A few weeks back Terri, Mitzi and Mae Mae started a journey from Maine to Arizona taking the Southern route and making several stops. We enjoyed their adventures, laughed at their mishaps and took note of their RV Parks reviews. Some may wonder what happened? Did they finish their journey? Did they take another wrong turn and ended up in Mexico? Well somehow the e-mail with the journal got trapped in the blizzard we had a couple of weeks ago and had to be shoveled from under the snow. But we continue as Terri begins her story …..
Rockhound State Park is likely to be one of my favorite stops on this tour and I was sad to say goo
dbye to the wonderful campsite hosts and beautiful shower facilities. The next stop for a full ten days was Dead Horse, another State Park in Cottonwood Arizona. It was a good travel day for us, sunny and breezy. After a day of relaxing and acclimating to another new environment we set out for an old ghost town high in the hills called Jerome. We drove through the tiny towns of Clarkdale and Old Cottonwood on our way through windy roads that made us glad we had Elliott rather than Scout, our camper.
Jerome was artsy, warm and very quaint. It’s called a ghost town because of its deep history in Copper mining that went bust in the late 1930’s. The story goes that some free spirited “hippies” moved in during the mid sixties and brought it back from the dead. There is still a lot of history to explore because parts of the old brothel and hotel that still remain near the town center. We ate on the overlook at the Haunted Burger and were told we had seats with the 100 mile view. We stopped at the Clarkdale Copper and Art Museum and walked away with a true appreciation of the people of the community. The curator told us that although over a billion tons of copper has been mined from there, none has remained in Clarkdale. It’s been exported world wide to adorn places like the highest dormer of the Carnegie home in NYC. On Sunday we watched the Super Bowl in an local tavern in Old Cottonwood that stretches for a full three blocks from end to end.
There was a lot to see in this area including, Sedona, Slide Rock, Oak Creek Canyon and Red Rock. Sedona can only be described as one of the most spiritual places you’ll visit in these parts. Serene and peaceful. We stopped at Cathedral Rock after visiting the the exquisite natural rock formations. There are no words for the natural beauty we saw, hopefully a few pictures here will help. Simply stunning! On the way back Mitzi decided to take a road off the mountain path that was clearly marked Dead End.!I t was windy, rocky and straight down nearly all the way. It was a fun exploration and obviously we survived and lived to tell the tale of what not to do when in strange lands.
On February 8th we headed out for an overnight at the Grand Canyon. With the kindness of yet another wonderful campsite host we were able to leave knowing little MaeMae was in good hands. Connie, our hostess, offered to come in to feed and cuddle with her on the evening that we left and the next morning before we got back. Whoa, another series of chilling, windy roads that made me pretty car sick for most of the morning. The trip to the Canyon was another awe inspiring event. Each view was more incredible than the one before. As we walked, drove and just sat to take in the sunsets, snow covered crests and deep canyon walls along the Colorado River, we continued to be amazed.
On February 11th we moved on to Alamo Lake Arizona. Well, once we hit the park road, we discovered we were entering onto a 38 mile trek into the mountains that can only be described as remote redefined. Although it was magnificent, it was the land of far, far, away. We were not without company though. Each night we were serenaded by “wild burros” that at first scared the junk out of us. While enjoying a beautiful campfire on our second night…..we heard the loudest “hee haw” known to man. Without a word we both got up and bolted for the camper with no regard for the safety of the other. On pure instinct, I scooted ahead of Mitzi and heaven forbid if it was a ferocious person eating creature, she would be toast. We later learned that they are the sweetest, most docile creatures in the mountains and soon made themselves seen to us during the daytime.
We moved from Alamo a few days early because of the remote, albeit gorgeous mountains on toward the big lights and engaging draw of Las Vegas. Now everyone knows that what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, so we will simply state that we were there and had a great time. On our way out of town after a two night stay, we drove to the Hoover Dam to stand before one of the most amazing accomplishments of men after the Great Depression. It was fun to stand on either side of the Dam and be in Arizona or New Mexico time zones. We slipped slightly through California on this leg of our journey which made us realize that we had actually crossed the country.
Back to Arizona for a final few days at Lost Dutchman State Park. One more lovely park, rich in history and natural architecture. A dear friend of mine joined us for a week and it was great to hike and bike the trails with Jeanne. We did a steep 51/2 mile trek on the first day and 41/2 miles another. Felt great to get up into the mountains with my old friend for a new experience. Unfortunately as the week wound down, a severe cold or flu flared up for me. We left on the 26th both feeling pretty bad. We made it as far as Willcox Arizona when we came face to face with our first dust storm. The highway was closed for 28 miles after the winds and dust turned a tractor trailer into scrap metal on the roadway. We chatted with other RVers and truck drivers as we waited to move on. We came into a few other smaller scale Dust Storms as we traveled and they really were quite something to see.
We decided to take I-20 on our way home for a different viewpoint and new sights. So far it’s been worth it.
To Be Continued