Sunday, March 8, 2020

Verde Valley or Roundabout Hell

Kingman is in our dust now. We headed into the mountains of Arizona. With an elevation of over 7000 feet, they still have snow up there and the day we went through it, it was still snowing. Now what you are about to see next may be disturbing so I want to include a disclaimer. Please kids, do not try this at home. We are trained professionals.

SNOW! The four letter word we hate. I would like to also add that I put down the camera before it really got heavy. It was near zero visibility. Zero visibility going down a mountain. Thats is always a good time in my book. But we made it down.

We found our campground and it was warmer. Some occasional rain because we are at a much lower elevation. Verde Ranch RV Resort. It is a brand new campground. It is very large, over 400 sites and the best part is that they offer Passport America for 6 days. That's half price for you and me. Full hookups for everyone!

This post I am just calling the Verde Valley because there are so many places we will be visiting here.
Gladys picked this location. I do believe that it is because of all of the winerys in this general area.

Camp Verde.

Camp Verde is our home base here. On our first day we went into Camp Verde to find the visitor center. The lady there was extremely helpful, giving us armloads of information. Lisa quickly made a plan of attack and then we were off. First stop was right around the corner. Fort Verde. A State Historic Park.
I cannot pass up a picture with a cannon. 
It was the Army post for this area against the Apache Indians. There are only 4 original buildings still standing in what was once a fairly large fort. The visitor center is in one building that housed offices and a warehouse. The other 3 buildings where the commander's house, bachelor officers quarters and the surgeon's house.
It was $7 a person to view. It would have been nicer if there was more to it than that, but oh well. Our next stop was Montezuma's Castle. Not to be mistaken with Montezuma's Revenge. That is something completely different.
It is a well preserved indian dwelling dating back to 1000 to 1200 AD. It was a thriving community here and then all of a sudden they moved on. I think the aliens got them. It was time for lunch after that so we went to the Verde Brewing Co. It was a little hard to find and I think that it is a work in progress.
They serve food inside a warehouse along with the bar. The food was good and also the beer I had. It could have been better if they would just get a little fancier. Lisa had a veggie sandwich. They served it on plain white bread. We thought it could have been served on a 7 grain or anything fancier than white Wonder Bread. I had a roast beef sandwich which came on a hamburger bun. Again if they would have used a hoagie bun or something. A forty dollar lunch right in the crapper. See why I have trouble with breweries, Jim? If they are not 200 miles away, they are passing cheap food off as fancy food. Oh, well.

Jerome, Arizona and Tuzigoot.

The next stop on the list was Tuzigoot National Monument. More indian ruins not far away. This turned out to be a large settlement on a hill. They think 200-300 people lived here at one time.

We enjoy going to these out of the way places and to learn something. Like Montezuma's Castle, these people just disappeared. Aliens again. Next up, Jerome. A mining town not far away, built on the side of a mountain.

There is another State Historic Park in Jerome so we stopped there first. We paid our $7 to go in and it turned out to be a great place for information and the history of Jerome. They have a movie there and it is a must see. There were lots of exhibits to see also. 
This was the crane that they used to lower people 900 feet straight down into one of the mines. You can look down into it. Pretty scary stuff.
The views were pretty nice up there. The town of Jerome was built right next to the mines so that the workers didn't have to travel too far to work.

We had lunch at Bobby D's. A barbeque joint and it was very good. We both had the brisket sandwich.
Lots of cute shops with all kinds of trinkets. Gladys was shopping in one and almost died.
That is one of her biggest fears, getting stabbed. Usually she thinks that she will get stabbed in the thigh as she walks by people. She also found a candy store.
After we walked and shopped, I wanted to hit the gold mine tour. So we headed just out of town and got suckered into paying to see a rust farm. My brother-in-law would have loved this place. I asked about the gold mine and she told me that it wasn't a tour. You can just look at the entrance. We still went in for $7 apiece.

There were so many old and rusted truck there, it was hard to believe when we found this.
This was the nicest vehicle there. A Studebaker Lark pickup and it was for sale. I don't know how I would of been able to get it home. We had a full day and really enjoyed the Jerome area. Next up is Sedona.


A couple of observations first. Sedona is a beautiful town. I like how so many of the buildings and houses are adobe and that they use colors to blend into the surroundings. There are trees everywhere so you can't really see the entire town. The population is just over 10,000 but it feels like a very large city. Very touristy. We were there on a Thursday and there were so many people everywhere. We didn't like it. Every trailhead parking lot was full. We stopped to look at some of the major attractions like the church.

We couldn't even park there. It was full of people. So we just had to do some driveby picture taking.
Courthouse rock. We did do a hike, believe it or not. Boynten Canyon. It wasn't quite what we were expecting. We thought a nice hike out in the solitudes of nature would nice. The hike is in a canyon. But there is also a resort and a housing development in that same canyon. So instead of peace and quiet, you hear cement trucks and lawn mowers.
Oh well. It was still nice to get out. Every picture I had to zoom in to crop out the houses.

Here is proof that we were there hiking.
Where in the heck did they put the darn benches?

Our final day took us to Prescott Arizona. Again It wasn't what I pictured. I thought it was going to be a quaint little town up in the mountains. What it turned out to be was urban sprawl. We ate lunch at the Palace bar because of a recommendation by someone whose initials are JandB. Maybe they didn't remember they were there because I sent Jim a picture of the inside and said "guess where we are?" He didn't have a clue.
Oh well.Lunch was good.

Here comes the rant.

Roundabout hell. I have never seen so many roundabouts in one area before. They are in the towns, on the highways, they are everywhere here. I am sure there are pros and cons. (High whiney voice)"They make the intersections safer, they keep the traffic moving, blah, blah, blah". Where are we, England? In my opinion they are time wasters and gas wasters. Imagine if you will, travelling at 55 mph to all of a sudden slow down to 20 mph to go around a roundabout. Then to have to speed up to 55 mph again.
22 roundabouts inside those circles. That's not even taking into consideration the ones in the towns.

Between Camp Verde where we are, to Cottonwood where the nearest Wally World is, there are 7 roundabouts. Each time you go around the roundabout, you can hear all of your groceries sliding around in the back and coming out of their bags. You open the door and what happens? The groceries come falling out.

Coronavirus. That's all we see and hear is this media induced panic about the Coronavirus. Stores are running out of toilet paper(?) and hand sanitizer. So as a public service announcement I would like to share this. When I cough now, I lift up my shirt collar and cough into my shirt. Being careful not to let any possible germs go spewing all over the public. However, this technique does not work that well with sneezing. I discovered the hard way that all you get is a chest full of snot.

"Gladys! Get us to a Coronavirus free zone, one with an endless supply of toilet paper, STAT!"


  1. Ha I forgot about all the roundabouts .i Gate them too!

    1. Turn the cruise on, turn the cruise off. Rinse, lather and repeat. Maddening.

  2. Brewery food is hit and miss and you are right about them being pretty pricy! But it is good for you to expand your horizons from Bud Latte to some other forms of beverages.

    1. It's like when Lisa keeps trying to get me to like Bloody Mary's. I keep tasting it but never really like it. 1 Craft beer = 6 Bud Latte's. I did the math for you.