We ended up staying 2 nights in Camp Verde and visited all the places that we normally go to when we are there.
It was a resting place as we had been on the road for a week.
On a lot of the highways we’d been on, Rob was battling high winds so driving was a little stressful.
Staying at a motel (Fort Verde Suites) that we had stayed at before there had been very little changed in the couple of years since we’d been there.
Donna who ran the motel had retired and was replaced by Miss Beverly. I told Rob I wanted to be called Miss Heather but it didn’t catch on. 🙂
And… they no longer served breakfast, which was fine as it had just been some cereal and muffins.
Walking across the street to a great second-hand store we found that it had just been sold. Talking to the last owner on the street he said “after building it up for 25 years he decided that the million-plus dollars that he’d been offered was worth selling it and retiring.”
Our first trip the next morning was to Montezuma Castle which you can read more about here.
It was busy as it’s was just a few days before Thanksgiving and our favorite flute player was no longer there as he had moved to Prescott.
In all the parks you are required to wear masks and only 15 people at a time in the gift shops.
We learned today that each county has its own mask policy. Some are very strict and masks are mandatory and in the next county, it’s just recommended or not even mentioned.
Then onto Montezuma Well where the water is tainted with arsenic and yet ducks still winter there.
There are some ancient ruins in the cliffs around the well and a series of canals that run for miles built by the early inhabitants to irrigate the fields.
From there we went to V Bar V Ranch which has the petroglyphs that Rob loves.
Every year they have a different host/caretaker of the park and this year was no different.
The couple had sold their house
They got notice a week before they had to leave that they got the job as someone else had cancelled. They sold all their worldly good and bought a trailer to call home. They would be there for a few months and their last day would be New Years Day.
From there they will be sent to another park to host and caretaker. There is a whole system set up to have all the parks covered by people from all over the states.
Sort of like being a gypsy.
Rob went and listened to the talk on the ancient drawing while I wandered along the path birdwatching.
This thing is I never even heard a bird let alone see one.
There had been very little wildlife and birds in particular on this trip and I said to Rob that I might as well as left the camera at home.
We had a lovely lunch on a picnic bench from all the leftovers we had accumulated over the past few days and it was wonderful to sit in the shade under a big tree surrounded by nature and feel the heat of the afternoon sun.
Stopping at a second-hand store to browse we got a deal ($2.95) for a night light (to find our way in the dark in hotel rooms), a kettle (as we had the thunder ranges but nothing to make tea with) and a 5 gallon pail (pee bucket) for when we camped.
Going back to our room for a rest and then out to dinner concluded our day and we lit out the next morning heading for Blythe.
Heading south on highway 17 we turned right on highway 169 then onto 69 to Prescott.
Here we missed the junction for highway 89 south but had an adventure going through Iron Springs and Skull Valley on highway 10 only to join up with highway 89 again.
I love these side trips as you get to see so much more of the country.
We wound our way through the mountains with little communities along the way and Skull Valley was made up of a large farming community.
One ranch had miles and miles of metal pole fencing painted white. It was impressive on both sides of the road.
Making it into Blythe before darkness set in was a feat in itself and we went looking for a grocery store to pick up dinner and supplies for the next day as we were going to camp this time around.
Rob had fixed up the van with a bed in the back over the wheel wells and was raised so we could put stuff underneath like chairs, a table and a thunder range.
No grocery stores that we could see, we opted for pizza and headed out to find a spot to camp along the Colorado River.
Heading north on highway 95 we found a spot called Hidden Beaches Resort which we found out later was the place to party. For us it was just a large parking lot with motorhomes parked side by side.
Close by to it was another camping spot completely different than the last. It had huge trees, grass and distance between campers and it was called Mayflower Regional Park.
Birds were singing and we set up camp right by the river.
And so ends our day.
Highlights of camping in the next segment.