You Driving There?

You may want to read Zona before carrying on with this one.

Rather than eat some random food from some random person’s fridge (we were staying at an Airbnb), we opted to go have breakfast at the Dunkin’ Donuts up the street.

The lady at the counter was very nice but made me question what was really in the coffee. What started this questioning was when we told her we weren’t really sure what to get because we have never been to Dunkin’ Donuts before.

“You’ll be back. I used to go to Starbucks but ever since having this stuff, Starbucks just tastes…..blah.”

Well hopefully it doesn’t ruin my already shaky relationship with all the kinds of coffee I drink. I don’t really have a place I go to, it’s basically just whatever is closest or easiest. I have only just begun this adventure into the world of coffee and I must admit I struggle to see what all the hubbub is about.

Then when I ordered my iced coffee (my logic was it was hot outside and I didn’t want hot coffee) she comes back with, “You don’t want some cream or sugar?” Like it was silly to not have any so I fell for it and said, “Yeah, I guess I’ll have some of each, sure.” This wasn’t my first rodeo but I’m no seasoned vet by any means.

Between the two of her comments I was slightly curious, almost to a point of being a bit worried, about what exactly was in this coffee I was about to drink. After a few test sips I decided it tasted just like coffee and it was cold, so I guess that is what I ordered after all.

Then we were out on the highway or freeway or I-whatever. It was a big road with two lanes of traffic in each direction and what seemed to be minimal rules. I am convinced that the speed limit signs are just mere suggestions. As if to say “This is how fast you could drive if you have no idea how fast to go, but if 75MPH feels a bit on the slow side, feel free to try 10-15MPH faster.” I was constantly driving 5MPH above the speed limit and lets just say I was being passed way more than I was passing others. I was even passed by multiple cops of different titles (Sheriff, State Trooper, and a few others), all of which I have no idea what they do because it isn’t pulling over speeding cars.

A few times I even went passed a cop car, of some degree, hiding behind a bush between the two lanes. And even though I was going 5MPH above the speed limit and was being passed by a car going at least 5MPH faster than me, no sirens were sounded.

Then you have some other wonderful individuals who drive 90MPH as they pass you. Then, once in front of you they don’t necessarily change lanes, but slow down and drive like 60MPH. I swear there was one car that I must have passed 6 times (not always on the proper side, as changing lanes is also just a suggestion apparently) and caught up to him an start passing him, only to have him speed off into the distance. This same car, along with many others as well, are super skilled at squeezing their vehicle into spaces between other cars that most people wouldn’t think possible, or smart.

And heaven forbid you take 2 seconds “too long” to get back into the right lane after passing someone. The amount of times I was passed on my right side just as I was about to get back into the right lane was record breaking, at least for me. Here is another one I love.

When a line of cars goes to pass another vehicle but someone in the middle of the line inevitably gets impatient and goes into the right lane to pass all this line of cars that they are following. Only to get stuck behind the car that the line of cars is about to pass next, and then watch that impatient person have to slow down and wait to get back in the line, often further back than where they started……Priceless.

Impatience was on high display on this road.

Which brings me to my next question of this trip. The 5 or 6 cars that I did see pulled over…..What were YOU doing?! You had to of been going like 20 or 30MPH over the speed limit. Or you must have almost HIT the cop. Like, were you driving the wrong direction? I feel like you had to be doing something beyond general comprehension to be pulled over.

Anyway, I didn’t have any problems with the police or anything like that. I had many other issues, mostly with other peoples’ driving, but I did not have any problems with the variety of police officers that I seen.

We eventually made it to Montezuma Castle which was, to be honest, slightly anti-climactic. The walk to the castle was much shorter than I anticipated, and you had to pay like $10/person to get in. The castle and its story was pretty cool though. Basically, a long time ago some people had come to these cliffs and built a building with about 20 rooms in it (Montezuma Castle). They also built a 40 room “apartment” in the side of the cliff right beside the castle. The castle is still there for the most part and looks super cool but the apartment building is gone now. You can see the outline of some of the walls in the cliff and some of the base structure on the ground but the greater majority of the building is gone.

Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-11-14,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y                   Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-11-14,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y

Once we had wasted as much time as was possible at Montezuma Castle, about 20 mins, we then started our voyage to Bull Pen Canyon.

When I looked up how to get there the directions were pretty simple. It said things like which road out of Camp Verde to take and you will turn and “drive down a five mile long, pretty decent dirt road…”. Decent dirt road? I am not sure where this guy usually drives, or when he drove on this particular “decent dirt road”, but lets just say he was a bit off. It was more like a crappy goat-path at best. And I feel that is saying quite a bit as I have driven on some interesting back roads in my lifetime. For example when driving in New Zealand when the gravel road was okay but random parts of it were missing, because it fell down the side of the mountain! And that would still pass as a decent dirt road in my books. This one did not.

The greater majority of the “dirt road” was in fact made up of rocks. And I don’t mean like “oh, so it’s a gravel road”. NO! Like rocks. Not gravel. Rocks the size of my fist, EVERYWHERE! So no it was not dirt, or decent!

To add to this lovely drive we  eventually caught up to a van that was going so slow I thought it was going to start sliding back down some of the hills towards us. The first hill we both encountered I did not anticipate this snail pace and may have gotten a little close. I probably gave him a bit of a small heart attack as I was less than a safe distance behind. Lets just say that if I wanted to sit on the hood of my car and push him up the hill, I would not have needed to get much closer….. On the remaining hills to be overcome I let him crawl his way over before following behind, only to find him still going the same snail pace down the back side of the hill.

After playing this catch-up, stop and wait, game for about half an hour our total time to get out to Bull Pen Canyon was about 45 minutes. After the parking lot there was another half hour or so of walking to do before you got to the little watering hole and its small sketchy cliff jump.


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The problem was not the hight but the fact that you could clearly see the rocks at the bottom, coupled with a few other people informing me to “land on your feet so you don’t hit your butt on the rocks”. How badly do I really want to jump off this? Apparently bad enough. And apparently I did not land “on my feet” enough as they slipped right off the rocks as they came up and kissed me right on the butt. Luckily I have many reps of falling on my butt through all the various activities I have done throughout my life (snowboarding, skating, climbing trees, etc) so it came out of the water no worse than  when it went in.

Most of the time we spent at Bull Pen Canyon was just relaxing on the boulders that were randomly plunked in and around the river. We spent a solid couple of hours there and managed to not even get sunburnt. A huge win for us.

On the way out from Bull Pen Canyon we did not encounter any vehicles, the slow-poke we met on the way in left well before us. This trip that took 45 minutes on the way in was about 25 minutes to exit. That is how slow that van was going.

Next we drove to our Airbnb with the help of Google Maps. It took us on some wild zig-zag way of getting there as we drove to and then up the side of a small mountain. The most bizarre part was once we got to the top we turned onto about 7 different roads before finally getting to the house. It is the TOP of a MOUNTAIN, how can there be so many different roads on TOP of a MOUNTAIN?! Later on in the trip we noticed that a lot of the mountains are very flat on top. Some I don’t even know if they would be considered mountains because once you were on top it was like a giant plain opened up all around you. Not the typical British Columbia or New Zealand pointy top mountain situation that is for sure.

The Airbnb brought on some relaxing time as well as some time spent playing with Wolfie.

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2 thoughts on “You Driving There?

  1. Pingback: Zona | Travel With Justin

  2. Pingback: Grand In Deed! | Travel With Justin

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