Monday, October 31, 2011

Visitors, Visitors and More Visitors


We haven’t been doing much, it has been quite hot here in Ajo, we can’t leave the dogs locked up in this weather. We are hanging the shade cloth off the awning which at least makes it bearable for  everyone.


On Saturday we had two visitors, the first one was a man in a van, he drove up the driveway because he thought he recognized the motor home, he was mistaken but he stayed and chatted for a few minutes, he was staying at  Coyote Howl RV park at Why about ten miles from here. He has been coming here for years.

Later a little John deer 4 x 4 pulled up with an older man and lady and their little dog. They also thought we were someone they knew. The man whose name was Doyle said they had been coming here for years, in fact they had camped in this very spot last year.

He gestured behind  the motorhome and said that’s my drinking buddy over there, in fact I brought him a drink. He got out of the atv  walked over and stuck a beer bottle in one of the Saguaro cactus.


I wasn’t very pleased, and as soon as they left I took it out. I hope they don’t come back, cause I don’t want him doing that to the cactus.


Today  we had two more visitors, I didn’t go out but Skip talked to two men who came on ATVS, one man was born and raised in Ajo, the other was from Alberta. The man from Ajo owns the property across from us, we had walked over there last year

He told Skip that a large mountain lion had been seen over by his property and that we should be careful with our dogs. He also told Skip that the border patrol had arrested seven men in a cave on the mountain behind his place. He said they had beds in the cave for twenty people. The border patrol also got five hundred pounds of pot.

The mountain where the cave is.


Before he left he asked if we wanted to move over to his property, he said we could stay there as long as we wanted ( he lives in town), Skip told him we weren’t planning on staying longer than the 14 days allowed on the BLM land. Apparently he is looking for someone to watch his property through the winter.

We have been having other visitors too.                         





We were told they are cactus wrens.

We checked the weather forecast today and it said only one more day of hot weather, then it’s supposed to be in the 70s.

Back to walking  with leashes for the Boston Bs




Friday, October 28, 2011

Back to Ajo, Where We Found Old Friends


We spent thirteen days at Cottonwood Forest Service Campground, it was centrally located for all the things we wanted to see. On Tuesday we went to see the ruins at Tuzigoot, just outside Clarkdale. There was once a large Pueblo which was home to about 200 hundred people. Like the habitants of Montezuma’s Castle the Sinaqua people abandoned their home around 1400 AD.



The Visitors Center Below



Inside the Pueblo



It was raining on Wednesday with lightening and thunder, but in between storms we headed back to Jerome to see the Gold King Mine which  Bev and Jim recommended to us, Unfortunately it started raining while we were there and got cold and the ground got pretty muddy. There were many old trucks, a working sawmill and lots of mine artifacts.

The Sawmill


Lots of old trucks



Gas was cheap


I think it needs some work



The Mine Shaft


Thursday morning we headed for Ajo, and Darby Wells Rd where we camped last year. We really liked our site last year so we were hoping it would be empty. When we turned up the driveway  the Greeter was waiting for us.


Our old site was empty and just the same as we left it last year.


The small pile of rocks is where I put the stick for my hummingbird feeder. I wasn’t sure is I should put it out again, cause I felt so bad taking it down last year, the hummingbirds were dive bombing me. This morning I looked up and there was a hummingbird looking in the window. I know he recognized me and it had nothing to do with the red blanket sitting on the dashboard. Naturally I felt obligated to put the feeder up again. I hung it on the stick and I didn’t even make it back to the motorhome and he was there.ajo day 1 

It feels good to be back here again, it is very quiet, we have no close neighbours, but we can see them in the distance’


Morning Walk



Monday, October 24, 2011

Sedona’s Spiritual Vortex


According to the National Forests Recreation Guide, 62% of the visitors to Sedona, were seeking some kind of spiritual experience. Sedona is believed to be a vortex meditation site.

Skip and I knew  that when we visited Sedona we wanted to hike on one of the trails where the energy vortexes were the strongest. We picked  Boynton Canyon as it seemed to be more remote than the others, and we felt it would be less crowded.


We started along the trail and soon we heard the sound of chanting, there was a group of maybe 12 people  in a circle meditating, the collective ommm filled the air. We stood quietly listening for a while and then we turned up the path towards the Boynton Spire.


We had only gone a hundred yards or so when the air was filled with the most beautiful music, we looked up and  saw this.


A man sitting on top playing a flute, beautiful  notes floated down the valley, it was the most amazing experience.

We couldn’t see him sometimes, but we could always hear his music.


The path led us right up the cliff below him.


The green valley below


We climbed as far as the path  went and there he was.


We sat on the rock below him for almost one half hour, listening as he played his music.

The spell was broken by a group of young Italian tourists, shouting to each other as they climbed the rocks. He finished his tune, packed away his flute and climbed down from his perch. When he approached us, I said to him that was lovely, we could hear you from the bottom. He said  yes, it seems to carry forever, I said it was magical, then he said would you accept a heart?, and gave me a red stone heart


It was a wonderful experience, and whether or not a person believes in spiritual vortexes,or energy vortexes we both felt we had experienced something very special.



Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Quick Trip to Sedona


Yesterday we drove to the town of Sedona, which is a beautiful town surrounded by towering mountains and red cliffs. Downtown  Sedona has a definite building scheme, the colors are muted to match the landscape, red and terra cotta mainly. Even stores like Safeway.

We were not very well prepared for hiking, we left our back-pack and water  at the motor home. Our map was not the best either, we had trouble identifying the various rocks.

We knew this was Bell Rock


Not sure about this one.we think it was called the  Courthouse



We ended up just driving around stopping  to take pictures at the various vistas.



We found the Chapel on Chapel Rd.


Some interesting rocks


Around noon we found a visitors information center, and got a better map  with directions to the various trailheads. It was about time to drive back to Cottonwood and let the dogs out of the motor home. We decided to go back to Sedona on Monday and hike one or two of the shorter trails, hopefully there won’t be as many people on the trails after the weekend.

We will be leaving this area soon, we haven’t decided exactly when, or where we are headed, maybe back to the Ajo area ,we both really liked camping on Darby Wells Road, south of the town.



Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Trip to Jerome AZ


Yesterday we left early in the morning and headed for the town of Jerome  Jerome was a mining town built on the side of a mountain, once a thriving town by 1939 it was the third largest city in Arizona After the mines closed in the early 1950s the population dwindled to 50 residents. In the 1960’s the town was discovered by the hippies who established an art colony.Today it is a tourist town with art galleries, restaurants and interesting shops.

We wanted to go to Jerome State Park to see the mansion, built by James Douglas, that is now the headquarters of the park. The park wasn’t open for some unknown reason, but we were able to see some of the artifacts from the mine.



The top of the mine shaft was glassed over


The shaft went down 1900 feet

IMG_2760the  cage that took the miners down shaft


The Little Daisy Hotel was  built to house the miners, it is now a private residence


The Grand Hotel was once an insane asylum



Because Jerome is on the side of a mountain there are staircases between the streets.


the House of Joy was a brothel, then an award winning restaurant,now a shop.


One of the really neat shops was called Nellie Blys it was filled with beautiful expensive  kaleidoscopes. The lady working there showed me how to take pictures of the beautiful designs.



We really enjoyed wandering around Jerome, looking at all the old buildings, I liked this store.


If we get a chance we will go back again before we leave this area, we would like to see the State Park.



Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Trip to Montezuma's Castle and Well


The weather here in Cottonwood has been, really warm. We have to run  any errands and  visit any sites in the morning,as it is too hot to shut the dogs in the motorhome in the afternoon. Yesterday we took them into  Cottonwood, and all three of them had their nails clipped, even Jake.We have had difficulty  finding a groomer willing to do his nails, he doesn’t like having them cut and because of his size he is difficult to hold. Carla, at Carla’s pet grooming had no problem, she did a good job with all three. At five dollars each it is a bargain.even with a tip.

Today we drove to Montezuma’s Castle which is the ruins  of cliff dwellings built by the Southern Sinagua, a prehistoric culture. The Sinagua built the large pueblos  about 1100  and lived in them until the 1400s when they for unknown reasons abandoned them.




The castle had twenty rooms and five stories

The beams for the building were made  from the Arizona Sycamore Tree, which is a huge tree with  distinctive mottled trunk.



There is another dwelling near by which is called Castle A, it had six stories and 45 rooms,there is very little left of this dwelling.



We then drove to Montezuma’s Well which is about six miles away. The Well is actually a limestone sink, formed by the collapse of a limestone cavern. It is fed by a warm spring.


There is a Swallet which is the outlet  of the well.


It goes underground and comes out 150 feet later.


The Sinagua farmers irrigated their fields with this water, and built irrigation ditches that can still be seen.IMG_2751


The remains of a big pueblo on the top of the well.



It was a very interesting  morning and we enjoyed touring both of these  National Monuments, the ingenuity and hard work of the Sinagua  people.

We think we will stay here in Cottonwood, for a few more days, there are lots of things to see within a few miles .