A Moving Experience

When I moved from Montana to Washington state 17 years ago and then made a second move from one town to the next within nine months, I said “NEVER AGAIN.” Well, as the sage once said, “Never say never.”

We’ve just completed our second move in three months, first from Mount Vernon WA to Prescott AZ, where we rented a cute but small cottage while we waited for our renters’ lease to be up on the house we already owned in Chino Valley. That day finally arrived and then we ended up waiting two weeks for our belongings to be delivered! (Lots of time for painting and doing minor repairs.) Apparently there had been some miscommunication with the movers, as we had understood our things would be stored in Phoenix and we just needed to give them 2-3 days notice. Not true. It was stored in Seattle, they had to wait for a truck to be available (about a week), then they made several deliveries along the way (another week). We were not happy.

Front view 2

But at long last, everything arrived last Wednesday and we’ve been busily shuffling boxes around so we can make room to unpack, finding places for everything, then rearranging…you all know how that goes!

I am so happy to be here! Our house is nice, very comfortable, and feels like home already. I wake up to sunshine with a big smile on my face, and go out to drink my morning coffee on the patio. No SAD for me this winter!

Happy retirement to us!

Published in: on April 16, 2013 at 7:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Arizona is Not Just Desert

Many of my friends have pictured me living in the sandy, seguaro cactus-filled desert of Arizona. But here in the North-central part of the state, we experience the best of a semi-arid climate near the mountains, near lakes, and many wonderful hiking trails. The weather, like my native state of Montana, can change from 70 degrees one Saturday to 34 and snow the next weekend and back again.

Mountains AZ

Prescott is bounded by the Santa Maria mountains to the north, the Bradshaws to the south and the Sierra Prieta to the West of which Granite Mountain is the dominate peak.

Snow & Pond Strawberry AZ

A snowy scene recently near Strawberry, AZ, on the way to Payson.

Prescott Hills 2Prescott itself is built among the hills.

Watson Lake Rocks

My favorite place, so far, to hike–Watson Lake amid the Granite Dells rocks.

Cottonwoods by Lake Watson

Also along the Watson Lake trail are groves of cottonwoods near Granite Creek which feeds into the lake.

I’m enjoying my new home in the “desert.”

Published in: on March 9, 2013 at 6:36 am  Leave a Comment  
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Travel Destination: Prescott AZ

Cottage driveway & trailerMy husband had the fun job of backing the trailer down this l-o-n-g driveway after dark the first night we arrived. Glad it wasn’t me!

We’ve been in Prescott for 10 days now and have experienced the gamut of weather. The first day, we had 63 degree temperatures and unloaded our vehicles and U-haul trailer in shorts and T-shirts.

The next couple of days were partly sunny, but then it commenced to rain for three days straight! We thought we were back in the Pacific NorthWET! The temps plummeted and suddenly we were in the middle of a snowstorm!

But at this writing, it’s back up to 48 degrees and the beautiful sunshine is making me smile!


The little cottage we’re renting on Mount Vernon Ave. in Prescott. Must be an omen!

Day 3 sunset

Another gorgeous sunset on the road between Prescott and Chino Valley.

Mt Vernon Ave

The tree-lined Mount Vernon Avenue in Prescott, our temporary home.

Mansion Mt vernon avOne of the beautiful old homes on Mount Vernon Ave. Reminds me a lot of the University district in Missoula, Montana.

Prescott (pronounced Preskett, emphasis on the first syllable) has an official population of 39,900 (although a Money Magazine report says 42,000), and Chino Valley (15 miles North), where we will be living in April, is listed at 10,800. The area has been named one of the top 25 places to retire, sits at 5,300 feet, with  four-seasons:  mild to somewhat cold winters and warm to hot summers. Highs range from 50 °F  in January to 89 °F in July, and the average annual precipitation is 19.2 inches.

Prescott is the county seat of Yavapai County. In 1864 Prescott was designated as the capital of the Arizona Territory. Phoenix became the capital in 1889. Prescott also has a place in western folklore with the fact that Virgil Earp, Wyatt Earp’s older brother lived in Prescott in 1879 and told him of the boom town in Tombstone, Arizona. It is also rumored that Doc Holliday spent some time in Prescott just before heading to Tombstone.

The “Quad City” area encompasses Prescott, Chino Valley, Prescott Valley and Dewey-Humbolt in Yavapai County. It’s a beautiful, sunny place to explore, and we’re happy to be here!

Published in: on February 1, 2013 at 8:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A New Adventure for Heidi M. Thomas

Well, folks, today was the last time I will enter my house in Mount Vernon Washington. A bittersweet day, but my husband and I are embarking on a new life adventure by moving to the Prescott AZ area. My DH retired at the end of 2012 and we’ve been talking about moving somewhere with more sunshine (although it’s been crisp and cold and sunny here the last several days!)

moving 2.

Yesterday all our earthly possessions were loaded onto this truck and we are spending a couple extra days, saying good-bye to all our friends. Mount Vernon has been good for us and we will miss many things about it–most of all our friends, our church, the lush green. But we are looking forward to new friends, sunshine, good health and retirement.

And we’re all still connected via this wonderful thing called the Internet! “On the Road Again!”

Au revoir, Auf Weidersehen, till we meet again!

Published in: on January 18, 2013 at 6:22 am  Comments (2)  
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Finding ‘Prescott Blue’

Over Memorial weekend, my DH and I visited our future retirement home near Prescott, AZ (pronounced like Press-kit). When my sister-in-law was there with us a year ago, we coined the color “Prescott Blue,” which is like no other sky–often not a cloud to be seen, just clear, vivid blue. While Phoenix was 90 degrees, Prescott was 60-70, with a cool breeze. And, they boast 300 days of sunshine, while we in the Pacific Northwest have 300 days of clouds.

We ate lunch one day at the Palace Restaurant and Saloon, on “Whiskey Row” in old-town Prescott. Opened in 1877, it is the oldest frontier saloon in Arizona, and has hosted such famous people as Wyatt and Virgil Earp and Doc Holiday. On July 14th, 1900, The Palace was destroyed by the Whiskey Row fire. The ornately carved 1880’s Brunswick Bar, which is still in use, was carried to safety across the street to the plaza by patrons, and the saloon was rebuilt for $50,000 within the next year. The movie “Junior Bonner” starring Steve McQueen was filmed there in 1971 as was a scene from “Billy Jack” and “Wanda Nevada.”

Prescott Courthouse and park hosted a juried art fair through the weekend. Arizona is celebrating it’s 100th anniversary of statehood this year.

Prescott-area terrain. It’s not just flat sandy desert, but is at 5,400 feet at the base of the Bradshaw Mountains and has a population of 40,000. Chino Valley is a small rural town 16 miles north of Prescott and that is where we will be relocating upon retirement.

Our Chino Valley neighborhood.

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