It was snowing on Thursday night as we drove into Prescott, Arizona; the brief storm deposited about an inch of fluffy crystals on the town. After checking into the Hotel Vendome (built in 1907), where we had a lovely corner room at the back of the second floor, we went out for a short walk around the historic downtown.
Prescott was Arizona’s territorial capital and is proud of its history. The town is built around a central plaza, site of the old courthouse and of many community events.
What one first sees from the street is unprepossessing—a series of small, low buildings that appear to have been converted from other uses—but the central core of this very small campus is more interesting. The two main buildings—the library and student center (with classrooms, meeting rooms, food service, etc.)—face each other over a xeriscaped courtyard, all of it above a small creek, Butte Creek, that is the focus of a restoration project by the college and its neighbors.
Joe and I both had a good time there. The faculty, staff, and students are all very interesting people and we attended some informative and thought-provoking presentations, including one by a professor on the tradition of sacred trees in Norway and Sweden. And my student did a fine job with her thesis presentation.
On Sunday morning we headed home, but with a stop in Scottsdale for a long and long-overdue visit with one of my old friends (we're not old, of course, but we first met the summer before third grade!). What a lovely way to end our trip! It was nice to cool off in mile-high Prescott before returning to the low desert, where the temperature is predicted to reach 90 in Tucson today (for the first time this year), followed by a roller coaster weather ride the next few days—we’ll soon be back down in the 70s. As this weekend illustrates, weatherwise—and in other ways, the Southwest can be a land of extremes.