Sunday, April 22, 2012

Paddling Among the Boulders

We have stayed at several lakes in the last few months but never managed to get out on the water. Now that we are at Cottonwood, we decided to paddle at a lake I read about online which is near Prescott.
We packed our paddles and other kayak equipment and took about an hour drive to Watson Lake, about 4 miles north of Prescott. The drive was pretty, back through Jerome and Prescott National Forest.
There are several lakes, including Willow and Watson in the Prescott area. These lakes are reservoirs in the Granite Dells. The Dells consist of exposed bedrock and large boulders of granite that have eroded into an unusual lumpy, rippled appearance. It was an interesting place to paddle and a beautiful day for it.


    Most of our paddle, there was only a couple of other paddlers. However as we were headed back, a number of rowers were out practicing. When we got back, we talked to one of the coaches, I think, who said they a high school rowing club and were the only rowing team in northern Arizona They were practicing for a meet in Utah coming up soon.

  Our time on the water was very enjoyable We need to get our paddles wet more often. We headed back. Below are pictures from the front of the campground that shows the Cottonwood Trees. A very different look from our part of the campground that is more desert like. The "cotton" was blowing in the wind, looking like snow as you drive through it.

  Our time in Cottonwood and Sedona has come to an end. We had a great time and will hopefully be back again. We left Friday morning and made the drive to Quartzsite where we stayed in the Dome Rock area, which is BLM and free camping. We have stayed here a few days this last winter and spring. Then late Saturday afternoon we drove another few hours and spent the night at the 29 Casino. Sunday, we made our way to Huntington Beach, where we will be staying for a week or so at Sunset Vista, just south of the Pier. Joe has a business conference in San Diego for two days and has a few doctor appointments and we both have dentist appointments scheduled. We also will spend time with family, including a birthday for our brother-in-law, Brock, who is turning the big 60.                                                                                                                                                             

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Further Adventures in Sedona Area

Monday was a nice day and so we took a drive on the Red Rocks and Sycamore Canyon loop. Part of the road is paved but most unpaved but 4 wheel drive not necessary. It is one of many beautiful drives in this area.

We then went into town and had lunch in the Tiaquepaque Village, which is a shopping village modeled after a typical Mexican village that sits on the Oak Creek and is surrounded by large sycamore trees. It started as an artist colony and still has many art galleries, as well as other shops and restaurants.  We had lunch on a pet friendly outdoor patio at Rene at Tiaquepaque. It definitely gets mixed reviews. Service was fine but when they brought out our plates, you would think our meals were from two different restaurants I got scallops with a pesto sauce which was nicely plated with tri-colored orzo in the middle with slices of carrots topped with asparagus stalks topped with the pesto crusted scallops. Beautiful and tasty. Joe's, on the other hand, was sand dabs with a white sauce and plain white rice and a couple of carrots stuck on the side. Plating is not that important if the food is good but we have had sand dabs a number of times and these were the only bad ones we have had. They were very mushy and had no taste. There is only a few time either of us had a dish that we should have sent back and this one was one. Unfortunately we didn't complain until the hostess happen to come by and asked how things were. Oh well, live and learn.

The next day we went back to one of the main areas of Sedona and had a more successful lunch at Ken's Creekside American Bistro. Another pet friendly restaurant where we sat on a lovely shaded patio that with beautiful views of the tree lined creek and the red rocks of Sedona in the distance.We both had Ahi Tuna burgers that were perfectly done and included green onions, ginger, ponzu and wasabi aioli. Mine included a salad and Joe had the french fries to share with Savannah.
We then walked around this part of the town which has your typical tourist shops but also shops that reflect this "New Age" town.

Tours with the Pink Jeep outfit are a popular way to see some of the area

       Another great day.                                                       

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Red and some White Rocks of Sedona

We had a few days of weather, rainy and chilly.  We woke up to some sun on Sunday and though some real warm yet, figured it would be a good day for a drive We decided to head up 89a, up towards Flagstaff.
It is an alternate route from 17 which we drove down from Flagstaff to Cottonwood on. When we were in Sedona before, we had our trailer and drove from Sedona up to Flagstaff on 89a and it was slow with lots of curves. In the Jeep we could enjoy the drive a little more. We first drove through Sedona. Sedona is famous for their stunning red sandstone formations. You are also right in town before you get the full effect of the beauty of the red rocks.

Sedona is a small town with a population of around 10,000 but is always busy as it is a tourist favorite.
We drove on through the town and uphill towards Flagstaff, with beautiful scenery around every turn

This drive through Oak Creek Canyon is spectacular. It was rated a Top 5 Scenic Drive in America by Rand McNally. It was specially breathtaking as we began to see snow as we headed uphill towards Flagstaff


We stopped in a spot with  the "winter like" view above and had some fruit, nuts and cheese we brought along. We were pretty close to Flagstaff and so turned around and headed back  As we started back, we saw a hugh rock right in the middle of the lane heading up hill. Luckily no one was there when it fell, including us as it wasn't there when we passed that way not long before.
We passed Slide Rock Park, which we had been to last time we were in Sedona a number of years ago.
Besides being a nice park to hike around in, it is very popular for the famous slide rock, a stretch of slippery creek bottom. You can slide down a slick natural water chute or just wade around in the water.
A very busy attraction during the summer.
Sedona is also known as a spiritual center with a large New Age community. There are several energy centers, or vortexes of subtle energy that saturates the whole area around Sedona. It has been state that if you visit one of the vortex areas it can give you an uplifting experience for days. Not sure if we felt that on our drive up near the Airport which is one of the vortex areas, but we did feel awestruck by the views and Savannah made a new friend.

Savannah and her new friend, Bear