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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Day 23: Camp Verde, AZ (Leg: 0, Trip: 1,703)

Classic Limo golf carts - I want one!
Today the RV had its first wax job, which included a detailed wash. The team (2 guys) arrived at 9am to get started, so Carol and I went to breakfast at the Indian casino across the freeway. The food was pretty good, though Carol says "it is hard to mess up breakfast."

At the casino, we found the above custom classic golf cards. These were done up as old limos and really looked neat. Wonder if I could get one to use on my local golf course. I could fill up the extra seats with volunteers to help me find my lost golf balls!

After breakfast we left to drive up to Sedona. We stopped into a visitor center to get some maps and information. We were lucky enough to have a volunteer who was both knowledgable and excited about the local attractions. She gave us tips like going to the airport to see the view from there, and driving out to a resort to see a canyon, and things like that which are not in the guide books. She was truly a lucky find for us as her tips all panned out.

We stopped at numerous overlooks and view points to see the different rock formations. Many of the formations reminded me of Zion NP, except more spread out. I'll put all these view pictures together later in this post.

Our first real stop was to the Church of the Holy Cross. Our visitor information volunteer also told us of the house across the street. It is an ongoing project and already costs have run in excess of $45 million. You can look down from the hill where the church is and see right into their yard. For $45 million, I would think I would have some privacy.

$45 million house with private observatory

Seen from above, you get a feel for how big this really is.

Check out the waterfall and pond to the left of the house

To get to the church, you have to park up along the hill. Those who come early to church get the better spots. Come late, climb a lot.

Church of the Holy Cross (Catholic)

I was reading the history of the structure posted outside the door and it mentioned that Frank Lloyd Wright had some input to the original design which was to be based on the Empire State building in NY. However that model never made it off the drawing board and years later when the structure was built in 1956, it was redesigned by a local architect.

Landmark Dedication plaque

We did go to the airport for the view and some of the pics from below are from there. We also went to Red Rock State Park for a picnic lunch. The park costs $10 to enter and the pass is only good for that park. Everyone says this is a great park to see, but I'm not sure I would say it is a "must see." In fact, if you come after June 1, it will be a "no see."

That day, they are closing many of the state parks in Arizona due to budget problems brought on by the illegal immigration. This is the same problem that caused the state to close all the rest areas. It is very sad because there is a fortune that the people of Arizona have invested in these parks and now they will be shutdown because politicians didn't take action soon enough. This is a real failure of government at all levels and I hope the people of Arizona hold their elected officials accountable for this debacle at election time.

Looks just like outside of Zion NP

During the drive today, we also saw many wildflowers along the road. There were yellow flowers, red ones, pretty blue colored ones and deep purple ones. They were best along the side of the road where I could not stop to get pictures of them.


After our lunch, we drove over to Cottonwood, about 12 miles west from Sedona then back to the RV. When we came back, the guys were still waxing it. All together they worked about 7.5 hours each to wash and wax it. Now it is so clean and shiny! I would take a picture and post it, but the shine would blot out the picture!

We decided last night that we would tentatively plan to go to Page Arizona and Lake Powell next. Then over near Mesa Verde NP and then to Moab Utah to visit Arches and Canyonlands NPs. No real set schedule for these yet, but we will probably start for home no later than May 20th. I don't think we will try Yellowstone this trip as it probably needs a trip of its own.


Ric said...

Great photos. I have not been commenting, and only stopping by when I can, but enjoying the commentary just the same.

Decent Semi Pro game last week, almost didn't play due to lack of an opponent. Will explain when you are back.


Jerry and Suzy said...

I guess you and Carol are traveling together, and that's a good idea for a couple! You can see my comment on the Chapel on her blog, but I'll tell you my thoughts about that mansion. Why in the name of all that is holy should people feel the need to do that and spoil a perfectly good piece of open land in the midst of all the natural splendor that God has given for all of us to enjoy?

Sheri said...

It's great to read about your travels. I'm glad that you and Carol are enjoying retirement! I have an uncle and aunt who live in Dewey (next to Prescott Valley). Skip and I visited them last year. My aunt, Susan, grew up in the area and wanted to give us a "treat". So she took us to Sedona via an old cattle trail that brings us directly through the red rock and into Sedona from the north. Very beautiful ... but as a 4-wheel drive vehicle was required to get us there, it was a very rough ride. Skip decided that he was a "city slicker" at heart as he didn't really appreciate the rough ride through the gorgeous country. In previous visits, my uncle had taken us to the church that you mention and also to Jerome (including the museum). Your blog brings back the memories in my mind (or what little mind I have left these days). Enjoy your travels! All our best - Sheri and Skip Willis

Raider Dave said...

Jerry, Suzy, and Sheri: First, thanks for the comments. I really enjoy reading them. Carol follows many blogs for me and keeps me updated on major happenings.

Jerry, Suzy: I agree on the house. How did that ever get permitted?

Sheri: I didn't know you have roots in the Sedona area. Small world.