Hello all, sorry for the lack of posting, we have been all over the place and just got behind on our duties. We left the Phoenix area and headed north about 100 miles to a place called Camp Verde. A small little town on Hwy. 17, that is not visible from said highway, but has a really nice park, the Distant Drums RV Park, right across the street from their casino. We picked this area as it was close to the Grand Canyon, and we did not want to take the MoHo up there with the cold temps at night below 25 degrees! We arrived on a Friday, nice weather and we got set up for our stay – anticipating about 12 days here.
Saturday we headed into Sedona, only about 30 minutes away. If you have not been there, get there! This place is truly amazing, the colors are difficult to capture with a camera, and the landscaping is spectacular. We went through town to try a hike 30 minutes north in the Oak Creek Canyon, but the parking area was packed and there was no way to get in. We returned to town, drove around a bit and found a nice place for a late lunch/early dinner. A Mexican restaurant, I had to see the Tequila list. There it was…a sampling of 4 Don Julio Tequila’s, Blanco, Reposado, Anejo, and the one I have wanted to try, 1942. The wait was well worth it, the 1942 was so smooth and buttery, I was really surprised how much different it was, so glad I did the tasting. We took a few more photos and headed home for the night.
Sunday we packed up for two days for the Grand Canyon. We thought it was about 2 hrs drive up, so we would do the Canyon, come down about 30 minutes, grab some cheap motel and return the next day. We got to the park about 10:30AM and stopped in the visitor center to determine what would be a good hike for the day. We decided on one that required a shuttle drive out and back. So we geared up and headed to the site. (So far we had not seen the Canyon.) Along the way, we finally got some peaks into the Grand Canyon, and it is massive! We got to the drop off site, and immediately headed down, down, down. The hike we chose was about 1,000-foot drop and return back up. It was steep and steady, and we were dreading the return up almost as soon as we hit the trail. After about 45 minutes of going down, we came to an overlook that was truly breathtaking – Ooh Aah Point. We stopped here for pictures and just sat on the edge for about 20 minutes. (We could hear some equipment working below, so we decided this was a great spot to just return to the rim.) Heading back up, we had many stops to catch our breath, but so worth the hike. We returned to the shuttle stop and missed our bus, so we hiked across the rim to the next one about a mile away. So peaceful, as there were not a lot of people here at this time of year, we felt like we had the rim trail to ourselves. We got on the next shuttle, and headed to the west end of the park area. Here we again walked a mile or so across the rim, stopping at several lookouts and to take pictures. One spot had a naturalist with a couple high-powered scopes, focusing on a California Condor nest in the canyon wall. We never saw the babies, but there were some in the nest. Further along, I thought we could see one off in the distance, and now knowing that their wingspan is over 10 feet, I am sure of it. It was just so far off that we could barely get a picture with the telephoto lens, but it was a huge bird nonetheless. We returned to the visitors area and decided we had seen everything we needed to so we abandoned our plan for a motel and headed back the two hours to home. (The next day was forecast for high winds and cooler temps, and we did not really have a lot of clothes to combat those conditions.)
Monday turned out as forecasted, high winds and cool, so we were glad we chose to go back to the MoHo. We decided to explore the Camp Verde area, and headed to Montezuma’s Castle, a Native American cliff ruin just across the highway from us. (Thanks Charlotte for the recommendation.) This is one of those places you only see on Nat Geo, mud walls and old timbers holding onto a wall, and some 700 years old. It baffles me how they could find a location and then have the engineering skills to pull it off and make it habitable, but also so long lasting, truly skilled beyond their time. We then headed into Camp Verde town and did a few errands, including paying the NAPA auto guy $12 cash to replace an overly corroded battery terminal on the MDX. What a bargain – this would never happen in a big city! Home that night for dinner and relaxing.
Tuesday we headed to Cottonwood, about 30 minutes NE. As we entered town, it had all the stuff of a small city, the big box stores, grocery’s, etc. When we got to the west side and old town, it had a small little quaint street and all antique shops and tourist stuff. We walked the street and checked out all the neat stuff; one place had 2 acres of antiques. We came back late that afternoon and headed over to the casino across the way. A small place, quiet and clean, but not a lot going on so we headed back home to the MoHo soon thereafter and chilled.
Wednesday the weather got better, so we headed back to Sedona. Our first stop was the church on the hill, Chapel of the Holy Cross. Somehow the engineers of the church were able to carve a building right into the hillside, how I do not know. It overlooks the area with a very beautiful view all around, a neat place that is open to the public and very worth the stop. Next, we had wanted to walk the Tlaquepaque market area. We parked in the square and wandered the shops and galleries. I could have dropped some serious cash here, some of these artists are very talented and their prices reflected it. (My mom would have needed a trailer to haul her purchases home if she had ever had a chance to go there.) After a couple of hours here, we ended up at the local brewery, what a shocker! Dinner and a beverage and we headed back to the MoHo.
Thursday we just relaxed, did nothing. We both packed for the weekend and just felt good to not be on the run. Friday I took Traci to the Phoenix airport for a flight home to Seattle. There was a service for her Uncle Hal who had passed away two weeks prior, and it was important for her to be there. I stayed in Phoenix at our friends the Clines for the weekend. I spent a lot of time fishing on their private lake in their neighborhood. Saturday I went golfing with my former employer Bob and his close friend Gordy. We had a great time, better conversations, and finished the night back at Gordy’s for a few laughs and beverages. Sunday I fished, and watched the Seahawks almost choke again, only to pull it out in OT. (I had two great meals at local wing joint, Hurricane Grill and Wings!) Monday I headed back to the airport to pick up Traci from her weekend at home, and we headed back to Camp Verde where we left the MoHo for the weekend. We returned to the MoHo, and our power was out, again. We had been dealing with it failing a few times the last 10 days or so and were not sure if it was the local box here at the park, or our MoHo. Monday night, we lost power completely, and I could not get it reset. It turns out our plug connector was loose inside, and completely melted the inside of the plug! Glad it was only that, it could have been much worse, affecting much of our electronics. The local ‘RV Medic’ came out and repaired it for us. Tuesday we head out towards Lake Mead, and then on to Vegas for the weekend for our friend Shelly’s bday celebration!