Sunday, February 28, 2010

Return to Sedona

Sedona is such a beautiful place. Those red rocks appear different as the sun hits them or the clouds overhead shadow them.
From 2010-02-28
From 2010-02-28

I think it is a peaceful area. The houses in this area seem to be tucked in among the trees and bushes often not that visible. We returned today to walk about some of the shops. After shopping and eating lunch at one of the many restaurants we drove around admiring the beauty of the area. We stopped at an "Open House" in a new developement that had a wonderful view of those red rocks and a huge price tag (lots starting at $600,000.00).
We had rain last night. Today it was mostly cloudy. This evening it rained again but I believe it is now clearing. It has been cool (50's) and will probably feel real chilly in the morning.
We had planned to leave here in the morning but are staying until Tuesday. We stopped at a dog groomers yesterday to see about getting Travis a much needed haircut. She said she could do it on Monday so we are staying an extra day.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Camp Verde

We are camped on the outskirts of Camp Verde but had not been in the town until today. Camp Verde was founded in 1866 by Arizona Volunteers to defend settlers from Apache raids. Farming and cattle raising are the industries of the area. As we were driving around we encountered a group of Native American teenagers escorted by the local police running through the town. Driving by the Cliff Casino, which is owned by the Natives, we saw tents set up so we stopped. A celebration commemorating the "Trail of Tears" was being held. Indian jewelry, pottery, sand paintings and fry bread of all descriptions were being sold. Many Natives were dressed in Native-style outfits including moccasin boots. Apparently this celebration occurs yearly.
Today has been cool. This morning there were clouds but in the afternoon it cleared until late evening when the clouds returned. It has been quite windy. A storm is to pass through here during the night.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Jerome, Arizona

This morning Larry and Joanne packed up and moved on toward the east and home. We were sorry to see them leave. We wish them safe travels.
Tom and I drove up to the town of Jerome, an interesting place.
From Jerome Az 2010-02-26
Jerome is built on a hill(mountain to me) on top of what was the largest copper mine in Arizona. It was once the 4th largest city in Arizona. In the 1920's the population was up to 15,000 but dropped to 5000 in 10 years. In the late 1950's the population was down to 50. In the 1960's and 70's Jerome became a haven for artists. In 1967 the town was designated a National Historic District. There are numerous shops with artwork of paintings and pottery as well as other unique shops.
From Jerome Az 2010-02-26
A shop we found interesting was "Nellie Bly II" that had kaleidascopes of all sizes, descriptions and prices.
From Jerome Az 2010-02-26
From Jerome Az 2010-02-26
We had a nice lunch at the "Haunted Hamburger".
Before returning to the campground we stopped at WalMart in Cottonwood for some grocery items. It has been cloudy most of the day with comfortable temperatures.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon

Today we went in a northernly direction. A few miles before getting to the city of Sedona we began seeing the beautiful red rocks. The skies were crystal clear and the sun was shining brightly which added to the beauty of the area. We stopped at a Red Rock Ranger Station to obtain the pass needed to park in the parking areas.
From Sedona Az and Oak Creek Canyon 2010-02-25
Following a map highlighted by a ranger at the Ranger Station we made stops at designated places. The views were so spectacular that it was hard to decide where to point a camera. One stop was at the Chapel of the Holy Cross, a chapel that was built in the red rocks with a view through the windows behind the altar that was breathtaking.
From Sedona Az and Oak Creek Canyon 2010-02-25
From Sedona Az and Oak Creek Canyon 2010-02-25
After eating lunch at a restaurant in Sedona, we continued our travels up through Oak Creek Canyon.
From Sedona Az and Oak Creek Canyon 2010-02-25
The canyon has rocks that are yellow and pine tree covered slopes. And did I mention the snow that was covering much of the ground? The road winds up the mountain and as the top nears a large viewing area provides great views of the canyon. Native Indian merchants selling jewelry and pottery were in the viewing area so, of course, we had to look and shop.
From Sedona Az and Oak Creek Canyon 2010-02-25
Our return trip was over the same route back to Sedona but not before we stopped at a Dairy Queen for ice cream. As we went through Sedona we made a stop close to the airport at a viewing area that was the highest viewing point in Sedona. More beautiful views to take in before returning to the campground.
From Sedona Az and Oak Creek Canyon 2010-02-25
Since John McCain was in Washington we were unable to pay him a visit today- haha!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Snow in the Canyon

A little after 8am we were on our way to the Grand Canyon. Since the Canyon was about 2.5 hours away we (Larry, Joanne, Tom and I) decided we would take 2 vehicles so we could take the dogs along. About 25 miles north of Camp Verde we began to see snow along the road and a little before Flagstaff the ground was covered with inches to feet of snow. The sky was very gray and threatening appearing. As we neared the Grand Canyon we saw some snow flakes falling. Our first stop was the Visitor's Center at Mather Point. We made our way out to the point but the pathways were snow and ice covered from previous snows. Clouds were hanging over the Canyon and snow showers could be seen in different areas of the Canyon.
From 2010-02-24
From 2010-02-24
We made our way to the area of the lodges and in the Bright Angel Lodge we got some lunch. After lunch we walked about this area over looking the Canyon. We went into a gift shop that was on the edge of the Canyon and when we came out the snow was coming down hard.
From 2010-02-24
Bare spots on the walkways were quickly covered with snow. Visiblity in the Canyon was close to 0. We then decided that we would leave the Canyon for today. As we traveled from the Canyon the snow became lighter and we encountered a few showers of snow through Williams and Flagstaff. According to the T.V. the high temperature in the Canyon today was 37 degrees. Yesterday morning the temperature in the Canyon was -5 degrees. It was cold but worth the chill! When we got back to Camp Verde the outside temperature at 5:30pm was 60 degrees. The temperature variance is due to the altitude of the area.
We had thought about camping in the Canyon campground but decided against it. The low temperatures would have made it difficult to keep warm. Today we found road closures in the park due to snow that had not been removed from the roadways. We are glad we were able to get up for the day and hope to someday to return again.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ruins of the Verde Valley

A short drive from the campground is Montezuma Castle, our first stop on our jaunt today. Montezuma Castle is in a cliff recess 100 feet above the valley. It is a 5 story dwelling with 20 rooms.
From 2010-02-24
There is also another dwelling within the cliff that had about 45 rooms but is now deteriorated badly.
From 2010-02-24
The Beaver River flows nearby which was a source of water. Time period for this structure is 1100's. Ladders were used to climb up to the structure. (The name Montezuma was given by early settlers that assumed these structures were originated by Aztecs.)
A little further away is Montezuma Well, a natural sink hole 368 feet wide and cliffs 70 feet above the water. Water flows into the well by several vents underwater at the rate of 1.5 million gallons a day.
From 2010-02-24
A cave 300 feet long constructed almost 1000 years ago by the culture living in this area allows the water to exit into an irrigation ditch.

Our last stop was at Tuzigoot, a village built between 1125 and 1400. It is located on the summit of a ridge 120 feet above the Verde Valley. Originally the pueblo had 77 rooms and 2 stories in some places. Because there were no exterior doors entry was through openings in the roof with ladders.
From 2010-02-24
After touring these ruins we rode through the town of Jerome. An interesting town about a mile high with houses built in the side of the mountain. It appeared to have numerous little shops. We didn't stop as it was getting late in the day- maybe some other time.
For dinner we returned to the Cliff Casino for the Tuesday $10.00 prime rib buffet. It was a very good meal- prime rib cut to order, mashed potatoes with gravy, corn, salad and roll and butter.
From 2010-02-24

Monday, February 22, 2010

Camp Verde, Arizona

This morning we left the Tucson area heading north. Clouds were heavy and we traveled through some heavy rains around the Phoenix area. Leaving the Phoenix area we began climbing and the hills were noticeably greener with vegetation. Cacti were not the common plant. We stopped to eat lunch on the top of a mountain with a nice view that was obscured by the clouds hanging on the mountain top. Because of the rain, the creeks that we passed over had water running.
We are staying at the Distant Drums RV Resort in Camp Verde, a little south of Sedona. This campground is a Passport America park allowing us to camp for 3 nights at half price. It is a beautiful, well laid out park that overlooks a valley below. Larry and Joanne are camped beside us. We had hoped to go on to Grand Canyon but the weather is not working in our favor. Flagstaff had about a foot of snow last night and more is predicted later this week. We may try to go up for the day from here and not take our RVs.
For dinner we went to a local casino and had nice meals. The Cliff Casino is closeby and has a shuttle service from the campground- real convienient. The shuttle driver said that the casino owns the campground.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Rodeo Day Number 2

Today, Sunday, we again returned to the rodeo. Larry and Joanne had obtained 4 vouchers for general admission tickets to the rodeo at Sierra Vista after we had reserved tickets on line for Saturday. So we decided that we would go today on the free tickets- we did upgrade to better seating. It wasn't raining today but as the rodeo was in progress the clouds built up and it became chilly toward the end of the rodeo. Todays rodeo had more participants than yesterday.
We have had a real enjoyable time here in Tucson but tomorrow we are pulling up stakes and moving north toward Sedona and after that we hope to get to the Grand Canyon. We will be in colder temperatures up there but there is so much to see and do in those areas.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

What Has Happened Since Wednesday?

Where has the time gone? This is what happens when we are busy. Time gets away and the blog is briefly forgotten. Now it is catch-up time.
Thursday morning we stayed at the campground doing some housekeeping chores as we awaited Larry and Joanne's arrival. They were coming up from Sierra Vista. When they did arrive we spotted them at the office checking in. After they had gotten set up we had told them to come over to our campsite for lunch. We waited for a good while and then called Larry asking when they would get over. Larry said that he couldn't find us. Long story short, they had gotten into an adjoining campground, a good camper showed them the way back to our campground and they finally got to our site. We ate our lunch sitting outside in the warmth of Arizona. After lunch we all went to the town of Tubac, the artsy town Tom and I had been at on Sunday. There was not an art festival here this day so we were able to maneuver about the stores more freely.
From 2010-02-16
Friday we returned to the Sabino Canyon with Larry and Joanne. This is such a pretty area.
From 2010-02-16
We took the tram up the canyon and learned more interesting things about the canyon. After the canyon we drove to the Saquaro National Park on the west side of Tucson. We stopped at the visitor's center and watched the 15 minute slide show that ended with the curtain covering large floor to ceiling window being raised to a glorious view of the desert outside. We then drove about the dirt road through the park. This section of the park seems to have more cacti than the east section. It was nice to have visited both sections as there are differences.
Friday evening Tom, Larry, Joanne and I went to cousin Patty and Braxton's home for dinner. We had a wonderful evening- a great meal and good conversation. We have had a nice time visiting Patty and Braxton and being shown some of the points of interest in this area. It had been about 2 years since I had seen Patty and Braxton, and a longer time for Larry.
From 2010-02-16
We had been having beautiful weather in Tucson until today, Saturday. We had tickets to the Tucson Rodeo and today it decided to rain. Just as we arrived at the rodeo grounds it began to rain and the winds kicked up. Thankfully, we had brought rain ponchos along. Under the grandstand there were concession stands selling food and other merchandise. We wandered about this area getting lunch and waitng for the rain to subside missing the pre-rodeo activities. By the time the rodeo was to start the rain had stopped and the sun made a couple of breaks through the clouds. Obviously, alot of people stayed away today as the grandstand had a lot of empty seats. We did enjoy the rodeo in spite of the weather.
From Tucson Rodeo
From Tucson Rodeo
From Tucson Rodeo
From Tucson Rodeo
From Tucson Rodeo
From Tucson Rodeo

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

What great weather we are having here in Tucson! Bright sunny skies with temperatures in the 70's.
Today we went to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum with our wonderful "tour guides" cousin, Patty, and her husband, Braxton.
From Arizona - Sonora Desert Museum
This museum is mainly outdoors. We started out with a tour led by a museum docent.
From Arizona - Sonora Desert Museum
The docent led us through the desert environment pointing out plants that are unique to the desert.
From Arizona - Sonora Desert Museum
Desert animals in enclosed areas were also seen.
From Arizona - Sonora Desert Museum
We had a lunch in one of several restaurants on the grounds.
After lunch we made our way to an area that raptor free flight demonstration was to be done.
From Arizona - Sonora Desert Museum
Harris hawks swooped over our heads as handlers lured them with food and a narrator explained the method of hunting for these birds.
From Arizona - Sonora Desert Museum
It was indeed a very interesting demonstration.
We then toured on our own a desert area, an aviary and a hummingbird aviary.
From Arizona - Sonora Desert Museum
It was a very interesting and full day. And I'm sure there are many things that we missed.
Leaving the museum, Patty and Braxton followed us back to the campground where we visited for a short time. Tom and I then decided to go to a grocery store. We found a place that I was able to get a haircut, then got a few groceries and returned back to the campground for dinner. What a full day!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sabino Canyon and Saquaro National Park

We spent the day with cousin, Patty, and her husband, Braxton, as they served as "tour guides" for us. We went to Sabino Canyon and rode the tram up the road through the canyon. The Sabino Creek/River was flowing through the canyon; even flowing over the road at the several places. The cacti and other desert flora was pointed out by the tram operator. The tram makes 9 stops ascending and descending the canyon area allowing passengers to get on or off the tram. We rode to the top, the 9th stop, and got off until the tram was ready to start going back down. It is indeed a beautiful area.
After a nice lunch at "El Charro", a Mexican restaurant, we went to the Saquaro National Park. Braxton drove through the park periodically stopping at pull-over areas so we could get out and walk about. Some of the desert plants were beginnig to bloom.
We ended the day with a drive through downtown Tucson during rush hour. The weather today was just perfect, nice sunny bright skies and comfortable temperatures.


This morning Tom and I left Huachuca and moved to Tucson. Larry and Joanne remain in Huachuca until Thursday. After getting to the campground we had to stay in a boondocking area for a few hours until a campsite became available. We got settled in and then contacted my cousin Patty and went to her and her husband, Braxton's, house for a visit. We visited a while and then went out to dinner at "Firebirds" and dessert at a gellato store with so many flavors from which to choose.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Saturday and Valentine's Day Sunday

Saturday, Tom and I returned to the Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering. In the high school there were 8 rooms that performers were performing every hour from 10am through 5pm. Groups of usually 4 performers were scheduled each hour in a designated room. We were able to move from room to room to hear whatever performer we desired. We went about 12 noon to again hear our favorite, Bill Barwick, perform at 12noon, 1pm and again at 3pm. We also heard other acts during this time. In each hour the 4 performers would each sing 2 or 3 songs. The amazing thing about this weekend is that we only paid for the Friday evening performance. The Saturday daytime performances were free. The performers were not local folk but from other states and Canada. They are very talented musicians and entertainers in Western, not Country, music.
I have to comment about the school that this Gathering was held at. I understand that this school is the only public high school in this county. It was a very modern facility. Some rooms were like lecture halls found in colleges, seats arranged like a movie theater. The auditorium is just that,there is a large gymnasium elsewhere, and is like a big theater. In the community of Sierra Vista this is the only facility that is available to accommodate a "gathering" or other social events of this size.
After leaving the Gathering, Tom and I stopped at a Mexican restaurant for dinner. Another restaurant that had good food but the Margaritas were poor. (I think we have been spoiled by the margaritas that we get at our favorite restaurant back home. We've decided that beer might be a better choice.) After returning to the campground and Larry and Joanne returning from a day in Tombstone, we all got together to have a piece of cake and coffee that Larry and Joanne bought in Silver City.
Sunday, Valentine's Day, started with Tom and I going out for a breakfast at a local diner. We then drove to the town of Tubac an artsy town that had an art festival at this time. We took Travis along with us for the day. The town was really bustling with lots of people walking about the streets checking out the numerous vendors selling their pictures, jewelry, and other wares. When we returned to the campground Larry and Joanne had returned from their jaunt into Mexico. We all went out to dinner at "My Big Fat Greek Restaurant". It was a fun evening as the wait staff would periodically do some Greek dancing through the restaurant.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Fort Huachuca & Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering

Friday was a full day for us. Friends, Marti and Drew, that are staying in Benson, Arizona, arranged a tour of Fort Huachuca for Larry, Joann, Tom and me along with themselves. Marti had lived on the Fort in the early 1950's. About 11am Drew and Marti stopped by our campground and we loaded up and followed them into the Fort. Joann having military ID made getting onto the Fort very easy for us. We followed to the military campground where we met Jerry and Ann, friends of Drew and Marti, that took us on a tour of the Fort. There were 2 museums that we went through. The Buffalo soldiers are a big part of the history of this Fort. This is still an active army post. We drove up reservoir hill to an overlook of the area. We then all went to dinner at Landmark Cafe and we all had the all-you-can-eat Fried Cod. After dinner we thanked Jerry and Ann for their hospitality and the four of us returned to our campground to attend to the dogs- Larry and Joann's, Sadie and Shane, and our Travis.
After seeing the dogs were tended to we loaded up again in the car and went into Sierra Vista to the Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering. Drew and Marti had visited with Jerry and Ann and now joined up with us again for the show. We all thought the show was wonderful. There were about 8 different preformers. Tom and I have come to love the music of Bill Barwick through the internet and he was one of the preformers. Tom had talked with him at intermission and before his preformance. When he came on stage he mentioned that he had met folks from Maryland that had come out to see him. It really was a fun and entertaining day.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hauchuca City

We left Wickenburg this morning traveling southeast through Phoenix, Tucson and then to Hauchuca City. We had planned to meet up with Larry and Joann so when we got to the campground- "Mountain View RV Park"- sure enough they were here just a couple of campsites up from us. We spent the afternoon catching up on our travels and then went out to eat. "Ivey's", the restaurant that we ate at, will be remembered for a long time, not for being a great place either. The special was liver and onions with soup or salad but they were out of soup. The sides were to be mashed potatoes and carrots. Tom asked if a baked potato could be subsituted for the mashed potatoes and the waitress went into a spiel about how the mashed potatoes were made, after the question was repeated the answer was yes. When our food arrived there was no carrots on the plate but corn was there. The baked potatoes were served after we had eaten most of our meal. Joann had ordered hamburg steak but the waitress wrote down ham steak instead so ham steak had been fixed and the waitress said that it really looked good. Needless to say I don't believe we will be returning to that establishment again. It will make a memory, though.
The weather here is sunny, windy and cooler but promises to be warmer tomorrow.
Traveling about the major roads in this state, signs are posted about "Photo Enforcement". After passing these signs often a vehicle will be parked on the shoulder of the road with cameras that take photos of speeders. There are other occasions the cameras will be on posts along side the roads. So speeding in this state is not a good idea.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wickenburg Revisited

We went into Wickenburg again today since this is our last day here. Tom wanted to stop at a mining store just to see the equipment and supplies that are being sold for this hobbie. It is not an inexpensive hobby that is for sure. I wanted to stop at a quilt shop and was really impressed with the choices of fabrics. Although I did not buy anything I did get a website for this shop that I may at some later date order something.
After eating lunch at a Mexican restaurant we went to the "Desert Caballeros Western Museum" which is considered to be Arizona's most western museum. A tour had just started when we got there so we followed the tour through the museum. The gentleman giving the tour was informative and interesting. We had been to this museum 3 years ago but there was not any tours being done at the time we were in the museum.
We are to be in Sierra Vista tomorrow. Todd sent our mail to us 2 days ago and it should have been here today. Well it didn't get here. Trying to track our mail Fed Ex can't seem to locate it. What a dilemma! Todd is working from his end to get the package to us in Sierra Vista. Of course the excuse for the delay is the weather situation in the east with the snow storms.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Lake Pleasant

We started this morning off by going to Denny's for breakfast. Denny's was giving breakfast of their Grand Slam entree to customers for free. We had a short wait to get a table but then the wait for our food was longer but they kept our coffee cups filled. Afterwards we stopped at the grocery store to pick up some salads to take on a picnic today. When we returned to the campground I fried some chicken and along with the salads had a picnic ready to go.
We drove south toward Phoenix to Lake Pleasant. This was indeed a beautiful area. The lake was made for Arizona Canal Project for irrigation.
From 2010-02-10
From 2010-02-10
It is surrounded by hills covered with Saquaro and other cacti,no housing developements or cabins. There are several campgrounds with water and electric hook-ups and numerous picnicing areas. We stopped at the visitor's center.
From 2010-02-10
After riding around we stopped at a picnic area overlooking the lake and ate lunch.
From 2010-02-10
After lunch we noticed a trail leading off from the parking lot that we thought we along with Travis could handle. The trail went along the top of a hill and then descended to a bridge that crossed an area that the lake backed up into.
From 2010-02-10
We decided that was far enough and turned around. There was evidence along the trail of burros being in this area but we didn't see any.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Free Music and a Starlit Night

Sunday afternoon we went into Wickenburg for lunch at the Cowboy Cafe. Fried chicken was good, the waitress had a lot to be desired. But at least I didn't have to cook. An art show was happening in town so we stopped by there. It is always interesting to see the art in different parts of the country. As we started to leave town I caught sight of some musicians in an ice cream store. Imagine that- something in an ice cream store caught my eye. We stopped and got some ice cream and sat for a while listening to the music before going back to the campground. An enjoyable afternoon.
Tom took Travis out before going to bed and came back in the MH saying the skies were clear and I needed to come out to see all the stars. The sky was just full of stars. With the density of population along the east coast star-filled skies are just not visible anymore in that part of the country. Seeing skies like this reminds me of being that farm kid and the night skies at that time.
Today has been spent at the campground. A light in the motorhome stopped working last week and Tom had ordered a new one. We expected that to arrive today and hoped that our mail that Todd sent out last week would arrive. The light did but not the mail. Tom replaced the light but not before going to the hardware store.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Rainy day

Yesterday (Saturday) morning the skies were gray. In the afternoon we went to the grocery store and it began to rain and it rained all evening and during the night. This morning there are lots of clouds but the sun has been able to break through at times and the patches of blue sky have gotten increasingly larger.
Gold fever seems to be everywhere in this campground. It has been amazing to me at the number of folks that are into gold prospecting. It is hard work. They go wherever to dig up the sandy dirt, put it in 5 gallon buckets and then carry it to their vehicles, often up hills, and then bring it back to the campground. Then when they return to the campground they work with washing and panning to find small pieces of gold. In addition to the gold there is a black sand that as a by product has some value to it. The black sand is very heavy and contains other valuable metals that can be melted out.
There is a WiFi antenna on a building here at the campground that a woodpecker has taken a liking for. Most every morning it is common to hear and see this bird pecking away on the antenna. Don't know how many years it will take him to make a hole in that piece of metal.

Friday, February 05, 2010


Today we went down to Scottsdale to visit friends, Margaret and Don Phillips. Margaret and Don live part time in Scottsdale and then Maryland. Meeting at their home we toured around the city. We had lunch at "Olive and Ivy". Outside the restaurant there was a nice statue of pony express riders passing the mail bag between the two riders.
From 2010-02-06
We then drove to the old town area and walked in some of the shops. It was indeed a very nice day being with friends and catching up on our lives with one another.
From 2010-02-06
Upon return we followed our GPS which was to have been the shortest route. It may have been distance-wise shorter but we had traffic signal upon traffic signal which made for a longer trip. But we saw a different area and found a Trader Joe's and stopped there for a few items. Upon returning to the motorhome we were happily greeted by our little buddy, Travis, and then we treated him to a nice walk in the campground.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Forty-three Years

Today is our 43rd wedding anniversary. My how time flies when we're having fun! And the majority of our time together has been fun. We have a wonderful family. A son, Todd, and his dear wife, Beth, have given us 3 grandchildren- Anthony, Madeline and Parker. Life is good.
We started out the day going out to breakfast at Denny's in Wickenburg. We returned to the motorhome to take our morning walk with Travis and do our Wii workouts. Late afternoon we drove up to the Joshua Tree Forest Parkway and the took a different and longer route into Wickenburg for dinner at Anita's Cocina. The food was good but the Margarita's had something missing- like Tequilla. Still cannot find Margarita's to compare with the ones at La Paz Restaurant in Frederick, Maryland.
After getting back to the campground this evening we took our evening walk with Travis through the dog walk area. We heard some folks yelling to us about a coyote. We spotted the coyote and he trotted across in front of us. He was in no hurry, perhaps, he thought about our little Travis for dinner. He did keep moving across the field away from us.
I find the Saquaro cactus to be quite interesting. I don't think that there are any 2 alike once they begin to grow "arms". Where they grow is another thing- hills, which looks like mounds of earth in the middle of the desert, will have these cacti growing on one side and the opposite side will not have any. As you travel west from Texas and New Mexico it is not until you are in Arizona that Saquaro cactus are seen. And I'm still amazed at the size of them, it's not hard to believe that these cacti could kill someone if they fell on them.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


Today we down to Wickenburg, about 6 miles south of the campground. After going to the visitor's center we did the walking tour of Wickenburg. Since we were here 3 years ago some statutes have been placed throughout the town depicting life back in the early years of Wickenburg. One interesting area is the jail tree. During the late 1800's the town did not have a jail so anyone in need of being jailed was chained to a mesquite tree in the center of town. As we walked the tour we also stopped at the shops along the way. Wickenburg still has the air of being a cowboy town.
The Hassayampa River that runs along the town appears to be just a dry riverbed but we are told that the river actually runs underground. In times of heavy rains the water will surface and flooding does occur. When we were here 3 years ago we witnessed the flooding and was surprised that the riverbed was dry this year.
It was a beautiful day today- sunny and temperatures in the low 70's in Wickenburg. Upon returning to the campground it became windy and cool but after the sunset the winds died out.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


Since we did not make it to Yarnell yesterday we decided we would go there today. We also decided to take the main road and not some dirt road as we tried yesterday. Yarnell is about 9 miles north of Congress but those miles go across a mountain. The little shops were all closed today, it seems that they are only open on weekends or Wednesday through the weekend. We found a restaurant that was open, "Rumor Grille", and decided to eat lunch there.
From 2010-02-02
From the outside, it didn't look like anything out of the ordinary, a xerox sign on the door stated it was fine dining. Once inside we were pleasantly surprised that it looked like a really nice restaurant with table cloths even.
From 2010-02-02
The menu had a nice variety of burgers, soups, salads as well as dinners. We elected to eat lunch foods- Tom had a California burger with avocado, red onion and Swiss cheese served with potato salad, I had the Chef's omelet which today's omelet was a avocado, red onion and Swiss cheese omelet served with a Caesar salad. Tom also had a piece of pecan pie. All the food was very good and portions were more than adequate. We were told that the chef makes the salads (potato and others) and the soups daily.
While eating in this restaurant there was a group of 7 young men (3 Asian-that spoke very little English- and 4 Caucasions-one that did some interpreting) dining there also. We all left the restaurant about the same time. We noticed 2 vehicles parked along the street that had clothe covers covering the entire vehicle which this group of men went to and removed the covers. The vehicles that were uncovered were both different but both had their hoods covered with some kind of material and the bodies were white with black stripes. There were 2 other normal looking vehicles that this group had also. As they drove off we were perplexed as to what the story was with this group and their vehicles. Later in the day we met up with a trio of bicyclists. Thinking that they may be local folks I asked them if they knew what those vehicles were. They also had seen the vehicles but didn't know what the story was but as we talked one speculated that they may have been prototype vehicles disquised as to not give away any secrets of new vehicle developement. Sounds reasonable.
From 2010-02-02

We drove about the town and found at the end of one street the Shrine of Saint Joseph. This Shrine was in a rocky hillside. The 14 stations of the cross were placed within the rocks of the hillside. It was a fairly steep climb up the rustic stone steps that went to the top and then down. It was a pretty area with statues of Christ incorporated in the rocks.
From 2010-02-02
We drove a little further to Peeples Valley. In this valley there were several large ranches with beef cattle or horses.
On the return drive we stopped at a viewing pull-off as we descended the mountain. We had passed a large dairy farm yesterday that we could now see just how big it was. We also could see the many dirt roads that were in the desert area below.
From 2010-02-02
As we were passing through Congress we stopped to take a picture of "Frog Rock" a large rock that has been painted like a frog. There is a restaurant nearby called the "Frog Rock Cafe".
From 2010-02-02
The weather was nice today but tonight rain is expected to start and the next 2 days are to be rainy.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Congress and Stanton

After picking up some groceries in Wickenburg we drove around the area. We went toward the north from the campground to the town of Congress. We stopped at a "Trading Post" which turned out to be an antique/junk store. The residences in Congress were mainly house trailers. There was an area of new construction of nice looking homes. The town has little in the way of stores.
From 2010-02-02
A little further to the north off on a dirt road we drove to the ghost town of Stanton. There is gold in this area so many prospectors are in this area doing their thing. The town has been made into a campground and it appeared to be full.
From 2010-02-02
We drove on further toward the town of Yarnell but when we came to a creek running across the road and the river bed had some sizable rocks we turned around. We came across another road that pointed to Yarnell. We attempted that road until the rocks seem to be growing in size and at that point we turned around going out past Stanton the way we had come from. As we were driving around this area we were close to the mountains we had seen in the distance. These mountains are like huge piles of large boulders with saquaro cactus growing between the rocks.
From 2010-02-02