Phoenix, next stop

On our last day in Camp Verde, we enjoy driving small roads and exploring the area one last time. What a coincidence! Driving on Middle Verde Road, we pass Scenic Drive. The next side road is Valley View Road! Is this an indication that we should move here? lol

I forgot my phone and so I borrow Roger’s I-phone to take pictures. Tonight, I decide to download all of his pictures. What a surprise! I find a few I had never seen before…from Route 66. I wanted to share those, especially for those who followed our blog of Route 66.

Can you tell Roger loves hot dogs?

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Remember when Harley from Erick Oklahoma took this picture of us?

Remember when Roger decided to visit Harley in his home while the rest of us were having lunch? What a sight! Good thing Roger did take pictures or we would not believe him. Wonder how long Harley has been collecting for??IMG_0586

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IMG_0602And then in Seligman at the Delgadillo’s Snow Cap Drive-In..IMG_0636

So tomorrow, we will be in Phoenix and soon, we will be flying home for the month of December. A month just went by, so fast. Lots2see and do! eh!

Hillcrest RV parc

In January, we might try an Escape Room…(They have them here Roger)

Wonder what the blog would be like if Roger was writing it??

But for sure, we will be reporting from the Barrett Jackson Classic Car Auction from January 14th to the 21st…

 

Arizona-Camp Verde and Area (7)

The old mining town of Jerome, America’s most vertical city, is our next destination.  Located high on top of Cleopatra Hill (5,200 feet), the drive there is an experience in itself.

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We decide to park the car far enough from the downtown area so we can walk and enjoy the scenery. Of course that means walking up a 30 degree incline…

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Many come to Jerome for the museums and art shops. We did come to see if the unique Kaleidoscope store, Nellie Bly, is still there…And it is, just amazing as it was when we first visited many years ago.

IMG_4276Mostly, we came for the scenery,

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the friendly atmosphere and the good food. We highly recommend Grapes on Main St. But the Haunted hamburger is another option lol

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We walked up and we must walk down. Can you spot the 56 down below?

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Other interesting picks from Jerome…

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Arizona-Camp Verde and Area (6)

In Cottonwood again, we visit the Dead Horse Ranch State Park. It has large pull through RV sites and a few camping cabins. The park is located next to a unique ecosystem, one of 20 such in the world! Bonus, 20 + miles of hiking trails. The park is booked and we will not be able to stay. Next time! For those travelling by car, we suggest the Tavern Hotel on Main St.
Just next to the park, we find Blazin’M Ranch. It boasts a chuckwagon supper and live entertainment. We decide to stay and experience the ‘authentic western experience’.

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By chance, we are seated next to the family who is beside us in the RV park, the Pandori family. Don and Sara and children are from upstate New York. Gavin and Gabriella are being home schooled and the whole family is travelling for 6 months. How fantastic! 

What great food! What great guitar playing! The couple on the left are yodelling champions. Aurele and Blanche would have loved the show.

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Love the message at the entrance…

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Arizona-Camp Verde and Area (5)

As you can see by the line up of cars headed to Sedona, this town only 27 miles from Campe Verde is a popular destination. Also notice, we are headed in the opposite direction ha!

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We leave early. Our goal is to be back from Sedona before darkness as always. All goes well, hardly no traffic. First stop: very informative visitor Centre at the Red Rock Ranger Station in Coconino National ForestIMG_4237

We stop at the village of Oak Creek, then at the Chapel of the Holy Cross, built in the buttes of Sedona. This architectural landmark is designated a National Historic Place.

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We see Mother Nature’s most beautiful artworks. 

Bell Rock +++

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On Hwy 179 as you approach Sedona, there are 5 roundabouts, one every quarter mile to keep traffic moving. By that time of the day however, and because of the long weekend, the traffic is much heavier. We are about a mile from downtown when the 56 Chevy starts overheating. The cooling fan is obviously not functioning. (simple burnt fuse). Not good news when you are in stop and go traffic in high temperatures.  And so, we turn around to head back to the motorhome. Our visit to downtown Sedona, the trails, the yarn shop, Knit Wits will have to wait.
Our advice to visitors to Sedona :
1. Never visit on a long weekend.
2. Bring lots of water to hydrate.
3. Allow time for stops on the way there.
4. Always bring spare fuses if driving a classic car Ha!

On the way back, we see a sign for Bearizona Wild Life Park (Wiliams AZ). We find that funny because we have bears in our own backyard!

IMG_0786Wonder if the Arizona bears are as mischievous as ours… Like the one who tore Jacquie’s favorite pants to pieces when she put them out to dry, or the one who took Gaetan’s new water hose, brought the box to the edge of the forest, opened the box and left with the hose, or the cub I saw playing on our water barrel.
Either way, they do hibernate in Arizona and they hibernate in the park as well:)  You could see many other animals but it would be ‘beary’ unlikely to see bears at Bearizona in winter lol. 

Thankfully, the rattle snakes hibernate in Arizona as well!

 

 

Arizona-Camp Verde and area (4)

Although we are in small living quarters, house cleaning and laundry still await.
This afternoon however, Roger wants to cruise.

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After all, I am told that is what a classic car is all about. It is 80 F. today, above average temperatures and so, a great idea. We pass by this little booth selling frybread, elk jerky and piñon. But wait, what exactly is piñon? We decided to stop and ask instead of using Siri lol. The vendor informs us that piñon pine trees grow wild in the southwestern United States. They taste like nothing we have tasted before, sweeter. So we buy jerky, nuts and raw honey. The frybread? No lol

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We then travel smaller roads, exploring the area

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We end up at the River Ranch Estate off Middle Verde Rd. We pass beautiful homes, many of them horse ranches. Coming back on the road after reaching a dead end, this man comes running from his house signaling he wants us to stop. Turns out he is rebuilding a 57 Chevy that has been in his family from word go. He asks Roger a lot of questions and when he realizes we are from Ontario, he says his wife is from Sarnia and that his family spends a month in Canada every year. Small world!

Great sunset again tonight…

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Arizona-Camp Verde and area (3)

Today, we go on a wine tour. Sue, our guide from Sedona Delivers is very informative and easy going. But first things first, we sign a waver, basically informing us that we are at higher elevation and that if we do not keep hydrated and become intoxicated, it is not her problem 🙂 
So we visit 4 tasting rooms, tasting 5 different wines at each. By the 4th, Roger agrees. Our taste buds are a bit confused lol Good thing there is the dump bucket. All in all, most wines are excellent, some have won awards even internationally.
At the first tasting for example, Acantara vineyard, I taste a Pinot Grigio, a Sauvignon Blanc, a Reisling, a Viognier and a Malvasia. Roger has red wine: a Mourvèdre, a Sangiovese, a Merlot, a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Meritage.

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At the Pillsbury Wine Co. tasting room, Sam, (a film maker turned wine maker and Gold award winner) serves Roger Petite Sirah. Luckily they have a bottle for him to bring home 🙂
The third tasting room, The Burning Tree Cellars has comfy sofas and we probably could stay here a while lol.
Finally, we have an excellent Duck and Greek pizza at the Page Spring Cellars. Wish it was earlier in the year so we could see the vineyards before the grapes are harvested.

All in all, the wine tour on bikes in Niagara Falls was probably more enjoyable. But in the mountains of northern Arizona, no chance we would have made it to the first winery ha!
Our walk in the park tonight feels good after a lot of sitting. People have gathered in this park from Quebec, Ontario, British Colombia, Alberta, Alaska, Michigan, Colorado, even Florida, Texas and California, and just about every other state! All are very neighbourly…

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Arizona-Camp Verde and Area (2)

There are 129 National Monuments in the U.S.A. “The designation of a national monument is a recognition of the space’s contribution to America’s heritage, whether through its rich natural beauty or the role it’s played in our developing national story. Nearly every president since Theodore Roosevelt has made use of his Antiquities Act authority to create monuments. And together, they’ve woven a colorful fabric representing America. To remove any thread would be a travesty“.

We are fortunate to have visited a few in New Mexico and Arizona.  The White Sands Monument, the Carlsbad Cavern and the Gila Cliff Dwellings in NM; the Sonoran Desert,  the Grand Canyon, the Organ Pipe Cactus, the Saguaro and the Petrified Forest in Arizona.

In Camp Verde, we are vey close to 2 more, the Montezuma Castle and the Tuzigoot, a pueblo, home to Native Americans approximately 800 years ago.

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Montezuma Castle National Monument is an ancient cliff dwelling dating back to 1150. The castle stands in a cliff recess 100 feet above the valley. It is one of the best preserved in North America. 

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Some things in nature are for sure mindboggling!  We spot this single plant with delicate flours beside our motorhome. No way to know if the litterbug was trying to water the plant or if  the plant simply thrived because of the litterer’s beer ! 

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