Life's Journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, totally worn out, shouting "Wow...What a Ride!"

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

March-A Busy Second Half

It's been a month since my last posting and boy have we been busy. Computer issues, a few camping trips, many tourist things and of course volunteering has made the time fly by. With my computer issues I've lost Picasa...not a happy camper, time to purchase my own software so we're not dependent on an someone else.

 When I last blogged we were about to go camping in Cottonwood AZ for a long weekend.Our friends Janell and Mark invited us to join them and some of their friends at Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Cottonwood AZ. Cottonwood AZ was settled in the late 1800's along the Verde River, with a population of approx 11,000 it's a wonderful small city with all the conveniences you need. With mild winters and maybe 4" of snow a year I can see where it's popularity has come from. With Sedona to the north, Jerome and Prescott to it's south you have access to a wide variety of activities. Definitely a place I'd like to go back and spend more time exploring. We were there during spring break which meant that many places we wanted to visit were too crowded for our taste.

We were in site 24, so as to be near our friends, which was a little tight for us with a tree overhanging the back part of the drive. When we go back there is a another section where the sites are a bit larger.

Since the touristy places were crowded we decided to visit a few of the national monuments in the area. Our first stop was at Tuzigoot National Monument where the pueblo remains are of the Sinagua people who once inhabited this area. Their village was near the Verde River where they farmed and thrived for many years.

Montezuma Castle was our next National Monument, this park is located closer to Camp Verde and was inhabited by the same Sinagua people, they though built their homes into the cliff side instead of on the valley floor.

 While staying in Cottonwood one of the things we found to do was the Verde Valley Railroad, we didn't have time to do the tour while camped in Cottonwood but as it was just a ninety minute ride from Cave Creek I knew we could do it another time. When we got back to Cave Creek we asked our neighbors Marv and Alice if they'd be interested in joining us...they were and what a fun day we had.The railroad was originally built to haul good and workers to Clarkdale where a large smelting plant was located, here you can read the history of the Verde Canyon Railroad.

We opted to go first class which turned out to be a great experience. Champagne toast as soon as we were underway, appetizers, fruit and light desert were also served. 4 hours later we were all saying what a great experience it had been.  

 The train had to slow to a crawl while waiting for the local free range cattle to get off the tracks.

While our desert cacti were blooming profusely we decided to pay Desert Botanical Gardens a visit, what a display they had there.

Our friends Cindy and Paul invited us to join them on a sunset cruise around Saguaro Lake on the Desert Belle. Saguaro Lake is named after the Saguaro Cactus and is the last of a series of lakes made by the damning of the Salt River.

There is a primitive campground on the lake, the only access is by boat...guess we won't be camping there.

Dinner lakeside outside, a great way to end a great evening with good friends.

Our son's best friend from VT moved to Phoenix in March, we've known James since he was in 4th grade...he used to come to our home after school and on school holidays. His folks moved out of VT last December and he has been anxious to get out of there too. So great to see him again.

Dave of course has been taking lots of pictures around the park here and at Spur Cross, sunsets, flowers, wildlife and the full moon have been fodder for his camera.

We packed more than usual in the second half of March, the beginning of April has been just as crazy but we'll leave April for another posts. It's time to catch up with other blogs.

Until next time...


  1. Great moon shots! We have yet to see a Desert Tortoise, we generally come too late and leave too early to see them.

    1. Piccolo is a resident tortoise that lives near the nature center here at Cave Creek. Unfortunately he can't be released back into his native habitat but the upside is he gets a strawberry a day as a treat.

  2. Looks like you've visited some of my favorite AZ sights. Have yet to do the train, so thanks for the tip on doing it first class.

    P.S. Picasa is a free download, so you should be able to just install it again.

    1. AZ has fast become one of our favorite places...such a diversity of landscapes all in one state. Picasa is gone, the links now take you to Google Photos. We've ordered Photoshop Elements 14 so we never have to deal with this kind of issue again.

  3. National monuments are great. Your pictures of the cactus blooms are really beautiful, hope to see them on person, maybe next year. Looks like a wonderful busy March you have had.

    1. While we don't qualify for the geezers pass we do get as much as we can out of our annual pass. March was busy and April is following suit, hope you get the chance to experience AZ one day.

  4. National monuments are great. Your pictures of the cactus blooms are really beautiful, hope to see them on person, maybe next year. Looks like a wonderful busy March you have had.

  5. Finally had a chance to catch up with what you two have been up to. Seems like your new lifestyle fits you both! So happy for you :) We are getting the Reflection ready for another season. We will miss you both, and will obviously miss Dave's smoker! Stay safe my friends!


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