Sunday, March 18, 2012

Cottonwood–Jerome

Once again the fuel consumption was minimized on the long downgrade from the junction above Strawberry, Az down into Camp Verde.  Even the brakes did not feel left out in a few places.  We skirted across the I-17 nonstop and looked for a camping area near Cottonwood.  For once, my free-camping directory was not out of date and the BLM land off Thousand Trails road even had a good scattering of RV’s!  But, on closer inspection, there was not much space between rigs or available room for any privacy, and there were generators running even at mid-day.  There was a great 360 degree view, and good access to the highway, but I hoped to find better up nearer to Sedona.image  I turned off on Dry Creek Rd in Sedona and headed out to Boynton, where I hoped to find somewhere nice.  Instead, all the spots were well signed with the familiar no camping signs.  One sign they could have used was one to inform you that the road I was on ends in a private resort with security guard and NO place to turn around!  Eventually utilized my sliding hitch to enable a reversal of direction, but only by going on through the gate first.  Finally I found a spacious trailhead parking area where I could leave the rig while doing a more extensive reccon.  After a while I settled on a very quiet spot a bit south of Sedona on a dead-end forestry type road.  Lots of peace and quiet here – and no generators.  I also discovered that it was a landing zone for some of the local balloon companies, and the Central Az Modelers, a R/C aircraft field!  Nearby, I saw only my second roadrunner of the entire winter, and managed to get a distant shot of it!

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Upon checking the map, I realized that I had never been to Jerome, and had heard a lot about it, so that was the plan.  It is just a short run up the road from Cottonwood, but a world away.  Flat ground is at a premium, and all roads are narrow and steep.  It clearly originated as a mining town before the turn of the century, and maintains the frontier character.  I drove on past the town as well, and that road snakes its way higher up into the mountains with numerous switchbacks.  Trucks over 40’ are banned, but I did see a couple of brave RV’s giving it a go.P3152164 P3152147P3152149P3152150P3152154P3152162P3152167

It’s hard to get a good perspective of the town when you are in the middle of it, so I enlisted the helicopter to give me a bird’s eye view, before the winds picked up too much.P3152173P3152174P3152177P3152178P3152179P3152180P3152182P3152185P3152184P3152186P3152190

Next: On to Sedona …

4 comments:

  1. One of our favorite places, loved wandering around Jerome and Sedona is a beautiful area.

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  2. we so love that area, so beautiful

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  3. I recognized some of the buildings in Jerome. First saw them from the seat of the Motorhome after mistakenly taking the rig over Mingus Mountain from near Prescott. It was our first winter in the Motorhome & we stayed at Dead Horse State Park for a bit. That was our pre-boondocking days & didn't know any better. Nice State Park though. Kinda liked the little town of Cottonwood as I recall.

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  4. We really like Jerome! Tell me you stopped at the Asylum for a beer in the Jerome Grande Hotel? If you didn't you'll have to hike back up the hill!

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