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February 16: Cave Creek to Cottonwood, AZ

What's that sound, we wondered at 6:15 this morning. It was just the trash truck coming to empty the dumpster about 25 feet away from us, as we slept in our little tent. That awakening - and the stench of diesel from the neighboring RVs - made for a good morning! : )

Our hike in Cave Creek brought us along forests of saguaros, chollas, and brittlebush.


We broke down the tent and packed up the car, lickety split, bidding good riddance to our Cave Creek Regional Park campsite. Before we left the park entirely, we took a hike on the Overton Trail to Clay Mine Trail. It was a pretty morning, though super cold for Arizona. I think it was in the high 30s when we set out on our hike.

The sun finally began to warm the air, making for a very pleasant hike.

Glen excercised great restraint and did not pick up any rocks (that I know of) while we were hiking.


Setting our navigation for Cottonwood, about 90 miles due north, we traveled out of the Sonoran Desert (I think) and into the chapparral region (I think). We left the big, beautiful saguaros behind and the landscape became less populated with cactus, instead featuring evergreens (cedars?) So many questions I need to look into.


As we ascended out of the Phoenix area, the temps dropped to 40 degrees at noon - ay!


Finally descending into the Verde Valley, where Cottonwood is located, we caught our first glimpses of the classic red rock that Sedona is known for. I'm happy to report we did not need to use the runaway truck ramp. We pulled into the unfortunatelly named Dead Horse Ranch State Park in the early afternoon. We pitched our tent and had a quick, easy lunch, after which we sunned in the balmy 48-degree weather. With little wind, the sun really did feel toasty and we luxuriated in its warmth.


Though I could have stayed in my comfy chair the rest of the afternoon, we set out for a hike on some very lovely - though poorly marked - trails that lead to the border of the Tuzigoot National Monument. We plan to hike that property tomorrow.


Views to the west from Dead Horse Ranch include those of Tuzigoot National Monument - and a vast mining operation in the distance.


Upon returning from our hike, we had enough sun left to cook up some supper - a stirfry of pea pods, broccoli, zucchini, tofu and Glen's hot sauce and hot pepper flakes. Very good.


As I type this, we are already holed up in the tent, with our luxurious electric blanket on us, bracing for temps in the mid-20s. WTH?? Is it warmer in Massachusetts? Hah - the joke's on us!


BRRRRRRR

13 Comments


What are they mining?

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The pictures are beautiful. Looks like here in a couple of years. Are you listening to a book this year?

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I was excited to hear you were so near Bill's son, Dave Facey, and family. They live in Cornville now that they've left MA behind. We visited in Sedona, which was a great adventure, but I prefer green spaces and plenty of water in my rivers. It's very precious everywhere, but esp. in the Southwest. How was the Verde River?

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glenayers
glenayers
Feb 19, 2023
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The Verde River has a surprising amount of water flowing in it with a strong current. Way too much to be able to wade across. The riparian area along the river is a different world, compared to the surrounding parched landscape.

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I don’t know about that. I bet Glen did pick up some rocks. You’ll know near the of your trip, when the car‘s mileage gets less efficient due to the extra weight of all those rocks! 😜. The cactus photos are beautiful.

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Mary
Mary
Feb 18, 2023
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Yeah, that's pretty much what happened on the last trip. 😄

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Rain and wind on this 50ish day with a forecasted low of 20 F tonight. You've got the bright sun and beautiful views! Enjoy your hikes. :-)

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Mary
Mary
Feb 17, 2023
Replying to

Thanks, John. We definitely will! 🩷

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