Places We Have Called Home In 2020

Home Is Where We Park It – Escapees North Ranch, Congress, Arizona

April 6, 2020

Temperature 65 Degrees

I Do Love The Mountains, Until That Is I Have To Drive Over Them

Walmart Staples Run

Watson Lake

Cabin fever had gotten to us and we knew we had to get out.  Where to go?  What to do? Well, why not make a Walmart run and do some sightseeing at the same time.  Excellent idea!  To bad I can’t take credit for it.  Barbara was the author of this day.

Yesterday she worked up an order for pickup and today she was able to place it and receive a pickup time of 4 pm today.  However, rather than go to the Walmart in Surprise

Sticker. bumper sticker, laptop sticker, Prescott badge,Prescott ... 

we were going to the Walmart in Prescott, AZ.  We went in this direction for two reasons:  fewer cases of the virus in this area; and, this is the route we’ll be taking when we leave here so I wanted to see what it would be like.



The mountains are indeed grand and I never tire of looking at them.


Today I got my first taste of driving through them, up and over them


and then down the other side.  A most interesting experience and I was only driving the car this time.  The highest point we reached was just a tad over six thousand feet.  Next time I will be driving Elvira and I can’t say I’m really looking forward to it.  By the way if you ever plot a route in Google Maps and want to know what elevation change you might encounter, just click on the bicycle icon.

Our route today also took us through a town with an interesting name.


Welcome to Skull Valley.  Of course I wanted to know how in the world it got its name.  A little internet research revealed the following:  There are several different stories, but we stick to the one detailed by Will C. Barnes in his book Arizona Place Names.  In March of 1864, a company of the First California Volunteers, led by Captain Hargraves, was escorting Coles Bashford to Tucson. While passing through what is now Skull Valley, they found piles of skulls, which were left behind after a battle between Apache and Maricopa tribes.  Believe it or not.


Along the way we passed the turn off for this State Park and resolved to return to investigate before we leave this area.


Any one need a room?  The once thriving Kirkland Hotel.  At one time it was a top rated Bar and a Steakhouse as well as a Hotel.


Then there was this.  To think that someone pulled over to the shoulder, jumped the guardrail, and then took the time to paint this on the mountain side – well, what can I say.

Arriving in Prescott too early to pick up our groceries we purchased sandwiches from Subway and then went to


Watson Lake for a picnic.  Watson is a man-made lake created in April 1915 with the completion of the Granite Creek dam.  Most people come here to picnic, fish or boat.


That’s my sweetheart practicing safe social distance.  From who I’m not sure since there was not another soul in the immediate vicinity.

 The area around the lake is formed of huge, rounded granite boulders, some of which are semi-submerged forming tiny islands or narrow promontories.  Take a look.








Now how did that get up there?  I wonder how long it will stay there?

Picnic finished we went over to Walmart to pick up our order.  I was amazed when I saw a packed parking lot.  Plus, few people were wearing a mask.  Forget keeping a safe distance.  Once again based on what we saw today I believe the worse is yet to come for this state.  I hope I’m wrong but unfortunately I don’t think so.

The good thing is once back home we discovered that our local supermarket has now decided to offer a delivery service.  Meaning, we should not have to go back out for groceries in the future.  We’ll let them come to us.  But then again, we’re not going to need much of anything for a good long time.

We also made some reservations today based on a departure date of May 31st.  We’ll be heading to Williams, AZ and then to Lake Powell.  Then?   Time will tell.  Of course this could all change once again.  We’ll just wait and see what happens over the next couple of weeks.

That was our day on The Road of Retirement.  It was great to be out and about but even better to get back home and away from so many people who don’t seem to really care.  I think we’ll stay put for a little while before we decide to try and get out again.  We do hope everyone out there is keeping a safe distance, wear your mask, wash those hands, and stay healthy.

On the lighter side.

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Thanks for checking in with us again.  We always appreciate your company and comments.  Till tomorrow.

These are the voyages of  Elvira and it’s two intrepid travelers.  Our continuing mission: to explore as many new states as possible, to seek out new acquaintances and make new friends, to boldly go where we have never been before.

See you on down the road!











  1. 👋 Hi Barbara! That lake is beautiful. The pictures are definitely frameable. Now that you’re in a diesel, you will climb those mountains with lots of power. Until we get our cloth masks we made paper towel masks. Paper towel, rubber bands and staples. Works like a charm and we throw the paper towels away at the end of the day. Be safe.


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