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  • Andrei Stoica

Lazy Sunday Afternoon: from Bumble Bee to Crown King


If you take the freeway north from Phoenix to Flagstaff, Arizona you'll start noticing some odd exit names such as Bloody Basin Rd, Black Canyon City, General Crook Trail and yes, Bumble Bee. It was last Sunday that I found myself driving towards Flagstaff on said freeway, when I realized that my destination was too far and the traffic too slow to make it up in time and catch the sunset. Should I go home empty handed? Of course not. Crown King was within reach so I started up on the dusty, bumpy, curvy road that takes you from the low desert to the green little mountain community of Crown King.

The 21 miles long road ends up at over 5700 feet (1750m) altitude in less than one hour -- it's a trip that many Phoenicians make over the hot summer weekends to escape the Valley of the Sun to a green, quiet and cool location within short driving distance. It's about 25°F (15°C) cooler here than the baking Phoenix sprawl down below.

The drive starts up in blink-and-you've-missed-it Bumble Bee. Not much to see from the road, but the sign says it all: 11 people, 32 horses and 158 cattle!