4 Wheel’n…..

Or otherwise know as a bunch of retired guys tearing up the desert acting like teenagers!!

If you really want to see Arizona, you have to broaden you horizon and go off road! There are hundreds and hundreds of miles of trails that criss-cross the state. Some are in the valleys, and some go deep in to the mountains where a lot of western history was made.

Benson Arizona is just one of the many small towns that attract snowbirds looking to escape northern winters. It’s also a perfect place to escape to the back country and get an adrenaline rush and marvel at the beauty of it all!

When I was given the opportunity to tag along on, it took all of a split second for me to say “OH HELL YES!!” It’s 8:00am and the caravan gathers to discuss the days ride. Actually, more trash talk than planning! All loaded up, lunches and water stored, we follow the leader to where the the pavement ends, the road narrows, and the adventure begins.

Oh this is going to be fun!

My mental image of Arizona desert prior was lots and lots of sand and cactus. I was completely wrong! Rugged terrain for sure and yes plenty of cactus. But what I didn’t expect was deep canyons, lush greenery, and plenty of wild life (of which I was too slow to capture on the phones camera).

Plenty of cactus! In fact for the most part if it grows here, it will hurt you!

How far we went into the back country I’m not sure. All know is within a few minutes I was totally lost. Thank God the guys leading the pack knew where we are…….I think!…. They do don’t they??

Crumbling remnants of an old town, though small, still stand. As the story goes, the former resident of this place is buried here.

Sooooo much fun! My Thanks to everyone for inviting me along!

UP Top in Arizona

We really enjoyed  the time we spent at the Grand Canyon. So much so that we had no plans for where to go after! No reservations, just a few ideas as to possible destinations. Don’t get me wrong. No plan is not all bad. Part of this lifestyle is to go with the flow. That being said, we’re in snowbird heaven and parks fill quickly when winter in the North sets in. So fire up the internet in search of our next stop.

After a few phone calls of “Sorry, we’re full”, we were referred to a new park in Cottonwood, a small town a short distance from the very popular town of Sedona. Although still under construction a portion of the park was completed with very few occupied sites. The best part? It’s on top of a Mesa which overlooks the entire Sedona Valley!

As a nice added bonus, just a short walk from the park, …Horses! One of Susans’ favorite photo subjects!

We couldn’t have picked a more beautiful spot!  The scenery all around us is just breathtaking! Beautiful sunsets making the surrounding red colored  mountains explode with brilliance. And when stormy weather is around, we have a front row seat!

Just one of the many places to stop and enjoy the view!

A short drive from Cottonwood is the old mining town of Jerome. Built on the side of a mountain, Jerome was once booming with a population of  several thousand mainly due to the rich copper mines the town was built on top of. Eventually the mines closed and the town all but died.

One of those mines was purchased and turned into a museum of sorts. More like an antique collection intermixed with the old buildings that were once home to the many miner that worked there.

Being the old wood chuck  that I am, (woodworker for those that don’t know the term) I was fascinated watching this old steam/gas fired saw mill which was still in operation. The giant blade was chewing its way through cedar and mesquite logs with the slabs sold to craftsmen willing to pay dearly.

Blade guard?…NOPE!
The view from Jerome

Taking road trips is one of our favorite thing to do. Looking at the Arizona road map, RT89 out of Sedona was through a canyon. So armed with PBJ’s we’re off! No large trucks on this road and this is why!

Switchbacks wind you up the canyon.

Our initial thought was to stay in this area for a couple weeks. We ended up staying for six! This part of Arizona is just gorgeous! We’ve had many highlights in our travels. This area certainly makes that list.

Last year Texas was pretty chilly so this time around we decided to spend a couple of months in southern AZ. We’ll move to Texas in February so for now, we’re off to Benson!