Saturday, October 31, 2009

Grand Canyon

Happy Halloween!

Yesterday we took the Grand Canyon Railroad train ride from Williams, AZ to the Grand Canyon Village. The train ride is about 2 hours (each way) then we had 3 hours to wander around the South Rim area. It was a fun outing and so beautiful. We’ve been to the Grand Canyon before but it’s been years ago and the Canyon is just so impressive I could visit it numerous times and enjoy it. It was chilly up there, it only got up into the low 50’s, but for walking around it wasn’t bad. Our friends Ron & Marilyn are up here camping for a few days so they dog-sat Cheye for us. Sounds like she had a fun day too, we were told that Cheye loves hot dogs and tortilla chips… :o)

Speaking of chilly, it’s been rather cool here in Cottonwood also. We had been enjoying the low 70’s when suddenly last Monday the temperature started dropping. Wednesday it didn’t make it out of the 40’s, we even had a few little tiny snowflakes on Thursday. Now we are gradually warming up and should be back to 70’s (and possibly 80’s) this week. Yea!!!

Below: Dave and I at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon
Video: Slide show of the Grand Canyon Railroad and Grand Canyon - I'll also do a video in the next day or two.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Montezuma's Well

On Wednesday we decided to visit Montezuma’s Well National Monument which just a few miles up the road from Camp Verde, not far from Montezuma’s Castle. It’s an interesting site, a natural well that was used by the ancient Indians for water. They actually dug irrigation canals in the stone to use the water from Montezuma's well for their crops. Some of the canals are still there. It’s a free site and worth a visit.

Thursday we went into town and bought the new Windows 7. Dave installed it on his pc that same day and I did mine yesterday morning. It takes about 3 - 4 hours to install but what little I’ve looked at I like…starting with the fact that it freed up some Gigabytes on my hard drive. Always nice to have a little more storage on my pc with all the photos and videos I collect from our travels. One of these days I need to go through all of them and clean some out, or maybe just get another back-up drive! :o)

Top: One of the cliff dwellings by Montezuma's Well
Right: a little tiny lizard...can you see it?
Below & Video: Views from Montezuma's Well

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Stormy Weather

It started out as a beautiful day here in Cottonwood, AZ but after lunch the dark clouds started rolling in. We’ve heard some thunder, felt a few rain drops and had some gusty wind but it’s still in the high 60’s so it’s not too bad although it was in the 80‘s all weekend. I’m glad I did my long walk this morning!

We bought a bird feeder last week. Once last week and then again this morning we got up and found the feeder was completely empty … it had been half full when we went in for the evening. Obviously some critter is managing to get to it. Dave put the feeder out toward the end of a dead branch hoping it would be too fragile for anything to climb out on. We haven’t seen any squirrels, mostly we have seen skunks but I didn’t think skunks were tree climbers. Dave did see a raccoon last night, maybe it is the culprit. I don’t mind buying seed for the little birds but the critter that is eating the seed at night is pretty piggy about it. I guess we will have to take it down at night, put it in a storage bin and that critter will have to find it’s midnight snack elsewhere!

Top: our stormy looking sky today
Right: the new bird feeder
1. Cheye in our "yard" with the dark clouds. You can also see the bird feeder hanging on the dead branch- the left side of the photo.
2. & 3. Photos Dave took while out hiking in the hills. The first one is a bird on a wire fence the second is a cactus growing out of a white rock.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Some Red Rock

Today we decided to take a trip to Sedona and see some of the amazing red rock. It is about 30 miles away, so an easy day trip. We left around 8:30 and stopped at some of the view sights along the way, that red rock is just gorgeous! Unfortunately they are doing a LOT of road construction along Hwy 179 so the traffic was really backed up. Since we spent so much time just waiting in traffic we didn’t do much looking around in Sedona, but we will go back and do some more exploring one of these days. :o)

Photos & Video:
Taken today in the Sedona, AZ area

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Verde River

Our stay at Thousand Trails Verde Valley continues to be very enjoyable. Today we decided to find the Verde River that flows by the campground. It isn’t visible from where we are parked but you can hear it splashing by. To get to the river you have to go out of the campground through a walk-through gate and then do a little walking though some weeds, over rocks and past the trees. Not far and it was nice to finally see the river.

The days are certainly getting shorter. In the evening we enjoy sitting outside but we have started using our fire-pit as it is getting noticeably cooler too. The park remains busy and we have met a number of really nice people that are passing through on their way south.

Top: Cattails along the Verde River
Right: An interesting bug by the Verde River
1. Verde River
2. Yesterday's sunset
3. Verde River
Video: Dave caught a little video of the hot air balloon that often goes over the park and there is some video of the Verde River.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Montezuma’s Castle

We decided to take a short drive to Montezuma’s Castle National Monument today. The “castle” was built by the Sinagua people. You can see where there were a number of dwellings at one time. They haven’t allowed access to the cliff dwellings since 1951, but the one remaining structure is 5 stories high and has 20 rooms…at least that is what I read somewhere. :o) I’m glad we went, it was an interesting place.

The weather has been a bit blustery this last week. The temperatures have been fine, 70’s - 80’s but the wind has been a factor. However, I’m not going to complain too much….we come from a rather windy area in Eastern Washington. As a matter of fact to the right is a satellite photo of a dust storm that hit our old stomping grounds last Sunday. (here is where I got the photo) I’m glad we weren’t there for that one!

Besides our trip to Montezuma’s Castle we have done our usual walking, computing, reading and such. We also made a trip down to Peoria to have lunch with our friends Ron & Marilyn on Sunday which was very fun. There have been lots of RV’s coming and going throughout the week. Now that it is mostly snowbirds on the road weekdays are as busy as weekends here at Verde Valley. It’s been a great week.

Top: A balloon going over the campground...looks like it's heading to the moon!
Right: a Satellite image of a dust storm over eastern Washington State
1,2 & 3: views of Montezuma's Castle
4: remnants of cliff dwellings

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Lovin’ Arizona

We’ve pretty much got our leased site set up, well at least for now. A lot of discussion went on, debating if we wanted to add a little deck, some pavers or something like that. For now our thought is to keep it simple so we got a new mat, some portable fencing for Cheye and a small sunscreen to add to our awning to help shade us in the morning sun. Oh, I also got four solar lights for our “patio” too.

Last Friday we went out to La Fonda Mexican restaurant… YUM! It is a place we ate at last time we were in Cottonwood and it is still just as good. Another place we visited again was a used book store in Camp Verde, they have an excellent selection, plus you can turn in your old books for credit. Yesterday Cheye had an appointment at the groomers so while they were clipping and shampooing her we drove up to Flagstaff and went to Camping World. On our way back from Flagstaff we stopped at the Cliff Castle Casino (just up Hwy 17 from Camp Verde) and ate at Johnny Rocket’s.

Besides our running around we have been enjoying our neighbors. Wes & Shirl from Tennesse, Ed and Barbara from North Carolina. Really fun people, full of stories from their travels.

Having a great time here at Thousand Trails Verde Valley….

Top left: Cheye after being groomed
Right: View on the way back from Flagstaff
Bottom left: A skunk runs down the road while Ed & Barb and Dave & I were out visiting one evening
Below : Views of our site
Video: More views of our site