Sunday, April 21, 2019

Old Friends, New Places

April 6-10, 2019
Cottonwood, Arizona

Ten months ago I made reservations at Dead Horse Ranch State Park for six of us (3 RVs) to spend a few days before our annual reunion. We follow Donnie and Anna out of the little park in Anthem, Arizona, and get set up a couple hours before Jimmy and Maggie arrive. 

I make green chili stew and cornbread for our first dinner, and we watch the March Madness Final Four - a fun evening!

Beautiful weather in nice size spaces.

Hanging out with friends - Anna, Donnie, Maggie, Bill and Jimmy.

Attempting to stay clean(er) - it's short lived.
Another good friend from high school recently finished their new home in Prescott so Sunday we make the pretty drive to surprise Bobbye and Mike.

Maggie remembers to grab a pic to start the day.

A beautiful home in the high desert.

Of course we all hang out in the kitchen.
Our unsuspecting hosts hiding in the back :-)
Edit: I forgot to include the small-world moment I have here! Following Sherry's blog for years I got to know their friends Bill and Nancy. I've seen lots of photos and read many stories of their times together on the east coast. Sitting outside here in Arizona with our friends, I look up and see a couple of very familiar faces walking by. Imagine their surprise when I jump up and say "You're Nancy and Bill!" I explain who I am, and they agree they recognize my name from comments on Sherry's blog. We laugh at the serendipity of being in the same park in these moments in this wonderful life.

Maggie hasn't been to Sedona, and it's been since she was in girl scouts that Anna's been here - so it's great fun to explore the beautiful red rock area with them. The guys are in Donnie's truck seeing the sights at a different pace. The weather is beautiful - warm with a little breeze. We meet up for lunch in town.

Javelinas at the visitor center where we watch one of the worst information videos we've seen.

Anna and Bill take in the sights.

Maggie captures the Courthouse

Wildflowers sprinkled among the trees.

The line of cars to the cathedral takes nearly 30 minutes so we grab a pic from the road.
Bell Rock
We all enjoy the natural beauty of Sedona, but agree that the crowds (which we contribute to) take away from the experience. Lunch at the Cowboy Club is a wait, but very good. 

Donnie and Anna leave on Tuesday so they can pick up family from Las Vegas on Wednesday morning. The rest of us spend the day visiting the nearby ruins, and making a late lunch stop in Cottonwood. 

The ruins at the top of the hill at Tuzigoot (so fun to say!) National Monument are beautiful.

Many small rooms surround the taller structure. Access was via ladders from the roof - including going from room to room.

In nearby Camp Verde is the cliff dwelling of Montezuma's Castle. The first view is breathtaking!! Knowing this structure of 20-50 rooms was home to the Sinagua people for over 400 years makes it even more amazing. The community was abandoned in the late 1400s and was protected in 1906 as one of the original four national monuments. 


Access into the ruins was closed in 1951.

Beaver Creek was important to the community.

Old growth sycamores line the creek.
The dog sitters wait for Maggie and I in the shade.
We'll be back to this pretty place.
Trying to beat the expected high winds Wednesday morning, we are on the road - wait for it - at 7 AM!! 

There's still a lot of wind, even a few snow flurries in Flagstaff, but we make it safely to our next stop in Laughlin, Nevada.


  1. That area holds such fond memories for both of us--we stayed in Dead Horse and visited Tuzigoot and Montezuma's Castle--thanks for taking us there again!

  2. We had so much fun in this area. Glad we got to enjoy it before it became over run with tourist. Tuzigoot was really interesting. Those winds really mess with our mornings on moving day!

    1. My mom loved Sedona before all the crowds took over, unfortunately we've never seen it without them :( Still, the natural beauty is hard to beat.

  3. I love the history in the mountains. Beautiful pictures!

    1. Thanks Laura. Arizona is full of so much history and beauty!

  4. Although the red rock around Sedona is beautiful the crowds are ridiculous.

    1. And with spring break now being several weeks, it's even worse this time of year.

  5. I've been hankering for Arizona lately. What's up with that??

  6. Nothing much better than chili and cornbread when shared among friends :-)

  7. Beautiful country:) Wish I could plan that far ahead:)

    1. I have so much fun with maps and planning that sometimes I have to slow down to give us more "wiggle room" in our travels :)

  8. Always wanted to visit Sedona. Not sure I will now that like too many other places including campgrounds it is being over run. I think I've missed the window of RVing without having to plan your live 6 to 12 months in advance. Great pictures! 7AM???? Even an early bird like me was never able to get out that early. I'd have to be bringing in the slides and taking up the jacks at 6:30. Although, boondocking and not having to do W/E makes it easier. Having a hard time commenting on blogs these days. Hope you'll understand.

    1. Yep we were pulling those slides in about 6:45! There's lots of red rock beauty accessible without venturing into the hordes. We just had the one day so we did the scenic byway which is the busiest.

      Totally understand and am delighted to hear from you whenever you can. Hugs!

  9. Sedona was outstanding, Jodee! Too bad they built a city there, as it should be a national park!

  10. I almost missed this post! Your photos of Tuzigoot (it is fun to say!) and Montezuma's Castle are beautiful. It has been years and years since we've been to Sedona, but I've been wanting to return. So even early April is busy, huh?
    Love the photo of Tessa attempting to stay clean in her little chair, LOL!

    1. The crowds are a bummer, but as you know there's no place like it! It was our first time in the Cottonwood area and we really want to return for a longer stay.