Updated: Nov 22, 2018
Since 1967, the Arizona Burn Foundation has been helping Arizona burn victims through their recovery by means of support programs. They are the leader in burn prevention education in Arizona and created a program for children called the Milo & Moxie Smart Safety Rangers. When I was asked by Jason Nelson, if the blog would be interested in covering their annual Rally Through The Prescott Pines, I didn’t hesitate to respond.
On the morning of the rally, participants met up at Pit Stop Detailing & Storage in Scottsdale, AZ where everyone registered, applied their rally decals and got a quick brief about the foundation and the details of the rally. As drivers arrived, we all checked out the cars and got acquainted with their owners. The cars ranged from daily drivers to collectible supercars and everything in between. Some of the cars in attendance were a Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4, a Nissan GTR, Acura NSX and even the exclusive new Ford GT.
After fueling up with some coffee and mingling a bit with the drivers, we all jumped in our cars and headed towards Wickenburg, AZ for a quick stop for gas and snacks. After filling up, we headed towards Yarnell, AZ to the Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park.
The convoy rallied towards Yarnell down the scenic 20 mile stretch of Highway 89. Before passing through the small town of Congress, AZ the road allowed for some of the drivers to open up the throttle a little bit and let their cars do what they were built to do. As we approached the Granite Mountains the road began to twist and ascended towards the memorial park.
On June 30th, 2013, 19 firefighters stationed in Prescott, AZ lost their lives fighting a wildfire near where the memorial now stands. In honor of them, a memorial park was built and the rally participants stopped to pay tribute. After a group picture was taken, we all headed towards Prescott, AZ to Fire Station #71, where the 19 Hotshots were stationed.
The next 50 mile stretch into Prescott was laden with scenic views and compelling driving scenarios. The sky was blue and the weather was perfect as we roared down Highway 89 through the twisties and switchbacks of the mountain road. As we approached Prescott, the leaves on the trees began showing all of the colors of the changing of the seasons.
The fire station had arranged a catered lunch for everyone so we arrived to a cleared out station full of tables and a chow line with barbecue. Local police officers and first responders joined us for lunch and we all admired the company, the food, and the cars.
After lunch, a few people told their stories and how they got involved with the foundation and how it has impacted their lives or the lives of a loved one. Afterwards, the foundation donated a check to the Prescott Firefighter's Charities and we all spent some time outside with the cars again. In the spirit of things, two of the Dodge Challenger Hellcats in attendance did a tandem burnout in the Fire Station parking lot and we all prepared to depart back into the mountains towards Cottonwood, AZ. Before departing everyone went out front of the station to the Hotshot Memorial statue and paid our respects by resting our hand upon it.
We filed out of the station and proceeded towards Mingus Canyon where the road twisted more than Chubby Checker did his entire life. It wasn’t long before the caravan was completely out of sight because our compact SUV just couldn’t keep up. About 30 minutes later we pulled into Jerome, AZ, a small historic town nestled on a cliff side, and proceeded to the Cottonwood Fire and Medical Station.
The cars parked at the station and drivers mingled and met the Fire Fighters. Groups of people gathered around cars and fire fighting vehicles until the time came for another group photo. A few of the cars were staged in front of the station and a fire truck and the rally would come to its official close. Some of the drivers headed home while a few of us headed back to Jerome for dinner and conversation.
It was a great day and the company we kept was top notch. I can’t thank Mik Milem and Jason Nelson for inviting us out with them. It was an honor to spend the day with them, to cover the foundation and the rally, as well as to meet the all of the first responders.
Please spread the word about the great work they do for burn victims and learn more about them at www.azburn.org.
Photos: Ryan Grimes
Locations: Scottsdale, Arizona, Yarnell, Arizona, Prescott, Arizona, Cottonwood, Arizona