After a wonderful week in the Phoenix area visiting with family, including a mini family reunion and several trips to Backyard Tacos, we headed to Zane Grey RV Park in Camp Verde as a base for exploring the surrounding area.
The Verde Valley
Zane Grey RV Park is meticulously maintained and the hosts were very friendly.
The Cottonwood trees were shedding their seeds in the warm breeze in such volume that it looked like it was snowing.
Even the ground appeared dusted in snow.
The Verde Valley is a great base camp, because it is cooler than the desert valley around Phoenix, but warmer than the higher country around Flagstaff.
We were glad they had great cappuccinos at the local coffee shop, Thanks a Latte, while we planned our destinations for the week.
A short walk through the park helps you appreciate the engineering capabilities of the inhabitants. For some unknown reason, they left this area about 800 years ago, yet their buildings still remain standing to this day,
A dioarama along the path shows how they may have lived in this structure.
A few miles further is another settlement at Montezuma’s Well.
The well is spring fed and serves as a kind of oasis.
In a cave by the water, some visitors left their graffiti over a hundred years ago.
The well stays at the same level because water escapes through a crack in the wall, which the Indians used to feed a canal they carved to water their crops.
The area was also full of wildflowers in bloom. We captured a few in photos below.
We also took a couple day trips to Sedona. The anticipation builds on the drive as you see the red mountains in the distance gaining stature as you move closer. At each turn, the landscape seems more beautiful than the last.
Our first stop was Red Rock State Park.
From the trails of Red Rock you are treated to beautiful vistas. A few weeks before our visit, the rains flooded the stream running through the park and a few of the trails and bridges were closed.
However, we still thought this was a fantastic first taste of Sedona.
In this photo I love the layers of mountains you can see in the distance,
Even our lunch spot at The Hudson had a view!
Our next stop was at the Chapel of the Holy Cross, a beautiful place to quietly appreciate the area.
It was Good Friday and it was really crowded.
The views from the chapel grounds are just as beautiful.
Early the next morning we decided to enjoy a hike around Bell Rock.
Our hike took us between the two mountains. Even though we were still close to civilization, we really felt away from everything as we hiked between these two stone walls.
After we found the car again, we headed to lunch in town and enjoyed another wonderful view.
We then walked through the more touristy area. You see these javalina (which are not pigs) statues everywhere.
The Pink Jeeps are everywhere, too.
Shopping was good, with the creations of local artists in many of the stores, especially at Tlaquepaque.
Son-Silver-West Galleries is a unique place worth a stop on the way out of town. It has anything and everything you can imagine.
We were surprised and inspired by the beauty of Sedona, and were glad we chose to spend a week in the area. Too soon, however, it was time to move on to the Grand Canyon. We’ll share our adventure there in our next post.
Al & Deb