Saturday, April 3, 2010

Third Rally Down; Heading Home

We had a good time in Tucson at the Monaco Pre-Rally, but it was time to head north to the beautiful Verde Valley between Phoenix and Flagstaff. We were in charge of the Golden Spike Rally in Cottonwood and we had lots of details to take care of. We checked in again at Dead Horse State Park (pictured on left). This is a very well appointed park with 50 amp and water at every site and two dump stations at the park entrance. The staff is exceptionally friendly and helpful; Wanda even gave us discount coupons to local restaurants and grocery stores.

First on our list was to contact all the places we would be visiting at the Rally.  We made the trip into Clarkdale to the Verde Canyon RR and confirmed the 20 people that would be traveling on Monday. We checked in with Pink Jeep Tours and the Jerome Haunted Tours. Then it was time for our first trip to Wal-Mart for the 'makings' for 5 Impossible Pies, 2 Taco, 1 Seafood, 1 Quesidilla, and 1 Ham & Swiss. For this rally the Clovis/Fresno Crew will be fixing breakfast for everyone for 3 mornings. I have to say we did not think this would be one of the tasks we would be doing in a RV kitchen, but the Windsor did just fine, although the kitchen did look a bit used.

The Harrisons and Halls, the Clovis/Fresno Crew, arrived 2 days early for planning, shopping and dining out. We had a great dinner at the Tavern Grill in Old Cottonwood one night and Nick's across the street the next night. We were warned about the noise at Nick's but I guess we just didn't listen. The food was quite good there too.

We moved from Dead Horse to the Thousand Trails RV Resort to get the organized and assign spaces to the other 9 rigs.  Everyone started arriving Saturday, March 27; by 5:00 we were ready to stop by the Price's new Bounder for a Champagne party then on to the Z Circles. We learned about this fun in Quartzsite at the Geocaching BOF. This is a get acquainted activity where we divide the group into teams of 4-6 and they visit one RV then split up and visit the next rig where they meet 2-3 other couples. This rotation occurs three times with 'Heavy' Hor'douvers in each rig.  By the end of the evening we were well acquainted, well fed, and ready for bed as the next day was really full.

The next morning we had our Impossible Pies, fresh fruit, and an assortment of breads and flavored cream cheese. We finished quickly and caravaned to Sedona for the Pink Jeep ride. I have to say we were quite disappointed in the tour which was mostly on the highway with only 2 very short stops and a 'drive-by' of the airport . We did see the beautiful Sadona vistas, but we could have seen that in our own Jeeps; for $45 we won't be taking that ride again.  We went back to the Thousand Trails RV park where Tom & I had set out 7 geocaches to introduce the group to.  Several couples found all 7 and others had fun learning about this growing sport. This last month the million cache placement mark was reached worldwide - now that's a lot of caches!  Again we piled into our cars and went to the Casino for a cheap but good dinner.

Monday morning it was Omelets in a Baggie.  We had chopped ham, bacon, sweet peppers, cheese, mushrooms and eggs boiling in zip-lock bags in a huge propane turkey cooker.  Adding to that were Yogurt, Fruit and bagels. This group does not go hungry!  A business meeting followed with Tom 'seconding' every motion almost before the motion was made. Remember this is a railroading group.

 We then drove to Clarkdale, ordered our Pannini's, and boarded the train for the most beautiful ride up the Verde Canyon.

People say they can see faces and forms in the rocks. These are just a few of the over 50 pictures I took with 2 cameras.

At the end of the ride up the canyon, the engine was taken on a siding to the end of the train to haul us back. Why do I get an image of Gene Wilder when the engine passed?

Following the train ride we all went to Su Casa for Mexican dinner. Yummmmm.

Guess what we did the next morning? BREAKFAST. More Impossible Pies, Fruit, Yogurt, breads, bagels. This was an 'optional' day of the rally so 4 rigs headed back home.  The rest of us were picked up by the Jerome Haunted Tours led by the affable Ron Roppe. This was a very interesting historical tour.  Ron couldn't have been more accommodating and entertaining. He explained the connections between Cottonwood, Clarkdale, Jerome and the mining companies. Jerome, build literally on the side of the mountain,  was like the hell-on-wheels town that followed the railroads. Brothels, gambling, saloons, bootlegging and 4 hospitals. This was truly the wild west in the late 1800's and as late as the 1930's. Boy did we learn a lot on this 1 1/2 tour and and hour for a delicious lunch that Ron gave us discount coupons for.  Whew. It was a good rally and we think everyone had a good time.

We were saddened to hear of the accident on the Eversole's way to Quartzsite the next day. Thank God they are OK with only a few bruises.

We left on Tuesday after the Jerome tour and drove to Mesa to RV Renovators for some work on the RV. More on that in our next blog.  Thanks for stopping by. If you have any suggestions for improving my feeble efforts at blogging, please leave comments.

Love and Hugs to All, Barbara, Tom and Pansy