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Monday, May 3, 2010

Day 22: Camp Verde, AZ (Leg: 0, Trip: 1,703)

Welcome to new followers Jerry and Suzy. They have just boarded the virtual RV to follow along on our tour. They are full-time RVers with a trailer in Benson, AZ. You can follow their blog at Jerry and Suzy!

I had a great night last night. Slept really well for a change with no problems breathing. The difference in altitude makes a real difference to me. Yippee!

I found a place in Prescott Valley that can do the alignment on the RV that is 37 miles away. So we will probably do that Wednesday or Thursday. We started our morning adventure with a car wash for the Honda. It really needed it from all the road spray we picked up going into and out of the Grand Canyon. We used a do-it-yourself car wash and the brush had the thickest, bluest soap I have ever seen. It was so thick that I suspect it was malfunctioning. Anyway, the car is clean!!!

Then we visited Montezuma's Castle. Carol has a lot of details on that visit on her blog so I will try not to duplicate that information. But it was called Montezuma's Castle because the original white men to visit the site thought Montezuma had actually came this far north. Once the structures and remains of tools, implements, etc. were dated though, the site was determined to be over 800 years old.

You can see in the above picture that below the "castle" (a drop of probably 70 feet), there is a nice valley floor where the inhabitants (all 50 or so of them) could farm. The local water source, a creek, is about 100 yards from the wall directly behind the cameraman (me) for this picture.

In one of the "neighboring" ruins (about 50 yards to the left of the castle), there are ruins of several rooms, including this one, containing a stone grinding set.

This is a closeup of one of the Arizona Sycamore trees on the valley floor just below the castle. These trees are really magnificent and grow about 60 feet tall and just about as wide with several trunks together at the root base. The bark is various greens, browns and grays.

There is a path that takes you from the visitor center to the ruins and circles back to the visitor center. The entire distance is about 1/3 mile. The path is concrete and level and a very easy walk. There are benches along the way and many shade trees which makes it a nice walk on a sunny day.

While at the visitors center, Carol notice that there were large blue stains on the back of my nice white shirt. I quickly figured out that these were from the earlier car wash and the gobs of blue soap. While using the brush, the supply hose had wrapped around and hit me in the back and must have had soap on it.

So we came back to the RV and I changed shirts and soaked the stained one. Fortunately, the stains came out pretty easily.

After lunch we decided to go to Cottonwood and Jerome, about 12 miles away to the west. While in Cottonwood, I was able to get a haircut which was needed. Then we decided to drive to Jerome and continue to Prescott Valley to see where I would be taking the RV for the alignment.

Jerome is a old mining town literally built into the side of a hill. The road up there is narrow and windy with many switchbacks. Beyond the town, the road continues with sharp turns and steep inclines as you climb to over 7,000 feet. The way back down isn't any better. It is real easy to get car sick on this drive. If you ever saw the Discovery Channel program Modern Marvels and their episode on dangerous roads, there was a segment on the road over the Andes. This road was similar, though shorter, but just as slow.

You often have to slow to 15 mph on the curves and there was one curve for 5mph. Fortunately we were not in the RV on this trip!

You can see in the above picture the type of sudden curve we encountered. Most of the time, about 100 feet after the curve there would be another one!

This map is from my GPS program and shows a 2 mile section of the road. I counted 52 directional changes of 20 degrees or more on this one segment! You do get to exercise your steering wheel muscles on this trip.

Needless to say, once we get to Prescott Valley, we returned by a longer, albeit quicker, route!

Now to get out the barbecue and grill up some beef!

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