Leaving Distant Drums behind, we traveled to our next stop, Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Cottonwood, AZ. Things were a little up in the air because I had been trying to get an appointment with the Animal Eye Care Center due to Sparky’s vision problem. The only appointment available was in Tucson so no changes to our itinerary were necessary.
Covering 423 acres of land, Dead Horse Ranch State Park has 150 campground sites, and over 10 miles of hiking trails, several picnic areas, and 23 group camping sites. We really liked the State Park so would definitely like to return in the future.
The day after our arrival we visited Tuzigoot National Monument. Note there is a $10 fee but that is waived if you have a Senior Pass.
Our first stop was at the Visitor Center where there were numerous exhibits highlight ceramics, textiles, and tools found during the excavation of the Tuzigoot pueblo.
Tuzigoot is an ancient 2 -3 story, 110-room hilltop pueblo ruin consisting on the summit of a limestone and sandstone ridge just east of Clarkdale, Arizona and120 feet above the Verde River floodplain. At one time it was home to around 250 people and had up to 80 rooms, some on two story’s, but all were abandoned sometime in the fifteenth century.
From the Visitor Center, we walked up the trail to the ruins. We spent some time talking to a volunteer who told us a lot of interesting facts about the ruins.
That same day, we drove through Clarkdale which is a very cute little town to the Verde Canyon Train Depot thinking that we might be able to take the train ride but the next train was on Saturday and we would be gone by then. Oh well, next time.
After that, we had a late lunch at the Merkin Tasting Room and Osteria restaurant. Delicious bread (we bought a loaf to take home) served with thyme butter. Everyone raved about their gnocchi ($18, potato dumpling with sage and prosciutto di parma cream sauce) so we both had that along with a sampler flight of wine. Gnocchi was excellent.
Worthwhile taking some time to stroll around the Old Town Cottonwood to see some of the historic buildings, shop in some of the small boutique shops, dine at one of the several restaurants and take a hike on the Jail Trail.
Still not being tired of red rocks, we drove once again to Sedona where we had breakfast at the Mesa Grill at the airport. Rob had biscuits and gravy with scrambled eggs ($17) while I had Crab Cake Benedict ($17), both of which were very good.
After breakfast, we drove some of the back roads. eventually driving up to the Chapel of the Holy Cross. The scenery as usual was breath taking!
That night, we went to the Pizzeria Bocce where we had a Cire’s Pizza (tomato sauce, in-house crafted Italian sausage, pepperoni, ricotta, mushrooms, bocce hand stretched mozzarella, and fresh basil) and a pitcher of pilsner ($10.50). Pizza ($15.99) was good but don’t think we would race back.
Time for one last campfire the night before our departure! Boy, it was chilly!
Leaving Dead Horse Ranch State Park the next day, we headed to our next destination, High Chapparal RV Resort in Casa Grande, AZ. Not much to report here – the campground was basically a dirt parking lot. The main purpose for going there was because we had a slow leak in one of our tires that needed to be repaired which was done at Firestone Tire. Always somethin’!