Our road trip from Cathedral Gorge to Prescott Valley, AZ has been quite varied in elevation, weather and terrain.
In Nevada, at Cathedral Gorge State Park, the red bentonite clay formations were a great backdrop for the Dutch Oven cookoff. There were twenty-three chefs who cooked an amazing assortment of food. Curry chicken, sausage, stuffed peppers; jalapeno casserole, scalloped potatoes, spicy chicken, apple turnovers and chocolate cake were just some of the dishes. All of the food was prepared in Dutch Ovens over hot coals. Depending upon the recipe, cooking time could take an hour to many hours. The best part was the ability to sample most of the food after the judges decided who had the best dish based upon a category (main meal, side dish, dessert, etc). We had quite a feast and it was a great way to wrap up our stay in Nevada.
Our next stop was Cedar City, Utah where we restocked our bare shelves before moving on to Lees Ferry, Arizona. Lees Ferry, at 3,200 feet, is part of the Glen Canyon National Recreational area and sits along the Colorado River about 40 miles from Page. The campground is located in a canyon at the base of the stunning Vermillion red cliffs. It is an area filled with history of exploration, settlement, polygamy and murder. If you google John D. Lee or Lonely Dell you’ll get more info on the settlement of this remote area. We enjoyed unusually cool weather and the beautiful scenery and did some short hikes through washes and canyons.
We left the red rocks and climbed higher in elevation to get to our next stop at the Bonito National Forest Campground which is about 25 miles north of Flagstaff. The campground is at 7000 feet and the sites are nestled under tall Ponderosa pines. The campground sits at the entrance of Sunset Crater National Monument which is home to an extinct crater. So we went from the red rocks of Utah and Nevada to the hardened black lava of the crater that erupted over 900 years ago. We played tourist by hiking the short nature trails through lava rock and then driving the scenic drive to nearby Wupatki National Monument which contains a number of Native American ruins.
From Bonito, we had a short 120 mile drive to Prescott Valley. The area is surrounded by national forest and has an area with an interesting formation of exposed bedrock and granite boulders. We’ll attend a folk festival at the Sharlot Museum along with a couple other musical events in town. We’ll probably do a couple of hikes and a bike ride as well. We’re basically using Prescott Valley as a staging area as we wait for cooler weather in Mesa which is our next stop.
Stay tuned for more info on our fall adventures.