A few of us from KSport USA decided to join the members of azht.net for their annual cruise to Sedona, AZ. Sedona is a beautiful little city located about 2 hours north of Phoenix, surrounded by red rocks and green trees.
On our way up the mountains, the KSport Camera Car (KSport Shipping Manager Jose Barrazas daily driver Altima) was busy snapping pictures of everyone as we passed them, or were passed by them. With over 700 images captured, Im sure theres at least one good shot on my memory cards. Somewhere between Phoenix and Sedona, we passed a pristine 1965 Rolls Royce. Of course I got a few shots of the Rolls with some Hondas!
Every year, AZHT members meet in N. Phoenix, and caravan to Sedona. Previous years were strictly Honda/Acura only, but this year the invitation was extended to any and all car enthusiasts. Everything from Civic Wagovans, to Evos, and even a few VIP-Styled Lexus showed up. Once in Sedona, everyone meets at the same park to show their cars, BBQ, and play a little soccer. This year was no different, until the Sedona Police Department showed up. Apparently, what we were all celebrating, they werent too happy about. 2009 was the biggest Sedona Run ever for AZHT, totaling over 250 cars. Most cars had 2, some cars had 3 people so you can imagine the sheer volume of people that had descended upon this small community. The Department of Parks and Recreation, in fear of a lawsuit, decided that we were too large of a group for ANY park in Sedona, and we were asked to leave. One of the officers did us a favor, though, by calling a neighboring city and asking their police department if they would allow us. Sure enough, the City of Cottonwood was willing to risk having droves of Import car enthusiasts roaming their streets. So, off we went to Cottonwood.
Most people left before the new meeting spot was announced, or decided to just head home, which made the Cottonwood meet much smaller. We went from over 250 cars, to under 40. This was okay though, because it made for a much smaller, more organized group of people. The Cottonwood meet took place in a parking lot adjacent to a community skate park, and as soon as all the cars showed up kids came over to check things out. One of the kids asked me if I knew “why everybody came here all of a sudden?”, to which I replied its a car club and we drove up here from Phoenix. He couldnt have been older than 12 0r 13, and clearly didnt understand why we would do such a boring, lame, thing because he then asked the ultimate question… “Why?” I tried explaining it again, but ultimately I told him “because we had nothing better to do today.” which he was quite pleased to hear. I could see that he and his friends wanted to go look, but werent sure if they were allowed. Everyone assured them it was ok, and shortly after we had kids ranging from 10 to 16 rolling around on skateboards and bicycles within our group. An AZHT member actually grabbed a skateboard out of the back of an EF hatch and hit the bowls and boxes with the kids.
After about an hour, the ice cream man came through to work the skater kids out of their allowance. Im sure when that white van with the generator hangin off the back rounded the corner, it was like winning the lottery. Before they knew it, there was a large group of adults and children waiting for ice cream. I personally got hustled by a child from the skate park, who claimed to have gone to 3rd Grade with me. He was probably still in 3rd grade, which I kindly pointed out, but that didnt stop him. He also claimed that we were best friends. I met him half-way by asking him to do a kickflip for some ice cream. These kids gotta learn how to work for their money!
After enjoying our ice cream, and being attacked by a ravenous swarm of bees, we headed out of Cottonwood towards Jerome. (Ok, so it was one bee…. but still, its scary.) Shortly after leaving the skate park, a Nissan GTR joined our group out of nowhere, gave us a little fly-by, played with a turbo CRX, and then ran away when the Supra wanted a turn. Jerome is an awesome little place, full of history and probably a few ghosts. Once a mining town, Jerome is now a tourist destination comprised mainly of original Wild West Era buildings, a few bars, and lots of art. It also happens to be in a canyon, which means some of the most exciting roads in Arizona. Our caravan consisted of a Honda S2000 (Owned and driven by Jeremy, of UMS Tuning), an NSX (Owned and driven by Nick, of KSport USA), the Almighty Altima, a Toyota Celica All-Trac, 3 EG Honda Civics (All set-up for NASA Road Racing), and a 700+ WHP Supra.
As you could guess, the Supra couldnt keep up in the twisties, the NSX stayed up front, and surprisingly the Altima didnt do too bad. I couldnt help but get giddy each time I heard the All-Tracs Blow Off Valve. Not sure what his setup is, but it was one of the best sounding BOVs Ive heard on a 4 cylinder. Of course, once we hit the level ground of the Arizona desert, the Supra had to stretch its legs and spool up that big turbo a little bit. The ride back into Phoenix was a relaxing way to end an action-packed day, and allowed me plenty of time to remind Jose to either swap his spring rates back to the recommended springs, or turn his damping down.