Being major advocates of highway safety, we had scheduled an appointment at National Indoors RV Center (NIRVC) in Surprise, AZ to have rettrobands (allows for the driver to maintain control if a blowout occurs) installed as well as an oil change. This stop would require us to stay for two nights in their parking lot which had electric hookups. Since Sparky doesn’t like being in service, as usual, we had to pack him up so he could lounge in comfort in the back of our Jeep while we explored the area.
Trust me it was a major shock leaving the natural beauty of Willow Beach and landing in the very suburban Surprise, AZ.
Our previous symptoms caused by our withdrawal from nature were quickly diminished once we left NIRVC heading towards our next destination. What a very scenic drive! Statuesque saguaros dotted the landscape on both sides of the interstate!
Distant Drums RV Resort in Camp Verde, AZ near Sedona, about a 1 1/2 hour ride from NIRVC has 158 sites, both back in and pull thrus. It’s a very nice park although the sites were a little closer than we liked and we didn’t particularly care for how the sites were arranged. We were assigned to back in site #85.
No rest for the weary or hanging around the RV park for us! The next day we were off and running, heading to our favorite tourist destination, Sedona! Although we have been here a many, many times, we never tire of the spectacular grandeur of the red rock formations.
Based on favorable reviews, a visit to the Red Rock Cafe for breakfast had been added to our itinerary for the next day. I had the Blue Corn Huevos Rancheros ($14.25) and Rob had the Corned Beef Hash (gee that’s a surprise!) with biscuits and gravy ($13.29). Delicious!After that, we stopped at the Red Rock Ranger District Visitor Center.
Once again heading into Sedona, we drove up to the Airport. On prior visits, we were able to park in the Airport Vista parking lot to enjoy the view but we were disappointed to learn that they now charge a fee (not sure how much) to park in the parking lot. Instead we had to settle for a parking space at Overlook Point on the Yavapai Loop.
After that we continued driving around. Very scenic views on Verde Valley School Road and Red Rock Loop Road.
On another day, we went to Mesa Grill at the Airport where we both had the Smashed Burger ($16) served with delicious fries. Oh boy, was it good!
When we owned our rental condo at Mt. Washington Place in Bretton Woods, NH, we became members of RCI. One year we exchanged a rental of our unit for a rental in Sedona. We had been trying to remember where we stayed back then. Finally found the place – it was Poco Diablo Resort!
We drove up AZ-89A for a bit, then came back to Sedona where we parked and walked around. Along the road which overlooks L’Auberge de Sedona and the river, there were a number of informational signs about celebrities who had made movies in the area.
So many gorgeous photos of Sedona, obviously way too many to display in this post. Instead we offer an album of our pictures to you even though there are no photos that can capture how truly stupendous and magnificent the scenery is! Note these photos cover our stay in the area in November of 2022 as well.
Looking from our campsite, way up on the top of Cleopatra Hill is the historic copper mining town of Jerome, a place we simply had to explore. Not only is it known as “the Wickedest Town in the West“, it also has been dubbed “America’s most vertical city” and “largest ghost town in America”.
Before heading there, we stopped at Annie’s Breakfast in Cottonwood to have breakfast where we both had omelets which were very good.
What a fascinating town with so much history! But besides the history, a walk down Main Street is entertaining with its many restaurants, cafés, art galleries, wine bars, shopping and boutiques. There is also Jerome State Historic Park – we didn’t visit on this particular day but we did on a return visit later in the year.
We had planned on eating a late lunch at the Haunted Hamburger but because of all the touristas every place was very crowded we decided against it.
After walking around the town, we headed back to the campground. We had planned on returning but never made it back at least on this trip. Take a look at photos of our visit on this particular day!
Before leaving the area, we had one more attraction we wanted to revisit (we had been here many years ago before we became RV’ers) – the ruins of Montezuma’s Castle where we walked a self-guided, 1/3 mile loop trail which leads past the 5-story cliff dwelling.
After that we drove 11 miles northeast to visit Montezuma’s Well, a naturally occurring spring in the desert, where another 1/3 mile loop led us past the amazing oasis, used by the Sinagua people over 600 years ago. As we walked along the trail, there were signs identifying the various plants, shrubs and trees but since nothing was blooming, it all basically looked like desert scrub!
Amazing that this oasis, exists in the midst of the surrounding desert! More than a million gallons of water a day flow continuously into this sinkhole which is a collapsed underground limestone cavern. Sitting at an elevation of 3,618 feet, Montezuma Well is 368 feet across and 55 feet deep. Pretty cool!