Canyon de Chelly National Monument

Canyon de Chelly-23

Spider Rock

We packed up all our camping gear in the back of the jeep and left to drive the 3 hours to Canyon De Chelly in Arizona and camp there one night. On the way we stopped at the Four Corners Monument in Arizona, which marks the quadripoint where the states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah meet. The Navajo Nation maintains the monument as a tourist attraction, and it cost $10 to enter,  there is nothing to do there except wait in line to get your picture taken on all four states, or buy from the Navajo vendors set up around the monument. It wasn’t very busy so we were able to get in and out fairly quickly.  

We arrived at the small town of Chinle, AZ, and went to the Visitor Center first to find out where to go and what to see here. Canyon De Chelly National Monument, established in 1931,  includes two large canyons, Canyon de Chelly, (pronounced “d’shay”) to the south and Canyon Del Muerto to the north. Canyon de Chelly got its name from the Navajo word Tseyi, which means canyon or “in the rock.” Canyon Del Muerto, Spanish for “canyon of the dead,” was named when remains of mummies were discovered on an archeological expedition in the 1880s. Canyon de Chelly is entirely owned by the Navajo Tribal Trust of the Navajo Nation, and approximately 40 Navajo families live in the park. We decided to do the North Rim Drive first and walked to the overlook of the Antelope House Ruins. We were in awe  as we viewed the canyon from the overlook and its 1000 feet walls of red, black and orange. The Antelope House ruins were nestled on the canyon floor under an alcove. We used our binoculars to see the ruins up close. Continue reading

Tucson Arizona

San Xavier-2

Mission San Xavier

We finally left San Diego and heading east to Tucson to have service done on R SHRPA. We are staying at the Voyager RV Resort until everything is finished. We dropped off the coach at Freedom RV Service center early Thursday, April 21st, and drove out to the Mission San Xavier, to explore this National Historic Landmark, founded by Fr. Kino, the Jesuit pioneer and explorer, in 1692. This Franciscan church is still a working church, built between 1783 to 1797. The church is so well preserved that when you enter the church it is like walking into the 18th century. Statues dating to the 1750’s, vivid late baroque altars, and original paintings adorn the interior. In 1783, the Franciscans borrowed 7,000 pesos to begin the church, and from 1790 to 1815, artists from central New Spain worked to complete the interior, earning double pay because of the threat of Apaches in the area, but in 1797 funds ran out. The church was left incomplete to this day, the east tower was left with no dome or lantern, the choir loft and baptistery paintings were left unfinished. We took a very interesting tour throughout the church and discovered all the things that were left undone when the money ran out. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading

Casa Grande Arizona

PCR-12

We are finally settled into our site in Palm Creek RV and Golf Resort and are surrounded by Albertans arriving here for the winter. We are going to play a lot of pickle ball and learn more about this game of golf. We both signed up for 4 lessons at Mission Royale Golf Course from the pro, Ryan. Most days started at 7:30 am with challenging games of pickle ball with Thor, from BC, and Chris, from Seattle. Then onto golf in the afternoon, either a lesson or the driving range. Trying to get better at golf so I can keep up with Alex and Karen Currie, great golfers, when they came to visit us for the day. After playing golf with Alex and Karen on the Par 3 golf course in Palm Creek I realized that I have a long way to go before my golf is up to their standard.   Continue reading

Sedona Arizona – Birthday Celebration

“Happy 70th Birthday Bruce Kahn!!”

Bruce BDay-16

Home of the Moscow Mule

We arrived in Phoenix on Monday, October 5th, staying at the Pueblo El Mirage RV Resort & Country Club for a week. The timing worked out perfect. As we are so excited to be able to help Bruce celebrate his 70th birthday in Sedona. We drove D Beast (jeep) to Sedona on Saturday and met Karen Moyer and Bruce for lunch at Tlaquepaque(pronounced T-lockey-pockey) Arts and Crafts Village. Nestled beneath giant sycamore trees on the banks of the Oak Creek, Tlaquepaque is the most distinctive shopping complex to be found in the Southwest. Then we drove to the house that Bruce rented for the week to spend his birthday with friends and family. What an exceptional house set on a hill with wonderful views looking west over Sedona and the red rocks. We started the weekend off with Moscow Mules sitting around the pool and hot tub with Karen, Bruce and their friends, Rick and Barb Johnsto. Then we ate a wonderful home-cooked dinner sitting outside watching the sunset. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading

North Rim of Grand Canyon

North Rim-15

Mt Hayden-Grand Canyon

The North Rim offers a serene and enthralling Grand Canyon experience, more remote and less developed than the South Rim. It was a 2 hour drive from our RV Park in Virgin, Utah to the North Rim and it’s 40 miles from Jacob Lake to the North Rim Visitor Center. After we arrived we hiked to Bright Angel Point, a one mile round trip hike with a grand view of the canyon. We ate a wonderful lunch at the Grand Canyon North Rim Lodge with breathtaking views of the canyon from our table. The Lodge was built in 1927-28 with the Main Lodge  building, 23 deluxe cabins, and 91 standard cabins. It was constructed of native Kaibab limestone and peeled Ponderosa pine logs, designed to harmonize with its rocky and forested setting. The Grand Canyon Lodge is the only complete surviving lodge and cabin complex in the national parks. I would highly recommend a visit to this beautiful, peaceful and remote setting in a magnificent park. On our way out we drove to Point Imperial, at 8,803 feet, it is the highest of the North Rim overlooks, with different panorama views of the Grand Canyon. Great views of Mount Hayden, and Boundary Ridge and Saddle Mountain to the north of Imperial Point. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading

Lake Powell and Rainbow Bridge

We saved the best for today a cruise on Lake Powell to the Rainbow Bridge Natural Arch. Lake Powell, named after John Wesley Powell, is 186 miles long and backs up into more than 96 major side canyons, and is the second-largest man-made lake in the US. Today we are going to take the cruise boat 50 nautical miles from the Wahweap Marina to Bridge Canyon where the Rainbow Bridge was discovered in 1909. The lake’s crystal clear blue water, more than 500 feet deep in places, is wonderful to explore as we cruised through narrow waterways, past sandstone cliffs and buttes, including the well known Tower Butte. Continue reading

Glen Canyon Recreation Area, Page AZ

We left Williams and the Grand Canyon to drive north to Page, Arizona. We are staying at the Wahweat Marina and RV Park just north of Page, and we have a beautiful view of Lake Powell from our campsite, where we can watch the sunrise over the lake.

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Glen Canyon Dam was our first adventure here and we took a one tour of the dam going deep inside the dam, 700 feet down, and 300 feet at its base. It was constructed between 1956 and 1966, the water began to back up behind the dam’s 710-foot wall in 1963, reaching its “full pool” in 1980, and Lake Powell was created. Today the water level is 110 feet below its peak height. From the Glen Canyon Bridge you can get wonderful photos of the dam. At 700 feet above the river, this is the second-highest steel-arch bridge in the world, it was opened on Feb 20, 1959. Continue reading

Grand Canyon, Arizona

Trip on the Grand Canyon Railroad and Walk along the Rim Trail

We arrived in Williams, AZ, and are staying at the Grand Canyon Railway RV Park for a week. Today we have booked a trip on the Grand Canyon Railway in the Dome car, to take us on the two hour ride to the Grand Canyon for our first visit. We were treated to a Wild West Shootout prior to boarding the train, and these same Cowboys sang and entertained us on the journey. We arrived at the Grand Canyon historic Depot around 11:30 am and walked up to the Rim to view the awe inspiring vistas of the Grand Canyon. We ate lunch at the Arizona Room in the beautiful old Bright Angel Lodge, built in 1935. Then we walked the 1.3 mile Trail of Time along the rim between Verkamp’s Visitor Center and Yavapai Geology Museum. It is a geological timeline of the rock layers in the Canyon, and you can touch the rocks from each of the canyon layers, including rocks nearly 2 billion years old in the bottom of the canyon. We got the shuttle bus back to the train which departed at 3:30 pm for our return trip to Williams. We enjoyed some snacks and a complimentary glass of champagne, and the notorious Cataract Creek Gang boarded our train for a mock train robbery. The train ride was relaxing but I would not recommend it if you want to experience scenery from the train as it is flat and dry the entire way. Continue reading

Verde Valley, Arizona

Verde Canyon Railroad

We booked tickets on the Verde Canyon Railroad, in the first class car. The Verde Canyon Railroad is nestled in the heart of the expansive Verde Valley, which is only accessible by rail. The railroad was opened in 1912 to transport copper from Jerome to Drake and closed in 1988. In 1990 it started up again as a tourist train, on the historic and scenic route from Clarkdale to the ghost ranch of Perkinsville. It is a four hour and 40 mile round trip along the Verde River and features rugged crimson high desert rock faces and spectacular panoramic views that we enjoyed from the open car. We also saw from this car Sinagua Indian ruins and went through a 680 foot man-made curved tunnel. It was a fun train ride and the four hours flew by. Continue reading

Sedona, Arizona

This journal entry covers our stay in the Sedona area and the many hikes we went on over the 2 week period.

March 24th, Tuesday, we drove R Sherpa to Camp Verde, AZ, about an hour north of Phoenix, where we are staying at Distant Drums RV Park for 12 days. After settling into our spacious concrete pad, site #70, we took off to drive to Sedona, about 30 minutes from our park. We stopped at the Hike House and bought a map of all the many trails in the area and had a nice vegan dinner at the Chocolate Tree.

Hiline/Baldwin/Cathedral Rock/Templeton/Slim Shady Loop Trail

Ready to start our first hike, we woke up early the next day and headed to the Yavapai Vista Trailhead to the Hiline Trail, 3.2 miles, climbing gradually to the saddle with spectacular views looking out at the red rock formations such as Bell Rock and the Courthouse Butte and many other red rock mountains. It was a steep, rocky, technical descent from the saddle, and we were surprised to get passed by mountain bikers. We arrived at the Baldwin Trail to the edge of Oak Creek where we stopped for lunch by the creek. Then it was a challenging 0.4 mile climb up to the saddle of the Cathedral Rocks, where we had amazing views looking out at the vistas. It was difficult to leave these views but it was time to head back, we hiked along the Slim Shady Trail for 2.5 long miles, and we were running out of water and getting tired after a total of 8 miles today. It was all worth it as the scenery is out of this world. Continue reading