Wheres Ray/Wendy yr 2

Friday, March 28, 2014

Tuzigoot to you?

Hi all,
Wednesday we decided to take a drive to tour a few areas. The  weather was to be windy and cool.
 We headed out for Tuzigoot National Monument. Tuzigoot ( Apache for crooked river) is a remains of a village built between 1000 and 1400. It was a total of 87 rooms with some two stories. Also of note were the very thick stone and mortar/mud walls with few doors, entry attained by ladder through the roof.
Next we moved up in time a little to the town of Jerome.
 Jerome was a mining boom town built on the side of a mountain. Jerome State Historic Park is located in a previous mansion built in 1916 by James Stuart Douglas. It featured a wine cellar, steam heat and central vac system well ahead of its time. There were also many mining displays and they show a very cool video of Jerome through the years.
 Jerome once a booming mining town of up to 2000 and then down to 200 in the 1950's. Is now home to 500, centered mostly around tourism. Through the years Jerome has dealt with buildings sliding down the mountain and catastrophic fires.  
 They now have a nice amount of eclectic stores staged in historic buildings. We browsed through many and had a good lunch at a bbq place.
 Thursday we planned to see more of the red rock and get in a little hiking. Picking out only a hike or two is a challenge here, there are just so many. We decided on a couple moderate hikes of about 2-1/2 mi. each.
 The Doe Mountain Trail took us to a mountain plateau that offered great 360 degree views. It was a bit of uphill gaining over 400 feet in elevation but well worth the effort.
The second hike was the Fay Canyon trail. This was a bit easier hiking through a canyon wash. Along both sides were great red monuments that after a while start to give you a sore neck.) The trail strangely just dead ends at a couple boulders. We saw a young family further up on a edge wall and thought we would crawl up for a better look. Wow were we glad as not only about 50 feet up and you had a great view back.
We moved Friday to Williams about 60 miles south of the Grand Canyon. We are at the Grand Canyon Railway RV Park. Part of a hotel property it is a pretty fancy blacktop parking with full hook ups and cable. We also get use of the hotel pool and hot tub.)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

On to Sedona

Hi all,
 The past weekend was a bit slow, as we just hung around the campground and got ready for our move.
 Annually they hold a wood carving gathering in the park and quite a few rigs were pulling in for it. I even signed up for a beginners class though I can only participate for one day.
 The old never to old to learn and sometimes needing something to keep me (from bugging) busy while Wendy does her cross-stitch and basket weaving. I have been reading and also do Sudoku but wanted something a little more active.
  Moving day was Monday, so off to Dead Horse Ranch State Park we went. It is located at Cottonwood AZ which is just a short drive from Sedona. We will spend four days touring the red rock area.
 The Dead Horse name was the name of a former ranch here. When the land was donated it was specified the name remain with the park.
 It is a pretty big park with 116 regular sites plus a group/equestrian area and 8 cabins. It has 3 stocked lagoons and some good hiking trails. It is also very busy with spring break, we could only get in the 4 weekdays but it should work out.
 Turns out one of the camp host here had hosted at Roper Lake for quite a few years. We had met them briefly when the visited Roper in January. We stopped and had a nice visit with them. Also another host next to them had worked up at Custer and knew many of the people we knew there. Sometimes you just can't believe how small our world is.
  I think I will let Wendy's pictures tell the story of Sedona and the red rocks. Please remember to click and enlarge, they look so much better.)
Chapel of the Holy Cross

Friday, March 21, 2014

From Congress to Wickieup

Hi everyone,
 Who says nothing gets done in Congress? We are enjoying our stay in Congress, AZ and are quite impressed with the area.
This is the seventh Escapee (SKP) park we have been to and the one thing we find is they are all different.
 This one has an area in the front for open camping and a huge subdivision in the rear (over 400 sites). The subdivision lots are a mix of RV sites to elaborate adobe homes. Close to the middle is a good size activity center.

  The people really take pride in their places with immaculate landscaping. It is a very nice place to walk and bicycle around.They also have a very well done cactus garden and some of the cactus are beginning to bloom.

  The park is located about 4 miles from Congress AZ which has a Post Office, a small grocery store and one gas station. Better shopping and dining is 12 miles south in Wickenburg, AZ. It also has some nice specialty shops and a cowboy museum.
 We took a drive the other day on the Joshua Tree Scenic Byway. It was about a 70 mile drive on Hwy 93 up to Wickieup, AZ.

 We were amazed yet again as not expecting to see these crazy looking trees in AZ. It was neat as they are intermixed with saguaros for part of the drive. The only bad part it is on a busy 65 mph highway and pull offs are few. You would think it a great place for a park somewhere.- I know there is a Joshua Tree National Park but it is in California.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Plans- Who Needs Em

 Hey again,
 Well we have done our famous change of plans again. We have extended here in Gila Bend for the third time. This time for two days. We had decided to not do Yuma so we just hung around here a few more days.
 The weather is hot, we have been putting on the sandals and sleeveless shirts and loving it. We will enjoy it while we can we will be heading north soon.
 We had a great change of plans the other day. Not much for stores here we were driving north to hit a Walmart in Buckeye about 35 miles. Turns out we were on a good timing schedule to drive another 20 miles and go to a Brewer spring training game.

 When we came to this area we thought we would do this but then pushed it out as we were not getting our schedule to jive with theirs.
 Getting in wasn't to bad and there was a good supply of tickets available. I was a little worried as they were playing the Arizona Diamondbacks. We chose to buy the grass seating($8.) which was cool. We forgot the blanket but the grass was pretty lush, we were comfortable for the most of 5 innings. We then waltzed around the park enjoying the views.
 It was a fun day and Brew Crew won 9-8. I can now cross it off my bucket list. ( Wendy was really a good sport for letting me do this, she is just not that big a fan.) I owe her one.
 The other day we had started to drive to see some petroglyphs about 22 miles away. At the exit 12 miles away we started to get a smell of burnt rubber-  not good. We pulled over on the exit ramp and looked for the trouble, I carry a temp gun and shot the brakes, axles and anything I could point to. I checked the tires, looked under the hood but just couldn't find anything. Bewildered and scared to go down some dirt road we slowly took a frontage road back. We never smelled anything after that and started to wonder if it was some other passing vehicle.
 Well we did go back to see the petroglyphs today. Painted Rock Petroglyphs is in a small outcropping of rocks that you can walk around with no climbing. It is listed on the national register of historic places. There are more than 800 drawings on basalt rock.

 There is also a primitive campground there.
 We also spied quite a few lizards amongst the rocks, didn't see the resident Gila monster but did see Chuck Walla a pretty decent size lizard with black heads and legs, red bodies, and yellow tails. Wendy was all mad as she forgot the zoom lens.
 So our plans are now-- oh just forget it, who needs plans;)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Another beautiful National Park- Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Hi all,
 Things are starting to heat up in Arizona. We have had temps in the 70's most days and nights only going down in the 50's.
 We already added a day to our stay here in Gila Bend. As I write this Wendy is looking at where to go next. We  have plans to be at The Grand Canyon on March 31st through April 4th. Last night we booked four nights at Deadhorse Ranch State Park this is near Sedona. The four nights ( 3/24-3/28) are mid week as weekends are pretty booked. Before that we have about a week and a half to fill with ?
 Wednesday we headed off to get Wendy another National Park stamp in her book. Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument was the place. As we are camped at Gila Bend on I-8 this was a 75 mile drive down just this side of the Mexican border. (click on pictures to make them larger)

  Some of the drive down was pretty flat with mountains in the far distance, you are actually driving through the Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range.
 Organ Pipe N.M. was established in 1937. It offers a couple of strenuous hiking trails and a nice campground but no hookups.
 As you get to the park you see many saguaro cactus and are almost there before spotting some organ pipe cactus.

 We arrived in the park and went right to the visitor center. It is an exceptional center with many nice interactive displays. We were discussing the junior ranger program with a volunteer and they said they had a desert ranger program for the not so junior. They give you a book to complete getting info from the center and other pamphlets. Well Wendy couldn't resist so off we went with book in hand focused on earning her desert ranger badge.)
 We finally got out on the 21 mile Ajo Mountain drive through the park. Mostly on dirt road it made a nice loop around the mountain. They also give you a booklet to follow numbered landmarks along the way.

 As you get in you see so many saguaros you wonder where is the organ pipes then they start to show and they're everywhere. You also see lots of ocotillos and chollas also.
The drive just kept getting more breathtaking the more we went along. The only downside was it was peak afternoon and the blazing sun would be washing out the pictures. This is definitely a place that we are thankful for digital cameras.