Friday, April 13, 2012

Heading to Higher Ground

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Arizona is one of the few places where you can nearly always find a comfortable temperature without leaving the state.  As Tucson and Phoenix’s forecasts were starting to climb well into the 90’s, it was time to start looking for higher ground!  I wanted to visit the Apache-Sitgraeve area around Show Low, but the weather there was still a bit too cold.  Checking the forecast around Prescott and Sedona, however, showed a string of perfect days in the 70’s.  So, Millie and I headed north!

I stayed in Prescott Valley for the first five days as the unlimited $15/night Passport-America rate at the Fairgrounds RV Park was just too good to pass up (it even included free WiFi, what a treat!). 

I had visited the Prescott area briefly last winter and remembered driving past a lake that looked like it’d be awesome to paddle in warmer weather.  So on Easter Sunday, I did just that.  Watson Lake is one of two lakes in Prescott that are in the midst of a red rock area.  Watson is a bit smaller than Willow Lake and seemed more popular with kayakers, so I headed there.

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It was a terrific lake to explore!  Lots of little nooks and a few rocky islands to paddle around… and I even saw a bald eagle!

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After doing up Prescott, I wanted to move to the northern side of the Mingus mountain range to even prettier places—Cottonwood and Sedona.  I had spent a weekend there last winter and knew I had only scratched the surface of all there was to explore. 

I was eager to do some more boondocking after staying in campgrounds and RV parks so many weeks, and I lucked into a phenomenal BLM site a few miles east of Cottonwood near the Thousand Trails RV resort.  I had a terrific view of the Mingus mountains and Cottonwood to the south, with Sedona’s red rocks off in the distance to the north….what a view out my “office window”!
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I even watched a small rain shower roll over the moutains one afternoon and make it’s way across the valley:
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Just before sunset each evening, I’d take the Tracker for a drive up to the Sedona area.  One night, I drove the trails out beyond Dry Creek Rd where all the tourist jeeps go:
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The next night, I drove the main tourist route from Oak Creek into Sedona and really lucked out with spectacular lighting (and even a rainbow!).  This area really should have been a National Park—it’s just jaw-dropping gorgeous!
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Alas, all good things must come to an end.  A big cold front was moving into the area and bringing some thundershowers with it.  Time to move back down to lower ground!   Also time to finally leave beautiful Arizona and start making our way back home to Chicago.

10 comments:

  1. The photos are stunning. I am really looking forward to seeing all this in person..I will show John these pictures when I get to the hospital. That should be motivation to get off the vent and into rehab!

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  2. We spent a week in Sedona in 2001 and loved the area. Lovely photographs from your brief stay bring back some great memories for us.

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  3. Your photos are fantastic. I love that area and maybe will get back there soon. When you mentioned Show Low I thought we might meet there. But yes it was a bit early and still cold. I am heading up there April 17 for 6 months to get away from Tucson's heat.
    Have a safe trip home.

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  4. Awesome pictures Lynne! We love AZ-scapes!

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  5. Just love the area of Arizona, great pictures!

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  6. Your pics are really beautiful!

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  7. Beautiful shots. So many RVers see different things in the same area.

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  8. Gorgeous! I grew up in Arizona and have been to these areas many times. Your photos are stunning. I can't believe your bald eagle sighting either. Beautiful!

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