Cottonwood, AZ. Highs: high 50's to low 60's Lows: high 20's to low 30's. Site: M-16. AT&T connectivity very good with hot spots and T-Mobile Mifi
We are only in Cottonwood for two weeks this visit, but we've managed to keep quite busy. We are still waiting for our jacks to come in and be replaced. Sparky, despite getting a new crown in record time, is still having aching somewhere in the general vicinity of the crown--uh-oh! That could be just the tooth still adjusting or another one squawking, who knows. By the way, if you need any dental care in the area, Sparky recommends Peak Family Dental Care in Cottonwood. There are three locations for this dentistry practice. Although the office was super small and parking was at a premium, Sparky received EXCELLENT care for her broken tooth. And if she should have go back to see what else is going on with her teeth, she will definitely head back there.
|porcelain cube ready to be cut|
After being filed down, it was replaced with a porcelain crown, made with the latest CAD imagery and machinery, carved from a porcelain cube while she waited. The machine was like a dual Dremel tool, carving and spinning and spraying the cube while it was being carved. Then the little purple tooth capsule was popped into a kiln and baked for about 15 minutes at about 2800 degrees and turned into the tooth enamel color. It was fascinating to watch! Dr. Shanahan was one of the first several hundred in the nation to get the "carving" machine and has been doing crowns this way for many years.
She was in and out in less than 4 hours, completely done.
So, above and beyond dental and jacks, there are a TON of things to do here in the area and we have done some. We are saving Sedona activities and hiking for our next three week stay, our last, coming up after a week in Yuma. Here is just a sample of things to do while staying at Thousand Trails Verde Valley:
Visit the Alcantara Winery just around the corner from the RV park. It's part of the Verde Valley Wine Trail. Visit Red Rock State Park, Slide Rock State Park (in Sedona) and Dead Horse Ranch State Park, Sparky's favorite. Near Dead Horse Ranch is Blazin' M Ranch known for their chuckwagon dinners and Wild West shows. They are also adding Conestoga wagon units for "glamping". Check out Sedona Wetlands, about a mile outside of Sedona. Visit Jerome, an old mining town with supposedly lots of haunted places. Drive the scenic route over Mingus Mountain from Jerome to Prescott. It's a little scary two lane highway 89A snaking through mountain canyons and having steep drop-offs. You DON'T want to take an RV of any length on this drive! You will attain an elevation of over 6,00 feet before winding back down. While at more calming lower elevations, visit Tuzigoot National Monument (use your senior pass) and Montezuma's Castle. Visit the Arizona Copper Museum in Clarkdale, nearby. Be sure to read Sparky's two posts about the copper museum, it was that great!
One day this week, we headed to the Haunted Hamburger joint up in Jerome. Jerome became a deserted ghost town in 1953 after gold and copper dwindled in the mountains. People rallied to save Jerome, preserved and restored it and billed it as the largest ghost city in America. Many of the original buildings line the streets. There is Jerome State Park nearby too, if you should choose to visit, with a mining museum in the historic Douglas Mansion, and the Gold King Mine and Ghost Town situated nearby as you come out of Jerome and head back to Cottonwood.
|Hotel Connor 1898|
Jerome is a town nestled into the side of a mountain. It's steep and windy to get up there. Parking is at a premium on twisted narrow streets in Jerome if you have a big truck like ours. We found a big parking lot up on a hill behind the fire station. It even has spots for RVs, but we don't recommend driving anything bigger than a small travel trailer up to Jerome. There are extremely tight turns around town and the roads are super steep. There are cute shops there but we couldn't explore the town because of limited parking. It's very touristy, of course. The Haunted Hamburger is part of the Haunted Group, and ghost tours are big in this town. Hard to tell whether there really have been any hauntings or ghostly apparitions seen, but you just have to go and experience things for yourself if you believe in that sort of stuff. There are photos all over the walls that show weird shadowy images, some photographed from previous owners and supposedly, things have flown off shelves before. During renovations, doors opened and shut on their own, and other weird things happened. Locals provided even more ghostly lore and the restaurant became a "thing"!
We had good burgers and outstanding onion rings at the Haunted Hamburger, which sits on a cliffside overlooking the Verde Valley and the San Francisco Peaks for fantastic views. They had cool tee shirts for sale.
Eldy tried to pull a fast one on Sparky. "Did you feel that guy just brush across your shoulder? " Wha-a-a-a-t???" "Yeah, a guy just went by you, and touched your shoulder as he passed." "What guy? There isn't any guy nearby!" Sparky whipped around, there was no one. Haha, very funny, Eldo.
The scenic drive from Jerome across Mingus Mountain was outstanding and just a tad bit scary in a big dually truck. It is also called the Mingus Mountain Scenic Road. Steep drop offs and winding sharp curves with some 11% maximum grade points make the 19 mile drive thrilling! We loved the drive the day we took it.
We are seeing some birds in the RV park--mountain bluebirds and hummers. The bluebirds seem to hang out more in the RC track, back trails and bush area than elsewhere in the park.
Outside the park, over at Dead Horse Ranch State Park, some more house finches, an evening grosbeak, a Cassin's finch, goldfinches and a bridled titmouse. Is the plural titmice? Sparky sees several of them every time. it's wonderful that the Audubon Society has feeder stations at this state park and supplies them constantly so we can enjoy the beauty of the many different birds that come to feed.
|Cassin's finch and lesser goldfinch|
Sparky visited the Copper Museum in Clarkdale...that was so amazing it's a complete separate, two part blog and you can read about it if you missed it. https://whereseldo.blogspot.com/2023/02/copper-is-king-in-arizona-part-i.html
|bridled titmouse|With one day left, Sparky got in a short hike along the Jail Trail in Cottonwood. It's a short loop trail, about 1.6 miles and is rocky and uneven in spots, but pretty level, making it an easy trail to walk. It is NOT wheelchair accessible and veers off in different directions if you are not watching the signs. Parts of it are through a LOT of dead, fallen big cottonwood trees and tree debris, parts of it are along the beautiful Verde River. Huge white barked, dormant Fremont cottonwood trees back up against the sky along the river....It's not a very scenic hike at all, you could probably find better ones for sure, especially over at Dead Horse Ranch State Park, but the weather was just perfect for hiking, so it was still enjoyable. Now if Sparky could just get her sciatica under control, it would be a LOT more enjoyable.
We are preparing to head to Yuma. Today is pack up, stow all loose, flying around stuff, secure the items in the fridge, etc. (The last time we drove over very bad roads, Sparky forgot to stow the egg carton securely--in a refrigerator bin) and we had unintentional scrambled eggs all over the kitchen slide floor. Yuck!) The jacks are supposed to be repaired the day we have to leave. We will pull our slides in, hitch up the truck and Currier Masters RV Repair is coming out to replace both front landing jacks at 8:00 sharp. Fingers crossed that this will take care of the automated leveling system which has not worked in quite awhile....
See you in Yuma, Arizona!