Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ok, here's the catch-up post

First, we've moved.

We are no longer in Tucson...

We are now in the Dead Horse Ranch Park in Cottonwood, roughly 100 miles north of Phoenix and about 90 miles south of Flagstaff. The park here is very nice. All RV- accessible roads are paved and the spaces are wide and fairly level. Hook-ups are water and electric only (no sewer) but there is a dump station near the entrance to the park. A river runs along the border of the park and there are two lagoons in the park itself. I'm told that catfish and trout can be caught in either of the two lagoons and the river, but I haven't had the opportunity to try that out just yet.

The trip up from Tucson was fairly uneventful. We ran into some traffic in Phoenix, as you might expect, and then again further up 17 as apparently a tractor trailer carrying cattle overturned on the other side of 17 backing up south-bound traffic for miles! We eventually arrived here at site #92 (a 55' deep back-in) happy and sound.

After getting parked, level and putting out the slides, I did my customary check of the rig, trailer, car, motorcycle, etc. Everything appeared to make the journey in good nick until I arrived at the drivers side tire on the trailer. The tire had thrown a section of tread about 12" long and 1" thick right down to the belts. I religiously check all the rubber moments before departure on any journey. I know that tire was up to pressure and in good shape before we pulled out of Justin's Diamond "J" in Tucson that morning. We were lucky, no blowout.

Saturday, I was able to find two new trailer tires at Big "O" tires in the center of Cottonwood. I popped the old wheels and tires off the trailer, threw them in the back of the Fit and had them mounted with new tires, balanced and back on the trailer by 10AM. Good as new!

With the chores complete, it was time to head off and explore our new surroundings. We first decided to drive about 20 miles down 89 and check out Sedona. Most folks have heard of Sedona and how beautiful the area is. Others may have heard of the spiritual connections or the cosmic vortexes to be found there. For me, the area is undeniably beautiful, but very touristy. Lots of shops to get everything from a palm reading to pink jeep tours. If you want knick-knacks and T's, downtown Sedona's got em! And they all come with a back-drop of some of the most beautiful red-rock formations to be found anywhere. It was Saturday when we went through, traffic was pretty heavy and there was no place to park at all so we just drove through for now. We'll try to stop back later in the week when less folks are out and about.

Drive a bit further up 89 and you enter the Oak Creek Canyon drive. Numerous pull-outs and day-use areas abound along the entire stretch of the Oak Creek Canyon drive's serpentine length. Stunning views of red-rock and white-stone cliffs are around every twist of the road. There are also a few unexpected surprises, like an apple orchard. The road culminates with a twisty several thousand foot climb straight up the canyon as 89 continues on to Flagstaff.

Slide Rock day-use area.

Apple orchard in Oak Creek Canyon.

Nancy and "the kids" in a meadow in Oak Creek Canyon.

Oak Creek Canyon as seen from the overlook at it's end.

Part of 89 climbing from the canyon floor.

We continued on 89 until we got a really quick look at Flagstaff, then turned around and high-tailed it for home since it was getting late and the dogs needed food.

Sunday morning I awoke to find the "Fantastic Fan" opening mechanism had quit in our galley. Ducky! Todays chore was now apparent! After some fidgeting, fumbling, climbing around on the roof, a couple knuckle diggers and maybe a choice word or two the fan was back in working order. By this point Nancy had rolled out of bed so we began discussing what to do today. A trip to Jerome and Prescott made the top of the discussion so we loaded up the dogs and we were on our way!

Jerome is much like Bisbee in that it was once a bustling mining town that has now turned toward tourism and the artsy side of things. At one time the mine found there was the largest and most productive copper mine in the US. The town itself is perched even more precariously on the side of the mountains than Bisbee. A fire swept the town in the 1800's and is the basis for the belief that much of the town is haunted today. The travel channels "Ghost Adventures" even did an episode at the Jerome Grand Hotel.

The Jerome Grand Hotel sits high above the town of Jerome.
89 leading too and from Jerome is a serpentine delight.
The view from one of the pull-outs just past Jerome on 89. Sorry for the haze, I forgot the polarizing filter.
Times Square, Jerome AZ. This is the Flat Iron building.

An old Indian "rat" with plenty of personal touches.
We continued to follow 89 out through Jerome as it wound it's way back down the mountain toward Prescott. Nancy and I both found Prescott to be a very quaint town with a lovely town square. We could just picture the mayor standing in the pergola announcing the winner of the blue ribbon for the best apple pie to the excited crowd.

And the winner of the Blue Ribbon is...
A picturesque portion of 89 near Prescott.
Town Square.

Lot's of folks were out in the town square walking their dogs, walking with their loved ones or just hanging out enjoying the beautiful day. The little shops and restaurants all around the town square were bright, cheery and inviting. Prescott definitely seems like a town we would like to spend some more time exploring.

Have a great day everybody!



  1. Can you imagine driving that Jerome road in a motor home. We had friends who did it because they hadn't checked anything about roads before they headed out. They survived but I'm not sure how. That really is a beautiful area through there. We had a great hamburger at the Mile High Club in Jerome.

  2. Thanks for the great post, loved the pictures! You have reminded me why I wish to return to those locations you mentioned.


  3. Nancy and I actually talked about what it would be like driving the rig up through there. At a few points it simply wouldn't be possible if there were any traffic coming the opposite direction. It must have been nerve racking as heck for your friends getting through those tiny streets.

    Thanks John, it's fun here how much you can change your environment by just driving a few miles and a few thousand feet in elevation.

  4. Great pictures - we loved Jerome when we were there in our old Airstream. There's a really great pizza place in Sedona, I could figure out what it was if you're interested.

    Following your blog until (and I'm sure after) we get our new Airstream in September.