Moving on – to Cottonwood, AZ

4/24/15 Friday in Cottonwood, AZ (Verde Valley-TT)

I didn’t sleep all night, worried about our battery, since we’d turned the generator off, so we wouldn’t get any 2 am surprises. We also turned off the refrigerator. Still, we left the house battery and inverter on, with little things like our clock radios and indicator lights on. The battery was at 12.8 amps when we went to bed and showed 12.2 amps when we got up. Whew! Why can’t I just not worry?

Even though we couldn’t turn our generator on until 7am (out of courtesy), we were up before 6:30, eating breakfast and getting ready. On the road by 7:30! That’s what happens when you’re dry camping and don’t have much to unhook. The jacks came up in under 4 minutes, even with the temperature around 46 degrees!!!

We stopped at a Flying J for fuel and DEF. When we neared Flagstaff John got into the left lane to give space to a cop car on the side of the freeway. As we passed it we saw that an old, fancy truck and tent trailer had driven off into the brush, settling jackknifed. We’d seen this couple the day before, at the North Visitor Center. I’d heard her asking about campgrounds. I told her ours, at the South end, was free, but no hook ups. When we’d arrived at the end of our explorations with my sister we saw they’d parked at Crystal Forest! Dennis and Diane had talked to them. Apparently they’d gone to Holbrook to find a place with hookups then came back to this one. They’d left at 6am this morning (we heard the truck). So we wondered-did the driver fall asleep? Did they not get hooked up correctly? SO sad. It was a beloved old truck-newly painted white and red. Neither seemed to have rolled, just sat jackknifed.

i-40 1 i-40 2

As we got closer to Flagstaff we saw pine trees!! They really reminded us of Spokane. Plus it started to rain-light misty rain, so that was okay. Getting into the mountains-higher elevations, then dropping (on I-17) from 6000 feet to 3300 feet into Verde Valley. This will be interesting when we leave and have to climb all of that.

Thank heavens we arrived around 11 because Verde Valley was packed. There were no 50 amp sites available, but we were fortunate to find a good spot facing north, with great access to the TV satellites. Their power is on the weak end, water is not high pressure and sites are rather cramped. As John said, we could pass Gray Poupon over to our neighbors without going outside. The best is the wonderful woodsy surroundings and very well kept grounds. Beautiful warm pool and 103 degree hot tub. Great pickleball and shuffleboard courts. They say their Homestyle Grill restaurant is fabulous. They even have entertainment (a singer was performing tonight at their cod fish dinner). Lots of trails and this place is near SO much to see and do: Sedona, Flagstaff, Grand Canyon, several other (4) National Parks, Jerome…

Setting up went swell. We even used the manual buttons to get the levelers to get us truly level. The auto sensors consistently leave the passenger side and rear too low. Then I took a 3 hour nap while John watched TV. I researched what we could do in Sedona tomorrow because we’ll be spending the day with my sister Lynn and Gene.

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About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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