Spent the Afternoon in Congress

This morning we decided to break in the new year by going on a road trip. To be more exact, we decided it the night before but I was in no position to partake in any planning.

Sandi suggested going up to the Wickenburg area, an eminently-advisable idea since we could avoid I-17 and the tons of Phoenicians who might use the day off to go north. Wickenburg wasn’t a destination so much as a focal point since the town is not particularly picturesque or interesting. There’s a ton of history there, but not much of it is still there there.

So we looked around the Phoenix day trips book that we own and found a route that took us up to Congress. We had passed through the town on a previous journey and I’d since regretted not stopping. The book also suggested a trip three miles up the highway to a dirt road leading to Stanton, Octave, and Weaver. Unfortunately, we never made it further than the Parker Dairy Farm because the washboard road was just too jarring in our minivan. (We later learned that Stanton, the first of the ghost towns on that road, was another five miles still. So we made the right decision.)

After turning around, we cruised Congress for about a minute and stopped to eat at the Congress Cafe. I think we were something of a novelty because everyone was gawking and waving at our kids. I believe Congress is now mostly a retirement community. The food was quite good diner-style cuisine and the service was outstanding.

After that, we drove down Ghost Town Road and came up to the pioneer cemetery of which all the ghost town sites have photos. We didn’t go see it because Annie was coughing too much and I really didn’t know how far it would be to reach it. Looking over the photographs, I’d say that it would be worth visiting on a return trip though.

The drive home was uneventful. We took the US 60 all the way down to Bell Road. I love that stretch of US 60 because it is almost exactly the course of the historical Grand Avenue that connected Phoenix to Wickenburg for the entirety of the former’s history. I like that kind of association. All in all, a nice day off.

[UPDATE (1/2/2007): I forgot the most interesting part of the trip! After finishing our meal at the Congress Cafe, we ambled out to the minivan and saw that a DeLorean had parked in the “lot!” I’ve only seen one other DeLorean in my life (Back to the Future aside) and that was in Phoenix doing the morning commute on the Squaw Peak. Very nice-looking car even after all these years.]

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