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Camp Verde (Sedona), AZ

Stop #23 Distant Drums RV Park

sunny 50 °F
View Western Loop 2013 on scpurvis's travel map.

Left Mt Carmel and Utah for the last time on this trip, headed to the Sedona, AZ area. Except for the brief stint (2 nites) in Mesquite, NV, we have been in Utah for 3 weeks. I really never imagined being in Utah for 3 weeks but it really was a great state with lots to see and do. We are staying in Camp Verde, AZ which is just down the road from Sedona and just down the street from the Cliff Castle Casino for those who care about that!
P1010943.jpg Distant Drums RV Resort

Day 1 - Wed, Oct 16, 2013
Taking off on a scenic drive today, the first thing we came across was the infamous Bell Rock going into Sedona. According to Wiki, some New Agers consider Bell Rock to be a a portal into the Earth or a gateway to other dimensions. Hmmm, after driving through Sedona, I think there are a lot of those so called New Agers around Sedona. Next to Bell Rock is Courthouse Butte.
P1010916.jpg Bell Rock
CourthouseButte.jpg Courthouse Butte
P1020012.jpg Cathedral Rock

Just down the road from these rock formation is the turnoff to The Chapel of the Holy Cross. It was first attempted to be built in Europe but was scratched because of WWII and later built in Sedona.
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view from chapel parking lot. Private house in picture was once under contract with Nicholas Cage but he backed out, too many tourist.
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P1010923.jpg two sisters rock formation

Passing through Sedona, we go into Oak Creek Canyon, a river gorge between Flagstaff and Sedona. It was very nice drive, but, I think we have been spoiled with Glacier, Yellowstone and Tetons.
P1010931.jpgP1010938.jpgOak_Creek_Canyon_02.jpg

The canyon ends on the south side of Flagstaff, so, while there we stopped at the visitor center to see if there was something there we wanted to see. Flagstaff really turned out to be smaller then we thought but the historic district is a big draw to shoppers. We passed on this today. The Lowell Observatory, an astronomical observatory established in 1894, is located on Mars Hill just north of town. It is home to the Discovery Channel's $53 million dollar telescope. We will try to get up there one evening while we are here.
250px-Clark_dome.jpg Clark Dome courtesy Wiki (never made it to observatory unfortunately)

Returned back to Camp Verde, stopped by the casino just for yuks. We signed up for their "club" card because it gave us $10 free slot play and walked out with $64 without spending a dime. Now that is my kind of gambling!!

Day 2 - Thurs, Oct. 17, 2013
We spent the morning trying to decide where to go and where to stay when we leave Sedona. This is more time consuming then you would think but, finally got it figured out, at least through most of Texas.
girl_study.jpgstudying.jpg

That accomplished, we head over to Jerome. The road to Jerome makes several switchbacks as it comes up out of the valley before arriving in town at an elevation of over 5000 feet. It is perched on the side of the mountain, which stacks the roads in the town on top of each other as you travel up.
P1010949.jpg Jerome, AZ
P1010950.jpg Jerome and old mine

Jerome is another one of those old mining towns which seem to be so abundant out west. Beginning in 1876 when 3 prospectors staked claims on rich copper deposits. They eventually sold out to a group which formed the United Verde Copper Company. Long story short, the town grew with the mining operation and eventually became the 4th largest town in Arizona with a population of 15,000, at the time. As the ore deposits ran out and mine closed, the population dwindled to less then 100. Today, because of tourism and its status as "ghost town", the the population is now around 500.

Audrey shaft headframe used at Little Daisy Mine. Built in 1918, used to bring up ore from the 1900 foot shaft.
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P1010946.jpg Used to lower miners into the mine

Douglas Mansion now state park office. Built by James Douglas, owner of the mine, as "hotel" for his family and mining officials.
Douglas_Mansion.jpg

Just down from Douglas Mansion is what was once the hospital for mine workers; had to be nearby because of so man accidents. Now a private residence.
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Narrow Gauge train used to haul ore
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Heading back to Camp Verde from Jerome, we decide to swing by "Montezuma's Castle" which is a national monument which features preserved cliff dwellings of the Pre-Columbian Sinagua people, occupied from approximately 1100-1425 AD, with occupation peaking around 1300 AD. These people evenutally abandoned the area, supposedly because of the weather conditions. Sure took 'em a long time to figure out they didn't like the weather.
Anyway, since Uncle Sam went back to work today, the monument was open and we got to take a picture. Because of the deteriorating conditions, you can no longer climb up to the adobe dwellings which is more like a 5 story apartment building then a castle.
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Day 3 - Fri, Oct 18, 2013
Hike day. We found a couple of hikes we thought we would do today...Doe Mtn and the Natural Bridge hike, neither that long of a hike. Headed out to Doe Mtn first which was a 1/2 mile climb up and then just a hike around the rim. The hike up wasn't that bad as it had a lot of switchbacks, just a lot of rocks as obstacles to make it interesting.
P1020007.jpg Bob coming down part of trail

Views from the top
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Helicopter flew by....can you believe the blue skies out here?
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Well, scratched the Natural Bridge hike because we spent too much time up on Doe Mtn. We will miss all this hiking when we get back to flat Florida!

Day 4 - Sat, Oct. 19, 2013
Headed to New Mexico today. Big game tonight, FSU - Clemson, both undefeated. GO NOLES!

Posted by scpurvis 07:28 Archived in USA Tagged sedona jerome_az Comments (1)

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