This past weekend I went on a road trip to Queen Creek, Arizona, to visit a friend that moved out there a couple years ago after he got married. Unfortunately, his wife was going to be visiting out here in California for a baby shower while we were there. Rotten timing! I went with my friend Maz and his girlfriend, Amber.
The first leg of our trip actually took us not to Queen Creek but to Williams, AZ, which is 439 mi — about 6 hours 13 mins away from home and about 3 hours away from Queen Creek. The reason? Pie.
Maz drove through this tiny town on his way out East a couple of years ago on a road trip with another of our good friends. On their way through, they stopped in at Williams and the Pine Country Restaurant and have been raving about the pie ever since. So we decided to stop here since we were going to be in Arizona anyway.
(WARNING: IMAGE HEAVY BEHIND CUT)
Unfortunately, since I couldn’t take Friday off of work, we got a late start from Orange County and it took us nearly 10 hours to wade through the traffic and get to Williams. By the time we got there, it was 1:00 AM and mysteriously, all of the motels in town were full. We couldn’t account for this! Why would a tiny town’s accommodations all be full? Was it due to its close proximity to the Grand Canyon? No. The annual Cowpuncher’s Rodeo was taking place there that weekend, as we learned from a banner we passed by. Cowpunchers?! Great. Granted, it was a little naive of us not to have made reservations beforehand, but we really thought it wouldn’t be a problem! Oh, how wrong we were.
After driving through the town for about 20 minutes and being turned down at every motel, we finally stopped at a Holiday Inn and asked the receptionist to direct us to a motel that WASN’T full. We arrived at the Grand Country Inn at about 1:30 AM and paid $100 for one of the nastiest rooms I’ve ever stayed in. Poor Maz was fit to be tied at how royally screwed we were on the room, but at that point I just wanted to get into a bed and sleep for the next few hours. If only!
When we walked into the room, the first thing we noticed was the stench. It smelled awful! Soon, we figured out the source of the stench: the air conditioner. Perhaps it was mildewed inside or something, but it was gross. I then gleefully documented the nastiness of the room:
Here is the mirror, obviously in need of replacement, and the tiny soap that Maz and Amber had to use (brought my own!)
This is the wall next to the toilet. Obviously never been rubbed down… those brown and red spots are NOT a part of the pattern.
The room, it looks like a flashback to the late 1980s, early 1990s. And that lamp on the right didn’t work, and the alarm clock was stolen at some point.
The TV in our room. A Zenith! This thing must be an antique but amazingly, it still worked. When we turned it on, an old Star Trek episode flickered on screen. Was it channeling the shows that were on the air during its prime, or was it set to TV Land? The world may never know…
Me getting ready for sleep, before I realized there was something… off, about this bed. When we all got into bed we realized that the sheets were damp. I instantly got a creepy crawly feeling, and I got out my own sheets that I had brought to use on my air mattress once we got to Troy’s, and spread them over the bed. After that I was able to fall asleep, but I kept waking up during the night.
Finally at around 8 or so we gave up the good fight and decided to get the hell out of there. Once I got out of the shower and returned to my bed, I was greeted with this lovely sight:
A bug crawling across the floor. Was it a baby cockroach? I have no idea.
We finally got out of there and decided to get some pie for breakfast.
Saw this hooker mannequin hanging out of a window on the way to Pine Country Restaurant.
My first cup of hot coffee (lots of creamer and sugar plz!) and my pie: Strawberry Cream Pie. I would have liked more strawberry with my cream, haha.
Maz got a Blueberry-Apple-Peach pie a la mode with black coffee.
Amber got a Raspberry Cream Cheese Pie with coffee, too.
Maz loooved his pie!
I think Amber preferred the coffee.
After breakfast, we decided to hit up the Grand Canyon before going to Troy’s. It was only an hour north of Williams, and we had all day to get to Troy’s. Also, I hadn’t been there since I was a toddler, so I didn’t really remember it all too well.
On the way to the Grand Canyon.
We got to the Grand Canyon and the view was amazing! We took so many pictures, here are some of my favorites:
Amber was afraid to go to the edge; there was no railing and she has vertigo.
Maz standing at the edge of the canyon, with some perspective.
Maz was being all artisty with his cool camera.
I’m pretty cool, too.
Maz doing a dance on the edge.
Aww they’re so cute
Amber and I thought this would be a good spot to meditate.
After about an hour or so, we decided to hit the dusty trail, and make our way down to Queen Creek finally. It took us about 204 mi â€“ about 3 hours 4 mins to get there. Once we got there we unloaded our stuff and chatted for a bit, then headed over to a local restaurant for some grub.
The set up of the restaurant was really cool: it was a large courtyard surrounded by several buildings with different functions. One was a pool room, one was a saloon, one was the main restaurant, and the other was additional indoor seating.
Here is the courtyard and saloon. The little pits strewn about can be lit and then you can roast marshmallows while watching the (country) band play and people dance to the music on the dance floor.
This is the main building where the restaurant part is.
Ready for some grub!
The county this restaurant is in has some ancient law from 1930 that prohibits outdoor dancing. This place gets fined like $50 a day for outdoor dancing. It’s like something straight out of Footloose!!
Troy’s chicken was heart-shaped.
They spontaneously made the same face for this picture. Aren’t they adorable?!
After dinner, we went outside to roast marshmallows. The wood and everything was wet from the rains though, so all it did was smoke really badly. And it made our eyes water.
It kind of looks like we’ve been smoking out or something!
The next day we lazed around the house while Troy worked on some paperwork for buying a new one. We watched this awesome/crappy movie/TV show called Darkest Knight starring the irresistible but somewhat emotionally limited Ben Pullen. Read the various reviews of it, they sum it up quite well and it’s quite hilarious. Once he got back, we grabbed a quick sandwich and headed out to Salt River to do some tubing down the river. It was really fun! And we got heckled by some drunk guys jumping off a cliff to “show our tits.” Yeah, no thanks buddy!
Afterwards we showered up and headed out to a Mexican place nearby for some dinner. I got a prickly pear margarita (yum!) and we ran into Troy’s grandparents (small town). I was introduced as Troy’s date for the night — awkward! That night we played some card games, like The Great Dalmuti.
The next day we woke up early to go see a model of the home that Troy decided to buy. It was really nice and cute! I want a house! But if that involved moving to Arizona… no thank you! After that we packed up and headed out on the road back to California. Nothing much interesting happened on the way back. Some guy tried his best, “Hey, how you doooin’?” on me, and there was a lot of lightening and rain, but that’s pretty much it. We had a really awesome time though! I really want to do more road trips, like maybe to Colorado and around the Pacific northwest.