Day 30 . Arriving Prescott, Arizona

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Road trip across America… daily reflections by Ema and Elle.

By Ema ~ Once again I awoke in pain due to whatever is happening with my arm. I can seem to only sleep about three hours at most before I have to get up. We were at a camping place not far from Joshua tree and the temps were rising fast. By 11 am it was already 100 degrees. I got my shower, as I have to appreciate the days we have access to one, and began packing up the van right after. I knew we would not be able to stay long in the heat, plus checkout was at 11. We stopped through to the Visitor center and got our Junior Ranger badges and then were on our way again.

Our day was mostly just driving through the desert. We past lots of strange art on the sides of the road including a VW bug that was now a giant tortoise. Several dinosaurs along the way too. We stopped outside a grocery store to fill our water, but had no luck getting ice, as I can only transport what fits into our cups and cannot carry a bag of it. Every place we stopped charged to fill cups, so we carried on drinking our warm water. Elle could not understand why they would charge in a place were you actually needed ice, not like in Michigan where it is cold and you don’t really need it. I told her that unfortunately that is exactly why they can charge because they know people want it in this heat. The road became wild with a cliff on one side of the lane and a mountain on the other. We were climbing up through the Prescott National Forest and there were constant switch backs and speed highs of only 35mph. My van was not liking the climb pulling the trailer behind us, especially at such a slow speed. We finally arrived Prescott, Arizona,the town of my high school years and where I returned to in my early 20s to be a caretaker on a horse ranch at the base of the mountain that towers over the town, known as Thumb Butte. This is also Elle’s hometown and state where she was born. She lived in Prescott for the first year of her life before my family moved back to Michigan.

It is a charming town with a center known as town square. The courthouse where my siblings were adopted sits in the center with a row on each side of eclectic shops, antique shops, cafes, bookstores, and the such lining each side of the square. It is known for its festivals in the square and we had arrived to live music and people everywhere. Parking was impossible right in the center of town for the van and trailer so we went to the local grocery store, parked, and walked back the few clocks to town. We passed a massage school and I wished they were open for a healing, but alas it was after dark now. We wandered through the square and people dancing, children playing, and took in the energy. Elle was surprised I was not dancing, but between my lack of sleep lately, my arm, and my belly I felt I was lucky to be standing.

We were on a mission for food while the restaurants were still serving and found ourselves as the St. Michaels, hotel with the bar/ restaurant below. We shared some fish and chips, and Elle had a small fruit bowl too. I was awash in memories being here again.

After we filled our bellies we were off to find camping only to discover that the one I found in town did not really exist and was just a National Parks office, which was of course closed at this hour. My belly was really starting to give me trouble, so I pulled into a empty parking lot and began to research options. I found several around but they all involved heading back into the surrounding mountains and with the way I was feeling I was afraid I may not be able to drive far. I finally gave into the idea of paying for a room and drove us to the local Motel 6. Elle was right into the modern spaceship like shower, then into bed with her book. I went to sit outside and make a call only to find that I suddenly desperately needed to run to the bathroom. I did not have my key so knocked, but there was no response. I knocked again louder, and then more… I could hear Elle, but she was taking her time. I said “Elle open the door!” and she responded with okay I am coming like a little annoyed old lady. I was trying not to get sick and told her to hurry as I was going to vomit. She finally opened the door and I dashed to the bathroom just in time. When I finished my shower and all, she was asleep, but I felt bad that I had yelled at her, which was not really at her, I was just in a panic to get through the door, so I wanted to clarify, but since she was sleeping I just kissed her on the forehead. She wiped it away and I giggled and said, “Hey that was my kiss…” she opened her eyes and I apologized for my harshness in the moment and explained my urgency. She was soon to her dreams, and I was to follow. 

By Elle ~ Today I woke up to sissy saying hello I’m going to take a shower. I said OK and drifted back to my dreams. When I finally woke up since she wasn’t back yet, I had fruit buttons. A few minutes later sissy came back and started packing up. Eventually I got up and went to take a shower. Once showered and clean I put on sissy’s cover-up because mine was really like buried and I didn’t want to pull everything out, plus she’s tiny so it just seems like the best option to me. When I got back we packed up. I got dressed and soon it was 11, so we had to journey on. With our Junior Ranger books finished we headed back to visitor center to get our badges. We got everything turned in and we also got the sticker and a book about a Joshua tree named Lily, but they only had one so sissy and I have to share. We headed back on the road stopping for things like gas and searching for ice but all of it costs money soon we reached Arizona after hours of beautiful mountains. Prescott the place of my birth, well technically I was born in Phoenix, but I was in Prescott for year before we move to Michigan. Once in Prescott we searched for a place to park as there was music going on. We couldn’t really find anything for parking, but the parking lot a few blocks away, so we had to walk. We walked around for awhile searching for a place to eat. I soon found somewhere and got cod and chips. They had a cool bathroom where you had to put in a coin to enter to keep out non-customers. It was really cool. After eating we asked some locals about camping and drove to a parking lot. Sissy is feeling sick at the moment. We are sitting in the parking lot and I imagine we will be going to sleep soon. Good night

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