Hello everyone this is Tom. I was informed by my wife that I had some adventures out there that I needed to get blogging about so here goes. This trip is one of my top 5 all time boys trips.
Like many of our adventures, this one includes my brother John, or as the family affectionately refers to him as Hippo. (See an earlier post about getting to know us to learn why we call him Hippo.) Why was I headed to Arizona in October? No not for the sunshine, but to go see Black Sabbath with Ozzy and to spend a few days riding motorcycles with John in Arizona and California.
The day started out really early as John and I left Myrtle Beach at 2 AM to head to the Wilmington, NC airport to catch the 6 AM flight to Phoenix, AZ, John’s home town. Cheryl stayed at home for this trip and let me have a guy’s only trip. Why drive two hours away so early, travel tip: shop around for the cheapest flights and book early even if you have to drive a little ways to save a lot. The flight through Charlotte was uneventful and we even got a little shut eye to rest up for the long day ahead (it wasn’t enough though).
We arrived in Phoenix and went to John’s house to drop the backpacks and check on the riding gear that I had shipped there. *Travel Tip* sometimes shipping is cheaper than paying for a checked bag. We hung around his place for a little bit then headed out for some great Mexican food for lunch and found it at Carolina’s. Left the Carolinas, to go to Arizona, to eat at Carolina’s! Awesome tacos, the “best tortillas in town”.
From there we went to Buddy Stubbs Anthem Harley Davidson where I had a motorcycle reserved for the next three days. It turned into an ordeal as they were looking for a motorcycle endorsement on my license but the great state of SC does not have endorsements, just classes. After a call to the SC DMV office to ensure that I did indeed have a motorcycle license, I was finally on my way.
Montezuma Castle National Monument
We then went back to the house and John got his bike and we took off north for about 90 miles to go see Montezuma Castle National Monument. It isn’t actually a castle but rather a cliff dwelling (ancient apartments!). This 20 room high-rise apartment, nestled into a towering limestone cliff, tells a story of ingenuity, survival and ultimately, prosperity in an unforgiving desert landscape. In the early years of the park the visitors were able to go up in the ruins like Gila National Monument is today, but due to destruction to the ruins, this was stopped in the early 1950’s. The park is still a wonder to see, and learn about the Native Americans from the area. There are two other National monuments in the area but we were not able to take them in at the time. It is a must stop to see when you are in the Phoenix area and headed up to Prescott or Sedona on I-17.
Concert Bucket List Top 10: Black Sabbath
We jumped back on the bikes and headed back into Phoenix to get ready to see Black Sabbath that night. We got changed, jumped in the truck, and headed over to the Ak-Chin pavilion to go see one of the best rock bands of all times, in my opinion. They put on an awesome show and Ozzy sounded fantastic, I now have that bucket list item checked off as I came, I saw, and have a t-shirt to prove it. It was great getting to see them with my best friend and just added to the long list of concerts we have seen together. It could have been better had I not been so tired from being up almost 36 hours, other than the cat nap on the plane. Craig, our son, was also not able to be with us, as had been planned earlier in the year, due to be getting accepted to grad school. Being in his first quarter, he chose to stay for classes, great choice. We’re slowly learning that sometimes we try to pack TOO much into our adventures.
We went back and got some sleep because it was kick stands up early the next morning to head out on the next adventure, one I will never forget. Stay tuned for the next blog: Sand Blasted!!!!
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