Saturday, October 6, 2012

10/4 Cottonwood/Verde Valley Area

Camped high on a hill  overlooking the Verde Valley.  I did a good job of picking one of the best spots because of the view, thanks to online reviews.  I end up relying heavily on them and so far, they have not let me down.  The more I stay in state and national parks, the less I like the dusty, crowded commercial campgrounds.  I love the space and more natural settings you get in public places. 


Today I visited Tuzigoot National Monument and Jerome, which is an old mining town.  These ancient Americans chose a high place for their village where they could see for miles in any direction.  Here also are some of their pots.
 

There were originally 110 rooms in this village.  The area below it had a permanently flowing river and was easily irrigated, so they were able to grow enough food to support such a large community.
 

I was warned that I probably should not drive up to Jerome because of the narrow streets and steep road, but it turned out not to be so difficult, other possibly than to the 15 cars following my vehicle as we lumbered up the mountain at a lot less than the speed limit.  Going down, there was only one car lined up behind me, which was an improvement!  There is a state park that consists of the mine owner’s mansion and a collection of mining equipment.  Interesting place.  

Check out this boulder of copper ore.
 
And here is a photo of the town itself. I had to drive through town and park at the large overflow lot just outside town. It was a bit of a walk, but there was just no other place to park—lots of tourists even on a Friday off-season. Lots of little artsy shops, and I was tempted by a couple of things, but ended up getting nothing more than an ice cream cone, saving myself considerable money!  
 

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