cool paintings on hides and a lot of other silly mystifications about elders and kachinas. The dancing was pretty neat, though, and some really awesome furniture that we didn't need and couldn't afford.
Prescott seems to be a small town still holding its own. The area around the courthouse square was always lively in the two days we were there. Restaurants and bars surround it, and most of them are locally owned places. In the square, people were eating ice cream, throwing footballs, walking dogs and breastfeeding babies (that last one was us). Like every place, the seem to have a problem with sprawl. Hiking up Thumb Butte, we could see the steady encroachment of houses up the hillsides. But the center is still vibrant, and that's what really holds a community together; not a new Target or Wal-Mart.
Below are two pictures of Watson Lake where we killed some time before dinner (and one of the last times I saw my credit card--somewhere in the mountains there's a visa w/ my name on it). If you look closely at "Bifurcation," you can see Judy standing on the rocks.