Sunday, August 28, 2016

A twisting mountain ride for lunch

Mid-June to mid-September is the rainy season, known as monsoon season, in Arizona. Almost every day big, dark storm clouds roll in, followed by lightning, thunder, and often torrential rain. Definitely NOT prime motorcycle weather.

Today the sun was shining and the only clouds in the Arizona-blue sky were some small, white, harmless looking puffy ones so we decided to ride northeast to Cottonwood for lunch.

heading out of Prescott

 Bocce is a fantastic restaurant/bar in downtown Old Cottonwood that features true thin-crust, Italian-style pizza and garden-fresh salads with seating outside so we can watch people strolling down the sidewalk. The route to Bocce is even better than the pizza - winding, twisting hairpin turns on route 89A that take us up and over Mingus Mountain, into the old copper mining town of Jerome, and down the other side of the mountain to Cottonwood in the Verde Valley.

89A is one of our favorite motorcycle roads. Mike loves the challenge of the hairpin turns as we glide around the tight corners, and I enjoy the rocky mountain views, cool pine tree forests, and far-off views of the Mogollon Rim.

looking down on 89A

Mogollon Rim in the distance

The Mogollon Rim is an escarpment that forms the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau and runs east-west across Arizona. The sandstone and limestone cliffs sometimes rise 2,000' above the valley floor, and the sheer size along with the vivid colors of the stone make the Rim an amazing view that can be seen from miles away.

Jerome likes to call itself a ghost town, but it's home to about 450 people and a weekend draw for tourists and motorcyclists. 15,000 people lived here in the 1920's when it was a booming copper mining town perched on the edge of the mountains.


One of the reasons we love living in Prescott are the fantastic motorcycle roads that allow us to enjoy a mid-day lunch ride. Soon the monsoons will end and the weather will turn cooler, giving us more opportunities to explore Arizona's roads.