Montezuma Castle

Montezuma Castle

After a week of training in Phoenix, one of my nephews, who lives in Tacoma, Washington, extended his stay a couple of days in order to see some of Arizona. We left the extreme heat of the Valley of the Sun for higher elevations in the north. Our first stop was at Montezuma Castle near Camp Verde.It was interesting to see this limestone cliff dwelling overlooking Beaver Creek that housed about 35 people sometime between 1100-1400. After passing through Oak Creek Village, we stopped at two overlooks of Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte. These dramatic red rocks, the backdrop for my wedding seven years ago, always bring back fond memories.

Cathedral Rock

Cathedral Rock

As we proceeded to Sedona, we visited the Chapel of the Holy Cross. Visiting this unique area encourages spiritual thoughts of wonder. We stopped for lunch at the Oak Creek Brewery in the Tlaquepaque complex of boutique shops. On this trip Snow White joined the Seven Dwarfs much to my discriminating taste delight. At Red Rock Crossing we hiked a short distance looking for the iconic water and Cathedral Rock spot before deciding that the open field next to the parking lot was the best place for a picture on this day. We did envy the throng of visitors enjoying the water on this hot summer day.

We stopped in Jerome, climbed stairs to see the skeleton crew at the Haunted Hamburger and passed below the classy looking Jerome Grand Hotel. We enjoyed driving over Mingus Mountain and taking in the ponderosa pine forest, a dramatic contrast with the saguaros north of Phoenix. We watched an NBA finals game in Prescott. On Saturday we made a quick tour of the Yavapai Courthouse where the Territorial Days Arts & Crafts Show filled all open space. After a hardy breakfast, we hiked a loop of the Constellation Trail, a close look at the Granite Dells. The Rock Wall was impressive. Prickly poppies were in bloom, especially near the entrance to the trail. After taking showers we headed back to Phoenix. It was great to spend time with one of my nephews.

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