Today is our first day in a new to us area, so we did what we normally do, driving the different areas and checking out the visitor information centers. I picked up brochures and maps at the Camp Verde Chamber of Commerce. As we were leaving Camp Verde, we decided to get an ice cream cone at the DQ. While we were in the drive thru a car parked in front of us, and out popped Jeni. She was visiting the area with friends. We were both shocked that we met each other spontaneously. We had a nice visit and met her friends. Then we drove to Cottonwood, where we found some grocery stores. One of the first thing you need to know is where the food is to replenish the frig. Then we drove to the next town which is Clarksdale.
On the way we discovered the Tuzigoot National Monument. We never did learn how to pronounce it. Here’s a view of the ruins. The village was built on the top of ridge by the Sinagua Indians and was populated by about 50 people.
The village was occupied from about 1125 to 1400. And then there is the great mystery-where did everyone go. There was ample water from the Verde River, and there were other settlements about every 2 miles along the river. We’ll see the other monuments on another day.
Clarkdale is the former home of a major copper mine. It started out as a company town where all of the houses and stores were owned by the mine. Today it’s main claim to fame is the Verde Valley Railroad which offers tourist trains rides along the river.
From Clarkdale we drove up the hill to Jerome, which was so crowded we decided to come back on Monday.
So now we know our way around a little bit, and we have some ideas of what we want to see during our stay here. We finished the day with a nice Happy Hour with Bob & Maggie at our site. We have a nice site in the A loop which is at the bottom of the campground, about 3 miles from the entrance. We & Pearl like the grass area next to the site, but at 10 MPH in the campground it does take a while to get to the front gate.