Cottonwood, AZ

After leaving Congress we made our way to Cottonwood, AZ so that we could explore the Verde Valley and area including Sedona, Jerome & Prescott. We chose the boondocking location on E Thousand Trails Road. It was quite busy when we arrived but we found a spot in the upper section.

That’s our trailer in the red circle.

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This location is open cattle range so most mornings we had cattle moving through the area eating away. There was also a hot air balloon that came over most mornings doing sunrise balloon tours.

We made a visit to Jerome which was at one point a copper boom town. It then went into a period of decline before being reborn as an artist and tourist town. The buildings look to be in the process of rebuilding and reconstruction. Some are completed and well done, quite a few still need work. We took the time to watch a glass blowing demonstration at one artists studio. Very interesting and the artist was great at describing his art and what he was doing as he created the piece.

We made a trip to Prescott one day and took the route down I17 and in 169 on the way there. The old downtown section was nice to walk around with a lot of art galleries and native craft stores. We looked but didn’t buy anything. We did have wings and beer at Prescott Brewing Co though. Have to make sure we support the local beer economy. 🙂 On the way back we (probably more me than Jane) decided to take the direct route to Jerome which took us up over the mountains. We managed to run into a blizzard during the trip.

Historic downtown Cottonwood is a nice area to walk around and like pretty much all the towns in the area it is aimed at the tourists with art galleries and other stores. We met up with my brother Peter and his wife Patricia in town. After walking around we ended up at the Tavern Grille for craft beers and appetizers (seems like the standard thing to do after walking about 🙂 ).

We made a number of trips into Sedona to go hiking. The actual town area was too much of a tourist trap for us to spend much time there at all, although we did walk around just to see what was there. Quite a few places with healing crystals, vortex info and various healing mumbo jumbo stuff.

The hikes we did were Soldiers Pass/Brins Mesa, Fays Canyon, Airport Mesa/Airport Loop, Midgley Bridge/Huckaby & Wilson Canyon. The pictures are from all of the hikes in no particular order.

 

We made the trip out to the Montezuma Castle NM with Peter & Patricia. A well preserved native housing structure built into the side of a cliff.

 

Congress, AZ

We left the Bouse area after 17 days. Our tanks were getting near to full and the heat was bringing the snakes out so we decided it was time to leave.

We traveled to Congress to stay 3 nights at the Escapees North Ranch. It’s a nice park with full facilities (except pool) and we explored Wickenburg and the area from here.

We drove down a dirt road for about 7mi to get to a box canyon that has the Hassayampa River running through it. In other pictures I’ve seen of the canyon the river is a mere trickle but this time it was running quick and the riverbed was fully covered. There were a few people down there having a good time with their ATV’s & UTV’s, even one family that had driven their truck down into the canyon base and across the river. I decided a dually wasn’t the best vehicle to be snaking down a rocky trail.

Wickenburg was a nice little western town to walk around. Not a whole lot in town to see although they do have a self-guided tour you can do. A lot of horsey activity in town and there what looked like a rodeo going on in one part of town.

Bouse, AZ

After leaving Desert Hot Springs we first went to the Quartzsite side of the Plomosa Mtns. The second day we were there a group with ATV’s setup right near us so we took a drive to the east side of the mountains to scout locations. We found a new site and moved the trailer. The new location was down past a large group at the end of a trailway.

As we pulled down past the group one of the members asked if we were with the Escapees Boondocking group. Turns out this was one of their get-togethers. We were invited up to their happy hours and evening camp fires. A great group of people and we ended up joining the Escapees which we had considered in the past but never got to doing.

With the moon out of the evening sky I did some more night sky photography.

The desert flowers were coming out with the hot days. Great area for hiking across the desert and I managed to get in 3-4mi each day.

The area was used for various types of military training during WW2. The tracks in the desert look to be from a tank as they are too wide for a truck at 10ft. The crumpled steel is practice bombs that impacted the ground.

There has been a lot of mining here in the past and I came across an abandoned mine shaft that was used for copper mining.