"Of all the paths you take in life make sure a few of them are dirt" US Forest Sevice

Showing posts with label Oak Creek. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Oak Creek. Show all posts

Saturday, March 31, 2018

We're baaaack...

On the road again!

The temperatures were rising to the 90s, making it a good time to make our exit from Mesa, AZ. We were finally able to find a campground on short notice with so many snowbirds leaving the area. We found one in Camp Verde for 3 nights. Finishing our jobs a few days before we had planned was fine with our bosses.  Besides, it was my birthday week, or as I call it, a holiday!

We said our good byes and could not forget Oliver. He is one cool dog that rules the roost next door.

Mike had ordered a small black forest cake for my big 60 day. The bakery made a large, which gave us more than enough to share with friends.
Birthdays often make me reflective, making me look back at this life. I am so thankful for every birthday I get to have.  Our lives are made up of the choices we make both good and bad. I feel lucky those choices brought me here and that we are strong and healthy. Too many people we have known didn't get this many.

 Tyler and Kyle had time for a visit and bocce ball during their visit for Spring Training. It is  a joy to spend time with them. They are growing up so much.
While in Mesa, we  had been riding our bikes on mostly flats with some hills this winter. We sure felt it on the hills when we arrived in Oak Creek. It was so good to be back out enjoying some new scenery.

I wasn't sure if I was feeling the Chapel Vortex or just the hill that we had just climbed.

It had been a long time since we had last visited Montezuma's Castle. We stopped on our way back from a hike and geocaching.
Montezuma Castle National Monument protects a set of well-preserved dwellings located in Camp Verde, Arizona from between approximately 1100 and 1425 AD. 

 The sycamore trees are so interesting with their varied color of bark.

Montezuma's Well
The constant supply of warm, 74 degree water was the life-blood of the people who made their home here. Over 1.5 million gallons of water flows into the Well every day, a rate that has not fluctuated measurably despite recent droughts throughout the state of Arizona.
It is good to be on the road and we have some great plans ahead for this spring and summer. Just slower this year than last.

Until next year friend!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Oak Creek Valley

Up in the valley

Not ready to return to the heat of the city, we were able to book some days at the Cave Springs a USFS campground north of Sedona along Oak Creek for the week. Sedona is a
beautiful but congested area even during the week.  Once through town, the traffic really did not improve as the road narrowed and became more winding.
Of course, a picture of Bell Rock is required as we enter the canyon from the south. The north route has hairpin turns and steep ledges from the south is the way to go for us.

View from our campsite
 The temperatures were 10 degrees cooler in the canyon. Sedona was also experiencing higher than normal temps. The leaves were at their peak fall colors. Nothing to compare to New England but very nice for Arizona. It was good to hear the crunch of the fallen leaves as we walked along the cliffs.

  West Oak Creek Trail is said to be one of the most visited trails in Arizona. As we drove by the trailhead, the parking lot was full and cars were parked along both sides of the road for 1/4 of a mile. The gate opens at 8am and the cost is $10 a car. The next morning we happened to be up early and decided check out the trail. A camp host had mentioned that there were three parking spots outside of the gate that allowed access before the gates opened. We arrived at 7:15, got the third parking spot and paid our $10 to hike.

Approximately 11 miles from Uptown, the West Fork Trail parking lot is on the left. There’s a Call of the Canyon sign post evoking memories of Zane Grey’s famous western of the same name and the time of a different era. Grey is said to have written the novel in one of the historic cabins that eventually evolved into the Mayhew Oak Creek Lodge and the 1923 movie was filmed here.

 The  fall leaves were past peak but still quite nice. The trail is an 6 mile round trip of rolling hills along the creek. The temps were in the low 50s as we started out with only an occasional person on the trail. As we were returning, the closer to the end we got, the more people we came across. On our return, we met a very nice couple from North Carolina that walked with us and had a nice to visit that made the miles pass quickly. Hi Jim and Susan!
The trail is three fairly flat miles one way with 13 creek crossings.

Most of the pictures were taken pointing up at the walls of the canyon.

Most of the pictures were taken pointing up at the walls of the canyon.

 I am not sure if we would hike this trail again with so many trails to choose but were glad to spend a morning in the canyon. It was good to sit in our recliners after the hike and read as the wind blew leaves from the trees. We would wake after dozing off and be covered with leaves. You have to admit, a good book and a nap after a hike is just a great day.

We were dry camping this week, using our solar panels, which are not very big, to keep our batteries charged. It worked great in Prescott since we had sunshine all day. In Oak Valley, the sun was not shining on our site until after 9 am and down by 4 pm in a very shaded spot also. We woke one morning to the sound of our furnace sounding funky and realized the batteries were dying. Using the truck for a charge, we managed to get the slide in. Mike used a ratchet to lift the hitch so we could load up and return to Mesa a day early. It would have been good to stay one more day. With temps in the 30s at night, our charge probably wouldn't make it until midnight. Yes, I am a wimp and like at least a few amenities like electricity and heat.

After a month in one place, it was good to get away for a week in some places we haven't visited before.  We are enjoying our friends and new acquaintances at Val Vista Resort and think it is a pretty good place to stay for a while.