Monday, February 27, 2017

Killing Time in Rainy Phoenix

Holly signed up for The Lost Dutchman Marathon months before the event was to take place. We were excited to have an opportunity to leave the usual frigid conditions of Northern Illinois for the sun and warmth of the southwest. As luck would have it, we left record highs in Chicagoland for unseasonal rain and cooler temps in Phoenix.

We landed on a Friday night and headed toward Tempe. Our first stop was a brewery! Huss was only two miles from the hotel in a fairly new looking industrial park. To get there we took local roads and we were really surprised how the nice suburban area our hotel was in quickly turned into a questionable area. We took the highway back. Huss was great! 20 beers on tap with a bright and cheery tap room. The taps were balanced between dark beers and light with all ranges of IBU.

We woke up the next morning to full-on rain. We met our friends Stan and Pam for breakfast and had a conversation over what to do for the day. After too many Google searches of "things to do in Phoenix" and Holiday Inn Express coffees we decided just to drive to downtown Phoenix and figure it out. Our waypoint was Heritage Square: the oldest part of the city. On the way there we drove by Chase Field - where the Diamondbacks Baseball team plays. We went in so Stan could visit the gift shop and found out a tour of the park would start soon. We decided this would be a good way to occupy ourselves. For $7 each we spent 75 minutes touring the park including the club suites, press room, visitor's locker and, and the home team dugout.

For lunch we headed to Tempe's Four Peaks Brewery. What seemed like an off-the-path location was actually the neighborhood's most popular dining location. The very large former creamery was packed with tables and patrons. We enjoyed our lunches and the beers (you can get them at the airport from their pub in the terminal).

Picture found on the internet

We had to head to Apache Junction to pick up Holly's bib. Afterwards we met up with friends Michael, Lee, and Laura at 12 West Brewing in Gilbert. 12 West was in a semi-circle shaped aluminum roofed building - like something you'd see on Gomer Pyle. The space was also home to a pizza place, test kitchen, beauty shop, wood carver, and paper store. The beer was very good and the pizzas next door looked great.

The next day was the marathon. What a nasty weather day. We'll save those details for Holly's report. As part of the race experience runners could pay a few dollars to have showers in the Lost Dutchman State Park. While the runners were cleaning up Dave got a few minutes of full blue sky with desert scenery.

Once our runners were ready we started our 4+ hour journey north to The Grand Canyon.


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