Snow, Cadavers, and Breathing in a February Prescott

Late February, I made a quick (for me) decision to visit Prescott, Arizona and drove up on a Sunday. I was on tenterhooks because of weather and not wanting to drive in snow. It looked as if the weekend and the following one would be fine to drive on the Sundays, there and back, so I leapt at the chance to go.

During the eight hours of driving, I made my usual three stops: Starbucks in Indian Wells, Arizona gas on Tom Wells road, and Fry’s vegan sushi and cherry pie in Buckeye. Side note: The price of gas was a dollar per gallon cheaper than in California. I also solved one of the reasons I had trouble publishing the day before and came up with a way to find out what caused the second problem. Yay for productive drives.

The next morning, I felt much refreshed. I’d hoped the dry air would be good for my lung issue, after all Doc Holliday lived here to help his tuberculosis. And yet after pulling up one set of window blinds, I was short of breath. After respiratory therapy, I was good to go and fine on a twenty minute Pioneer hike. Yes, that is snow in the picture above!

Hikes every morning, writing, Saturday’s Health Expo at the convention center and publishing Found Dead in Arugula this week, along with Chinese lessons and a Costco run. I am disconsolate over one event I wanted to attend but won’t as neither my mother or brother will go. The public is invited to view a knee surgery on a cadaver at Yavapai college. Such opportunities don’t come up every day. Bummer.

Woke up to snow on Wednesday. Temperatures plunged the previous night, well they’ve been in the 20s every night. Prescott had no snow last fall, none in December and January, a few snow showers mid February, and then this at the end of February. Gorgeous, eh? The world draped in white velveteen. Then it warmed up to 50 degrees and not a speck of snow remained five hours later.

Since I’m a California Girl, I said no to hiking or driving that day. I did get my book Found Dead in Arugula released. It’s a mystery, a two year project, the length of a long short story, meant to be read over lunch.

The next day we did two hikes with the dogs, morning was at Willow Lake Park, where the water levels were noticeably low. My brother and I took the dogs with us to Costco and Trader Joe’s, taking turns with our shopping. They’re very good in the car. After Costco, we went to Peavine Trail, which has that stupendous rails to trails hike. I wanted to go at least partway down the track, but Annie, the big dog, refused so we headed home.

The next morning, we hiked at Watson Lake where I took this lovely shot of the Dells to the left, those are the spectacular rock formations that made Prescott famous. The afternoon jaunt was the Pinnacle with the dogs. It was windy at the top, but I do love walking by the petroglyphs.

Lots to do in Prescott that week and weekend. Father John Dear is in town to talk about peacemakers, and Garrison Keillor spoke at Yavapai College about dealing with disgrace and buying a burial plot. This was his first appearance since he was fired. The Importance of Being Earnest is playing at the Prescott Performing Arts Center, and a group of Mystery readers met at the library to discuss a book. Arizona’s Attorney General was in town to talk about something. Down the hill in Prescott Valley they had a Fish Fry. Embry Riddle College was gearing up for the robot competition for high school and college students in Arizona, and a Health Expo was held Saturday. My sister worked at the Expo, and I checked it out.

Funnily enough, Prescott was lovely the next week while I read the California reports with misgivings. Rain, rain, rain.

Happy writing, walking, reading and breathing.

Michelle Knowlden

About mlknowlden

In 2011, I left engineering to write full-time. Between the years 1992 and 2011, I’ve published 14 stories with Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine that have featured the hypochondriac detective Micky Cardex and two stories that did not. The 1998 story “No, Thank You, John” was nominated for a Shamus award. Many of these stories have been included in anthologies and translated in multiple languages. With Neal Shusterman, I’ve also published a science fiction story for the More Amazing Stories anthology (Tor) published in 1998 and co-authored with Neal Shusterman an X-Files Young Adult novel (DARK MATTER) for HarperCollins in 1999 under the name Easton Royce. For Simon & Schuster in July 2012, we published an e-novella UNSTRUNG in Neal's UNWIND world. I have graduate degrees in English and Electrical Engineering.
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5 Responses to Snow, Cadavers, and Breathing in a February Prescott

  1. eidswick says:

    I love Prescott (I set one of my novels in a fictional Arizona town called Pine River, based partly on Prescott)! I also love Garrison Keillor. It’s good to hear he is getting out again.

  2. Debra Young says:


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