On Monday October 22, we relocated from Page AZ to Camp Verde AZ and settled Mo into Zane Grey RV Village which is about an hour north of Phoenix. We are scheduled to stay at Zane Grey until the Monday after Thanksgiving. One of the main reasons we chose this park/area was that we had plans to go on "vacation" to Sedona which is about 40 miles from the RV park.
Long time readers will remember that we spent the holidays last year with our friends, Jack and Barb, at their house near Houston. We wanted to repay them for their kindness by treating them to a week in Sedona and we used our timeshare points to reserve a 2-bedroom villa at the Sedona Summit. So two days after we got Mo to Zane Grey, we locked her up and drove BAT to Sedona - this was Wednesday. Jack and Barb flew in from Houston and got a rental car to drive the two hours north to Sedona. We got checked in and went to our room which had a fabulous view of the red rocks from the large back deck. We all love Sedona!
I had made a chiropractor appointment for the afternoon we arrived hoping it would help with the dizziness I had been experiencing for over a week. Barb took me to the doctor while Jack and Steve went to the grocery store. Those of you that are familiar with Sedona may know that it is somewhat of a weird town and has a spiritual holistic health nut vibe. Not that any of this is a bad thing, but I mention it because the chiropractor I found was into some new age healing...such as using CBD oil on my neck and aromatherapy in the waiting room. He also used lasers on my neck. However, I must say I felt better within a couple of days and my dizziness was gone - woohoo!
Anyway, back to Sedona - the guys grilled steaks the first night and we all got caught up on each other's lives as we enjoyed our surroundings in the beautiful Sedona area.
On Thursday morning, Jack and Steve dropped Barb and I off at a mall in Cottonwood while they ran back to Mo to pick up a few items that we forgot to pack. It was going to be much warmer in Sedona than we thought and we needed some different clothes! When the guys came back, we went to lunch at Black Bear Diner and then decided to ride to the nearby town of Jerome.
Jerome is an old mining town sitting on the side of a mountain. It is now a tourist destination with all kinds of museums, shops, restaurants, wineries and the old insane asylum which is now a hotel and restaurant. We stopped at an old mine site, saw a rattlesnake that was on its last legs but still shaking its rattle, and walked around downtown for awhile. We rode up to the asylum and peaked around inside. Cool town - hope to go back and visit again while we are in the area. Oh, and we also had ice cream. Yum! That night in Sedona, we went to eat at Dahl & DeLuca which is a great Italian restaurant - it was really good!
Friday was Steve's birthday and we had an excursion planned. We headed north to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, ate lunch and then went over to the National Geographic building where we checked in for our Pink Jeep sunset tour. We were early but our tickets included passes to the IMAX movie so we watched it. It was great! Then it was time to load up for our ride around the South Rim out to the Desert View Watchtower on the eastern side of the canyon. We ended up at an overlook and watched the sunset. The best views are not of the setting sun but of the lights that the sun casts across the canyon. We had a perfect spot to sit and watch the colors play across the canyon. It was awesome. We headed back to the car and then headed back to Sedona, stopping in Flagstaff for a late supper. It was a great day and Steve had a wonderful birthday!
On Saturday, we all took a hike in nearby Fay Canyon - this was a beautiful hike deep into the canyon with lots of soaring red rocks rising all around us. We had a nice 2-mile round trip hike and then went into Sedona for lunch at the Cowboy Club and then we stopped at Pisa Lisa for gelato for dessert. Later that evening we went out to dinner at a restaurant called Creekside Bistro and it was very good! We had to take hikes to work off some of the good food we had been eating!
On Sunday morning, we had another adventure planned which was another Pink Jeep tour - this tour was the Diamondback Gulch tour which took us out into the desert with our guide, Don. Don was a retired senior citizen (older than us which may be hard for some of you to believe - haha) who kept active by doing tours several days a week. He was really good and shared his knowledge of the desert, animals, plants, birds, history, etc. We went off-road through the desert and ended up at Diamondback Gulch which provided a pretty thrilling ride down one side and up the other. All in all it was an enjoyable 3-hour ride. Don even gave us a couple restaurant recommendations, and not being ones to miss a meal, we took him up on one of them. We went back to Pisa Lisa (where we had eaten gelato earlier) and had pizza for lunch - it was fabulous!
On Monday, we had yet another excursion planned - this one was related to our timeshare. We were given an "Event of a Lifetime" opportunity and I was able to add Jack and Barb to it. The "Event" was a couple hours at a working ranch south of Sedona. Transportation, lunch and cowboy games were included. We left around 9 on a small bus with about 20 or so other folks and headed south. Not sure I knew this at the time of booking, but it was a 2 1/2 hour ride to the ranch. The ride was uneventful for the most part and as we got close to the ranch things got interesting - the dirt road to the ranch took us through two (normally) dry creek beds. However, there had been rain recently and both creek beds had water running through them, and not just a trickle either! We forded the second creek after we turned into the ranch and the driver had to gun it to get the bus up the hill. The ranch was pretty cool - there was an authentic small town laid out which included two fully decked out bars, a bank, hotel, church and other assorted building. There were several cowboys walking around (complete with tight fitting jeans, boots and spurs).
After a soda pop in the bar, the group split up into smaller groups and we went on a jeep tour (seems to be a theme) and headed through town up to a small hill that contained lots of different varieties of cactus. One cowboy proceeded to identify the different types of cactus and showed us how one could potentially survive in the desert for a while and get food and water from the cactus. None of the demonstrations looked like anything I would do, but that is beside the point. It was interesting and informative.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch (I always wanted to say that and have it actually make sense) we settled in for a cowboy lunch. The food was prepared on a large outdoor wood-fired grill and included steak and/or chicken, cowboy beans, corn on the cob, potato salad, coleslaw, roll, cookies and apple pie for dessert. While we ate, we were entertained by a Native American father and son who shared information with us about native dances. Then the son performed a hoop dance for us - he is a championship hoop dancer.
After lunch we took part in some cowboy games. The games included tomahawk throwing (don't count on me to save your life with a tomahawk), skeet shooting, pistol shooting, and archery. After my miserable attempt at throwing the tomahawk, I wandered around and took pictures. I seem to be better at that. We then boarded the bus for the long 2 1/2 hour ride back to Sedona.
On Tuesday morning, we had breakfast at the resort followed by an "Owner Update" meeting where a representative of the timeshare company provided us with current information on our benefits and answered any questions that we have. That took most of the morning. I had a followup chiropractor appt at 2 and Barb had scheduled a massage. I dropped her off at her massage place and went to see the good doctor. He cracked my back, twisted my neck and let me enjoy the aromatherapy in his waiting room. After I left, I headed back to where Barb was and since I was way early, I took a stroll through the Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village. This isn't your average arts and crafts village - this is a cool (and somewhat expensive) place with galleries and stores that feature local artists and Native American jewelry and other items. I spent about 45 minutes walking through and looking at all the pretty stuff. I found a couple bracelets - one for me and one for my BFF Debbie who we would be seeing in early November (more on that subject in another post).
The resort gave Jack and Barb a generous gift certificate to a French/American restaurant in Sedona and we had a reservation for 7pm that night. We thought we would be eating good in the neighborhood...until we looked at the menus and learned that it was fixed price - three courses for $95 (each) or four courses for $110 (each). Gulp - we normally do not spend that kind of money and even the generous gift certificate wouldn't make a dent at those prices. The restaurant wasn't busy and the waitress said we could split a 3-course meal between each couple, so that made the price a bit more reasonable. The meal was good, but not something we would go out of our way to eat again. Back at the room, we played a final few hands of cards - we had played cards almost every night since we had been in Sedona. We really enjoyed our stay in Sedona and enjoyed spending the week with Jack and Barb - I hope they enjoyed it as much as we did!
On Wednesday morning, they left early to fly back to Houston and we left around 10 to drive back home to Mo in to Camp Verde