Saturday, April 30, 2011


We did a lot of touring around the Verde Valley when we were out west years ago, but we still enjoy driving around, taking in all the beautiful and historic sites. This is a scenic drive we took up Cherry Road which runs from Route 260 in Camp Verde (TT Verde Valley is on Route 260) to Cherry, a drive of about 16 miles on good dirt road. Unfortunately, the day was overcast so the pictures don't show the true beauty of the area.

The view looking North toward Flagstaff in the far distance. Our Campground is somewhere in between!

Looking down into the valley at a lone farm house. It was somewhere in this area that we were approaching the highest point of the drive. We kept hoping to get to 5000 feet. We reached the peak at 4999!! Ken said I should climb on top of the car for that extra foot!!!

Another view looking toward Flagstaff. You can almost see the San Francisco Peaks, the furthest peaks in the distance (in the center of the picture) -- not too far from the Grand Canyon!!

Some beautiful desert wildflowers along Cherry Road.

A few days later, we drove over to Montezuma Castle National Monument about eight miles away.

This ancient cliff dwelling dates back to the early 1100s. It was built by prehistoric Indians in a cliff recess 100 above the valley. The Castle is one of the most well-preserved cliff dwellings in North America. It's amazing!!

Not far away is Montezuma Well, a part of the National Monument.

The Well is a lake in the middle of the desert. It is a limestone sink formed long ago by the collapse of an immense underground cavern. Subterranean springs replenish the well with over a million and a half gallons of water a day; an amount unvarying since prehistoric times. This keeps the Well at the same temperature and level year round!! It is so fascinating!!

Some ancient ruins just above the Well.

About a thousand years ago, prehistoric Indians dug this canal, diverting water from Montezuma Well to irrigate their crops. The cement-like lining is caused by naturally occurring carbonate in the water which forms deposit on the canal walls. I thought the canal lining was man-made.

On our drive back we stopped in Camp Verde and went by Fort Verde State Historic Park just to take a few pictures. We had already toured the Fort years ago.

General Crook's U. S. Army scouts and soldiers were based at Fort Verde. They were charged with preventing Indian uprisings in the late 1800s. Some of the original buildings remain.

There is so much history and beautiful scenery in this area, I know we will be out touring again before too long!

Monday, April 25, 2011


Sun, Apr. 24 - Julie and Bob were staying at the Western Horizons Camp Verde Campground. They invited a group of us who were still at TT Verde Valley to come on down for ham sandwiches to celebrate Easter. We all had a great time eating, drinking and talking and acting silly!!

Here is Ken opening our last bottle of Sally's home-made wine!

After lunch, we went to the Family Center to play a couple of games of Thirty-Three! It's a fun game, good for a group to play.

The good-looking group around the table: Ken, Barb, Julie, Merralee, Dennis, Faye, Oland, and Bob.

Thanks Julie and Bob. A great way to celebrate Easter with friends!!

Friday, April 22, 2011


Friday, Apr. 22 - When were were here in the Spring of 2006, they had just opened OUT OF AFRICA WILDLIFE PARK just a few miles from TT Verde Valley. We did not go at that time, thinking it probably was not yet fully established.

[Note: $5.00 Off coupon available at the Cottonwood Visitor Center.]

But this Friday morning, Ken and I took Julie with us to visit the Wildlife Park.

When we first arrived, we rode a shuttle around the Non-Predator section of the park.

Everyone was given a carrot stick to feel the Giraffes. Julie snapped this amazing picture!

The guide said the Giraffe below is the same age as the other; however, it was born with extra skin. Observe the wrinkles which make it look like an OLD Giraffe! (If you click on the picture, it may enlarge so you get a better view of the wrinkles.)

The following animals look much the same, but they are obviously different species! Notice the horns curved to the back.

Fancy long curvy horns.

Absolute straight horns in front; spiraled horns in back.

There was a small herd of Zebras.

When the shuttle took us back to the starting point, we boarded a tram which carried us around the Predator section of the Park.

About that time we were getting hungry. We went to the Tiger Splash and ate while we watched the show. The workers indicated they do not train the Tigers. They work with the Tigers but let them behave naturally. They never know what will happen during the show.

They teased the Tigers with big balloons.

Sometimes they threw the balloons into the pool, trying to get the Tiger to jump in. Here the Tiger did not actually jump into the pool -- he stepped on the worker's head on his way in!

Then they threw a balloon shaped like a man into the pool. This time the Tiger actually jumped into the pool as it attacked the man!!

After the Tiger Splash we went to the Snake Show. They had two huge snakes with which they allowed the audience to get up close and personal!

I was just like one of the kids -- I had to touch, too!

We chose to go to the Wildlife Park on Friday because they only do the Predator Feed on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We particularly wanted to be there!! The workers threw huge pieces of meat, or whole chickens, out to the animals to give them a chance to actually be Predators! It was quite exciting!

It's All Gone!!

It was a most enjoyable day at the OUT OF AFRICA WILDLIFE PARK!!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Apr. 15 - Apr. 27 - When we went out to the Pickleball courts, there was already a group playing. They start playing about 8:30 AM; way too early for us. We are parked overlooking the courts, so Ken walks over about 9:30. I wander over about 10 AM because I've been resting my backsides.

Here is some of the action over several days.

Fred and Connie.

Don and Oland. A unique backhand!

Darrel and Ed.

This is what Pickleball is all about - Ed slams the ball at Don for a put-away!

Oland and Connie.

Sandy, Ed, Karen and Bob after their match.

Fred and Don.

Ken and Ed.

Connie and Ken.

Richard and Karen.

A competitive match! Dennis and Barb against Merralee and Oland.

Barb and Dennis. Notice Dennis using his left hand.

Oland and Merralee.

One morning Keith was at the courts!! He had come in for a couple of nights. Here Keith plays a match with Mike.

They played against Oland and Richard.

Everyone was having a great time!! There were a lot more players -- far too many to include here!!