The longest detour in my personal history

Richard Charpentier Prescott, RLC Design 7 Comments


February of 2007 I took the Airstream out to Anza Borrego California to meet some Airstreaming friends.  I’d been sick for two years, and had been wandering around in the Airstream for the better part of a year trying to find a place that “felt good.”  It was a strange journey to say the least.  Long term illness, divorce, weird diagnosis, fun with Entocort and other crappy medications…..  Yeah, a strange journey.

Bill, one of the many friends I made while traveling with my Airstream.

While in Borrego Springs I’d made the decision to move on to Cortez Colorado.  It was a cute little town in the 4 Corners region that I found while traveling in 06′.  The place seemed to work for me, and I felt about as functional as I could be with an un-diagnosed raging infection in my jaw.  So, when I got ready to head off after hanging out with fellow Airstreamers I set my destination for Cortez.

Before heading out though my friends Bill & Larry suggested a stop over in Sedona, AZ.  They told me of the Red Rocks, the vortexes, and the concept of all the healing places in the area.  Being sick for so long and learning to live with it, I figured, “What the hell, give it a try.”  So I set Sedona as the destination in my GPS.  It was on the way to Cortez anyhow.

I totally missed out on all the cool ghost towns I’d passed while heading up Route 89 for the first time. Glad I got to see them later.

My GPS set the route and I followed.  Cross from California to Arizona, then head through Prescott on my way to Sedona.  Easy enough, I’d be there within the day.  Of course I didn’t know about the insane curves on Route 89 south of Prescott.  From Wickenburg to Prescott I kept asking myself if I should be on 89.  But it was too late, no cut arounds, so I forged on.  And by the time I reached the outskirts of Prescott my knuckles were white and I kept hoping I wouldn’t have to go down a similar road with the Airstream in tow.

Route 89 takes you right into town, and as the steep curves dropped away I found myself riding into an adorable downtown.  The color returned to my knuckles.  And I forged on through Prescott Valley, Dewey & Mayer, and made my way over to Sedona.  As I reached Sedona I kept thinking to myself, “That Prescott town seemed pretty neat, and it had a Best Buy……..”

While Sedona is stunning, it just didn’t do it for me.

I stayed in the Sedona area for 3 days and found the place to not be that interesting.  Beautiful red rocks to be sure, but McMansions and condos built into all the beauty.  Vortexes, crystals, mystics…….and a tourist town feel that reminded me of pulling into the outlet district of North Conway New Hampshire.  Sedona just didn’t do it for me.  And I kept thinking of that little town I’d passed through.

On a lark I looked up campgrounds in Prescott, AZ.  I found “Point of Rocks” and made a call for a one day reservation.  That was March 13th of 2007.  And that one day turned into week by week.  Then it turned into monthly.  And without even thinking about it, Prescott became home for a time.

A Sea of Granite is exactly what hooked me on Prescott.

Of all the places I could land, Point of Rocks was absolutely the right place.  Surrounded by the Granite Dells, it was the right place to finally rest after wandering.  As a former rock climber and hiker it seemed like paradise.  I remember the day I pulled in well.  After unhooking the trailer I took a walk out into the rocks, and returning to the Airstream I resisted the urge to blog that I might have found a new place to call home.  It hooked me big time.

Here I am nearly 6 years later repacking the Airstream.  Prescott became the longest stop over on my trip.  But what I didn’t know and only realized recently was that the trip was never done.  And it probably won’t be done with the next stop.

So long as the Airstream is with me, guess I’ll always be home.

What a stop over it was though!  Building a business in a new part of the country.  Finally finding an oral surgeon who resolved years of physical hell in a matter of weeks.  Honing a craft I’d always enjoyed.  Meeting talented artists, and meeting many hacks as well.  Wandering in the dells.  Taking in the desert.  Falling in love with everything about the desert southwest.  Yeah, one hell of a stop over.

Without landing here I don’t think I ever would have seen White Pocket!

Landscape I’ll never forget.

Thanks for being home for a while Prescott.  Indeed, “Everybody’s Hometown” is an appropriate name.  I know I’ll miss this place, but there’s a whole other chapter coming up in my life.  We’ll just have to wait and see where I land next.



Comments 7

  1. A most poignant summary of a SUCCESSFUL time in one man’s life complemented by a most compelling series of images. I suspect art will always be a part of Rich’s C’s life and that we’ll be hearing his voice again!

  2. It’s been good having you in town Rich! Sorry things didn’t work out with the business, but at least you roll out a much healthier man! 🙂 I hope your travels treat you well, and that the airstream keeps you always at home wherever you are.

  3. Thanks, Rich, for the memories, spectacular images, and friendship over the years!

    Happy trails and Vaya bien,

    Hasta la vista!

    Bill and Larry

  4. My reasons for picking Prescott are similar to yours, in fact I moved away for almost two years and just came back “home”. As a former corporate gipsy I never found anyplace that became home until I found Prescott. You will be missed.

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