We drove until 1am in the morning and finally made it back to the Motel 6 of Payson. We ended up in a larger than needed room due to availability; unfortunately the water pressure was poor and it smelt slightly of cat pee. This was our third room at this Motel 6 and I guess there is a lot of variation in room quality.
Somehow, what started out as a simple, slow day had become a very full, very long day. Our last day in Silver and drive to Payson had required us to perform all out. Because of our timeline, we did not spend Saturday catching up on sleep – we woke this morning at 7:15ish and were at Denny’s by 8am. As today was Saturday [Carb Day], we both added some delicious breads and deserts to the line-up.
There was a fiasco at the post office, which will be detailed in a post all its own. By the time that was taken care of, it was noon-ish. We left for Prescott.
Unfortunately, we were not paying the best attention and we missed our turn for Prescott. We didn’t realize it until an hour had passed so by the time we did reach Prescott, four hours had passed, instead of just two. We actually skipped Prescott and headed straight for a suburb: Chino Valley.
Chino Valley is smaller than either Prescott or Prescott Valley and is our primary land target. Internet searches had revealed that 0.25 acres in Prescott can priced the same as 1.5 acres in Chino. We plan to do an overview of Prescott at some point, but it isn’t part of the initial land attack. Prescott Valley is out entirely because the whole city has a minimum build requirement.
We grabbed a quick snack at McDonald’s. It had 2 signs that were unusual – one on the soda machine requesting that patrons do not fill up cups from previous visits (duh?) and one that stated you couldn’t be there for more than an hour. Seemed kind of harsh…
Dirt roads and surprise ditches
We stayed out as late as we could but the darkness eventually brought our land investigation to a halt. We had 5-6 properties we wanted to see but the time it took to find our first 2-3 caused us to put off the final few for the next day. A few parcels were down a mile or more of dirt road that may or may not be possible to drive on without a monster truck. Similar to the scary lots in Silver, a few of them had such deep ruts that the clearance under the Fit was just not sufficient to make it. We did our best but we did abandon the mission on at least 2 of them.
We learned a lot about easements and flag lots. We’ve actually learned a lot about property in general. More on that later…
We headed into town to find the Motel 6 and get the car unpacked. We should have anticipated the level of activity at the hotel, but we didn’t. It being a Saturday meant that everybody and their mother were in town. We always request a ground floor room to make pet access as simple as possible. Upon asking our regular question tonight, we were told we were getting the last room available. Uh-oh…
I don’t want to go on a negative nancy spiel about the less-than-awesome room, but it must be partially described in order to create the opening for our spectacular save.
Everything you would hope to avoid in a hotel room was available for us in room 130. It smelt strongly of cat urine, the water pressure was poor and not hot and the room was cramped. Our parking was at the back of the building where the lot was stained by oil in more places than usual. It was also a handicap room which means they had created more space for the giant bathroom by removing furniture, not by making the space larger.
Everybody should carry around a table
When we were packing the car and U-box in Manchester, we got to a point where only the collapsible plastic patio table was left. The chairs that originally accompanied the table had broken long ago but the table had endured. It’s a pretty cool table because the legs detach and then click into a holding position within the bottom of the table, so that it’s all secure as one unit.
At the same time we were debating what to do with the table, we were also brainstorming how to make the collapsible dog crates into a platform so we could stack objects upon them within the car. I’m sure you see where I’m going…
We flipped the table upside down and slid it on top of the two dog crates, creating a surface that would allow the weight of anything placed there to be dispersed across the crate frames without strain. Because the underside of the table has a grid of braces and the mounts for holding the legs, we also gained a bunch of ‘pockets’ to put things like dog leashes as laptops.
Picture of table in action coming soon.
Anyway, back to the Motel 6 – The handicap room had very little furniture so we were able to bring in our own table and set all of our stuff on it. Problem solved.
Dinner on Cheat Day
As it was cheat day, we ate dinner at the Thai House Café. I ordered chicken pad thai – it was stickier/gooier than usual with the fish sauce more pronounced. It was good at the beginning but I probably should have stopped halfway. By the time I finished the dish, I really wished I hadn’t.
Brian ordered pineapple fried rice. His go-to dish that he likes to try at new Thai restaurants is sirarcha fried rice. Unfortunately, it isn’t available at many places so he often has to try some other fried rice they offer. His thoughts on this item was that it was ‘serviceable; too many raisins; the rice by itself was kind of bland.”
A walk around with square – with dogs!
The dogs had been cooped up for a while so we decided to go for a stroll around the square. This was actually a big deal because we normally don’t take Sydney into public situations. She has been known to erupt into unprovoked bouts of barking and it’s too just too much to deal with. However, we made an exception last night because we were near the square and we knew there was no grass at our hotel.
The dogs did fine. What was great about our stroll was how much of the historic downtown Prescott we got to experience. The area is dominated by independently owned small businesses. There is more diversity here than anywhere I’ve ever seen. It had a ‘little Boston’ feel to it – very New England-esque.
Downtown Prescott is the place to be on a Saturday night. It was really bumping! There is a whole strip of town where clubs and bars dominate the scene. There are bouncers, cigarette smoke and people in tight clothing. A large section of the street in this area is reserved for taxis from 10pm – 4am so that people are encouraged not to drive drunk.
The disappointing Ice cream
We try to remember all of our cravings on carb day so that we don’t forget about them and run into trouble with discipline early into the next week. On the top of my list was ice cream.
We found the coolest dessert shop – it is called Treat Center on Courthouse Square. It is full of packaged, mainstream candy (i.e. butterfingers, snickers), old fashioned stuff (i.e. fireballs, chiclets, etc), tons of flavors of candied popcorn, chocolate covered fruit and snacks, ice cream treats and homemade ice cream.
The presentation was very fun. It was easy to see how someone might get carried away in there. Since we knew we wanted ice cream, we went right to the back and started to scan the array of flavors.
One thing jumped out to me right away – nearly all of the flavors that included some non-ice cream component contained a ‘flavoring’ instead of the component himself. For example, the vanilla cheesecake went something like – vanilla ice cream, cookie crust pieces, cheesecake flavoring,…’
Cheesecake is one of my favorite flavors so I was a little disappointed. I decided to try another one of my go-to flavors, chocolate peanut butter. Unfortunately, it was also made with ‘peanut butter flavoring’. What kind of ice cream house uses flavoring instead of the real thing?!
I settled on a double scoop of oreo and chocolate chip cookie dough. Both ingredient labels were free of any kind of ‘flavoring’. I was surprised to later find myself crunching through the cookie dough scoop – there were zero chocolate chips and zero cookie dough balls. It seemed to contain pieces of various cookies. It was a disappointment 🙁
Brian had the white chocolate coconut. Whereas my displeasure was with the artificial ‘flavoring’ on all the labels, he was displeased to find chunks of actual coconut in his scoop. Oh well; to each his own,
Tomorrow is another day
Today’s accomplishment was that we eliminated a few properties that were not suitable and established that a few might be good. Tomorrow will be the day to go check things out in full daylight and verify boundaries, etc. We have to pack a lot into Sunday and then Monday morning. Due to a potential opportunity in Silver, we might have to book it out of here around noon on Monday. We’ll see…