Alpine Tour 2019 – June 14-16

Friday morning everyone was up and ready to go on the Arizona Mountain Region’s first tour to Alpine to drive on some beautiful mountain roads and experience some truly twisty roads.  Passengers who knew what was coming came prepared with Dramamine and amulets to ward off getting carsick. We had drivers from Prescott, Flagstaff, Sedona, and the AZ Region join us for the weekend.  The route on Friday started in Prescott, and continued onto the familiar Hwy 260 for a mid-morning break in Payson. The next leg took us to Show Low for lunch at Licano’s Mexican restaurant, where we relaxed in a private dining room, and “fueled up” for the next leg to Alpine at over 8,000 feet.  A club member from Pine Top recommended a very special paved road, which is closed during the winter, but had recently opened up. Highway 273 climbed up past a ski area and Big Lake, and then through alpine meadows, to (naturally) Alpine.

The Tal Wi Wi lodge could at best be called “rustic”, but it proved to be a fine location for our needs.  Since the restaurant wasn’t open for the season, we got to enjoy a community picnic on the patio deck, overlooking the meadow.  Throughout the weekend we saw Elk from the herd of about 200 that graze there. Everyone brought delicious food and drink; we had a soft sunset to end the day; and a special thank you to Betty for bringing frosted cupcakes that survived the drive!

Saturday’s main event would be driving, so naturally it was important to start off with a good breakfast in Alpine at the Foxfire Restaurant.  Two of the favorites that were ordered were the pumpkin waffles and the Hatch Green Chile casserole. After breakfast we quickly crossed into New Mexico on Hwy 180, and drove to the Catwalk National Rec Area in Glenwood.  We spent an hour exploring the park and the trails, especially the elevated “catwalks” that hug the canyon walls. The southern end of the day’s loop dropped to 3,000 feet and took us to Morenci for lunch. Michelle of Michelle’s Bar & Grill opened up on Saturday just to host our group.  She has accommodated other car and motorcycle groups in the past, that were doing the same drive, and we really appreciated her hospitality.

After lunch we stopped at the copper mine overlook, and with the help of the work crew from Freeport-McMoRan Mining and their ladder, we got a great group picture.  After leaving the mine, we were officially ready to take on the “Devil’s Highway”, so called from its original Rte. 666 designation. The road climbs back up to 8,000 feet with one set of switch-backs after another, mixed in with an endless series of “S” curves.  We didn’t have another car on the road, so it was a chance to appreciate the handling and finesse of a Porsche at speed. Everyone had a safe and fun day and we were ready to relax with dinner at the Firefox, accompanied by the sounds from the 7th Annual Country Bluegrass Festival being held next door!

Sunday morning everyone headed out on their own schedule to have breakfast and take their own route home.  I heard that the straight lines and cruise control on Interstate 40 looked pretty good after the previous two days!  Thank you to everyone that participated on the tour, or helped with PCA forms and tour sweep requirements, and for sharing in a memorable tour.

Submitted by Steve and Debbie Beer

Chapter Tour Event – June 2018

The AZM held its inaugural regional event on June 23, 2018.  The Region received its Charter from the Porsche Club of America as the 145thRegion in order to provide northern Arizona Porsche owners with more opportunities to participate in local social and driving events.  The Chapter Tour was designed to include participants from the major geographical cities of Prescott, Sedona, and Flagstaff (with Lake Havasu City invited to come to Flagstaff for the evening dinner).

The tour show-cased the cooperation and support from all of the members that helped plan and execute the drive.  The morning started out at Panera Bread (our de facto “sponsor”) in Prescott, with a drivers meeting conducted by Bob Frith (Event Coordinator).

Due to the large number of participants, the group was divided into two groups of 12 cars each, led by Steve Sweet (Vice President) and Steve Beer (Secrectary).  The variety of models and colors spanned the entire Porsche product family- it was a welcome site to know that there is such diverse ownership in the Region.  Thank you to Joe Cannon (Chapter Lead) for his help in planning and leading the Prescott kick-off.

The route to the lunch destination of Sedona would trace the familiar mountain drive through Jerome and the backroads to Sedona.  A rest break at the Page Springs Fish Hatchery was welcome, with water and cookies to refuel the group in the shade on a very hot day.  It is the state’s largest coldwater fish hatchery, producing over 700,000 trout a year.  Passing by several wineries and B&Bs along the roadside spawned the idea for a future event outside of Cornville!

Arriving in Sedona from the southern direction avoided the congestion of downtown, but also provided a classic view of the iconic Bell Rock and the surrounding rock formations. Shortly afterwards all 48 participants made it to the Poco Diablo Resort for lunch.  Jim Gibson (Chapter Lead) welcomed everyone and planned a tasty buffet. Lunch provided an opportunity to meet and get to know lots of new members.  After lunch a survey form was handed out soliciting input for future membership activities; new name badge forms were filled out; a “Get Well” card for Donny Blackburn (President) was circulated; and Maynard Goff (Treasurer) sold raffle tickets for the evening’s dinner event.

The afternoon drive had Mormon Lake as the destination, before heading into Flagstaff for dinner. The drought conditions in Northern Arizona were evident with the low water levels at Lake Mary, and no water in “Mormon Lake”!  The lodge was an experience that captured the Western Mountain culture.

Arriving in Flagstaff at the host hotel, everyone looked forward to relaxing after a good drive, with no one getting lost and no incidents.  After a social hour, Jeff Karl (Chapter Lead) hosted a wonderful dinner at the restaurant in the Little America Hotel.  Several Flagstaff area members also joined the group.  Based on the positive conversational “hum” that surrounded the tables, it was obvious that everyone was enjoying themselves.

The evening concluded with a raffle for gifts donated by Porsche of Chandler and Porsche of North Scottsdale, and a silent auction for a pair of custom earrings donated by Jeff Karl. The funds raised, plus generous donations from the Las Vegas Region and the Arizona Region, significantly helped the AZM Region cover its start-up costs.

Thank you to everyone that helped plan and who participated in the Arizona Mountain Region’s first major event- we look forward to having many more event opportunities with all of our new members.

Submitted by Steve Beer