Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Veteran's Day Weekend- Dead Horse Ranch State Park

Greetings Earthlings & others. Been a while since I Rock & Rolled! Had a lovely 3 day weekend at "The Horse." Each time we visit, we always find another thing to do there, another little activity we haven't tried or experienced. Dead Horse

Dead Horse Ranch is a State Park here in Arizona, about 8 miles from a famous place called Sedona, home of the red rocks. It's kind of amazing what you can actually do here at this place... Camping, fishing (lagoon and Verde River), wildlife viewing, hiking, Native American ruins (Tuzigoot National Monument); just outside the park: hang gliding landing fields, skateboard park, Frisbee golf course, kayaking, horseback riding & trails, etc. Then, in the town of Cottonwood, there's shopping in Old Town, a few restaurants worth visiting, and "The Riot." Rendevous in Old Town

Most campers wouldn't consider the restaurants, shopping, and other civilized forms of entertainment when camping, and therein lies the difference between tent camping and camping in a motor home, RV, pop-up, etc.

I used to think that people who went camping in an RV were wussies. Even tent camping in an organized campground was just too safe and organized for me. But, as I have grown a tad older, there are many benefits to RV and "apparatus" camping. 

First and foremost, the elements are manageable. In the Desert, when we camp at the lake (Roosevelt) in the Summer, temps can reach 112 at night! Ever try sleeping in a tent in those kind of temps? Good luck. I'm done with that. Then, last year's New Year's trip, it was 11 degrees outside, and it sure was nice to go into the '62 Shasta camper with the heater blasting, and watch movies on the blu ray player, and NFL playoff games at night!

Second, you are basically sleeping on a bed, and not a mat, a pad, or the ground. Nothing like a jagged rock poking you in the should when you roll over at 4 am while trying to sleep in your tent.

And third, tent camping is a survival mode experience, where you cook, clean, hike around, and really experience the pure aspects of nature. It's nice and swell to be able to set up the camper, go out and eat breakfast, shop, visit cultural landmarks, and come back to a civilized dwelling. Both experiences have their benefits and drawbacks, but at this point in my life I have changed my tune... I am not a Wussie, and I enjoy "Camper Camping!"

You have the best of both worlds... We cook outside, start a camp fire, use our camping gear (lanterns, propane stove, pop up, EZ Up canopy/shelter), & have a few beers while braving the elements in my North Face down jacket.

So, that being said, this trip we visited the cemetery at Cottonwood. It was a spur of the moment decision to check it out, and we had just finished breakfast at Georgie's Cafe, (Georgie's) and decided to take a peek. Glad we did! Not sure when the town of Cottonwood was founded, but we found gravestones of folks who passed in the 1850's! That's not something you see every day in and around Scottsdale/Phoenix, where we live. 

There's a lot of western history in this small town. Life must have been very hard in those times- Fighting off the Natives, surviving the elements, lack of medical attention, tough climates, and more. Makes you appreciate the comforts of your camper, huh!!!

On the way home, we stopped at a place I had hard about for many years, Arcosanti. It is billed as an urban laboratory. 

"Arcosanti is a place where the green (lean) movement has been practiced for 42 years in a coherent and consistent way, not reforming by improving inherited patterns, but reformulating the present into something more promising."—Paolo Soler

 Although we did not take the tour, we did walk around and check things out for an hour or so. (We'll go back another time and take the guided tour for ten bucks). You talk about a place that's truly in the middle of nowhere! Yeah... This is it! The architecture is simple yet interesting. The concept is unique as well. Worth a visit, for certain.

For more on Arcosanti, see their website here: Arcosanti

 Well, its onwards and upwards from here! Next weekend, it's camping at Rancho Sedona! Low 70's, day; upper 30's night. Not too bad... If you're inside a CAMPER! I still say I am not a Wussie

(Crappy Iphone photo)

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