Friday, April 18, 2014

A Hike Around the Courthouse...

Distant Drums RV Resort
Camp Verde, AZ
April 17, 2014


The old crows have landed themselves in Camp Verde, AZ...133 Thundercloud Trail at Distant Drums RV Resort will be home for the next month. We are nestled in the Verde Valley about 15 miles to Cottonwood and 24 miles to Sedona. We arrived on Monday and Belle had a good washing on Tuesday.



 So with our home in order, we headed out bright and early Wednesday morning...destination was the Red Rock Information Center.



Arizona's first All-American Road begins shortly after you take exit 298 off  I 17. It winds thru the Coconino National Forest as well as the prehistoric Red Rocks.


Our destination was the Red Rock Information Center. There were lots of displays explaining all about the history and geology of the surrounding area, but this display of wildflowers really caught my eye. All the flowers were fresh and well marked with ID cards.   


The Byway also winds its way thru the Village of Oak Creek and two of the most famous Vortexes...Bell Rock and Cathedral Rock. Bell Rock is shown in the center of the picture below.



 The afternoon was spent doing homework...we purchased several books on hiking and off-roading, were given free maps and directions, and studied blogs from many of you. 

We carefully picked our first hike...the first hike for us in about 3 weeks. You know the saying "a body in motion, stays in motion". Well, a body NOT in motion has a hard time getting going! Our minds are eager and remember what a great time hiking is, but we know our muscles needed an easy hike to nudge them into shape AGAIN!
 
 So, Thursday morning, we were out the door and on the trail by 8:50. Our hike of choice was Bell Rock and Courthouse Loop. Its a 4.5 mile roundtrip hike that takes you to Bell Rock and around  Courthouse Butte.

Bell Rock

The Forest Service has built cairns on steroids! These jumbo rock piles in mesh wiring cant be knocked down or ignored.

 
We had a nice view of Cathedral Rock...
 

 
Our view of Courthouse Butte from the trail...










 
I can only imagine the wonder of waterfalls on Courthouse Butte during a rain storm.
 
 
We took our time, I took lots of pictures and we both agreed our first hike here was a great beginning to our month of adventures!
 












Until next time...take care and enjoy!

 
Happy Easter!

30 comments:

  1. I stayed at Distant Drums for a month during the hot summer in2012 and really liked that park. Very nice people, great restrooms and showers. Have you checked out the showers? An entire bathroom with everything, and they clean it after each use. Really attentive to their visitors. Good laundry, too. There are a lot of things in that area, you're going to love it there! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Barbara...we haven't needed the laundry yet, but I expect we will soon. The Tan Clan sure like the fenced in doggie park! Its our first time in this area...way excited to be here!

      Delete
  2. I really like the wildflowers in the visitor center. Great photos!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Joan! I was amazed at the wildflowers I saw. Wish I could have taken pictures of each one for a reference!

      Delete
  3. That is one freaking long snake! It also looks poisonous. Not my favorite wildlife, but you amaze me with your ability to capture such a variety of creatures--love the bunny and the bee!

    Looks like you chose a great hike to start your exploration of the area.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a long snake Pam...not my idea of favorite wildlife either! But Joe on the other hand thought it was great! At first he thought it was a rattlesnake, but when we came home and researched, he decided it was not. Its hard to believe, but that was the first snake we have seen in all our hikes.

      Delete
  4. We stayed at Distant Drums and really enjoyed that park. We love that whole area and you are doing good with the great pictures. So keep it up.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I opened up your post and felt like I had come home! What a beautiful feeling. We lived in Sedona for many years and your breathtaking photos brought back some wonderful memories. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good morning LuAnn! Sedona is certainly a place we would like to settle down in...maybe when the time comes? It is a photographers heaven!

      Delete
  6. Such a beautiful area around Sedona, I am sure the time will fly by for you with all those amazing hikes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so right George....we hope to make the best of all the days! Being our first time here, there is so much to take it.

      Delete
  7. What beautiful photos! We love Sedona. What a gorgeous place it is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks...I was just snapping away! What fun!

      Delete
  8. Now those fresh flowers with the IDs is a wonderful idea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know Judy...it was great! I have never seen that before. It was a huge table full...now I am wondering how they manage it. If we stop back by there, I am going to ask.

      Delete
  9. Breathtaking photos Gay! I do like it when plants/animals are patiently id'd, it makes our wandering more meaningful.
    Been to Sedona but not with Betsy so Im eager to see what we missed while there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you MonaLiza. It sure feels good to be hiking again after several weeks. I was a little disappointed I didn't see more birds.....but the wildflowers are gorgeous!

      Delete
  10. We had so much fun in Sedona. Your Jeep will be a blessing because the best rocks and trails need high clearance to get there or else you have to hike a long way to get to the hike. You must do the Broken Arrow Road to Chicken Point. There is a trial then done into the canyon that takes you to the chapel. The hike isn't that far but the road is super neat. We only saw Pink Jeeps out there. Check our blog for Sedona. This is our first trip after we purchased the Jeep. Poor baby was full of red dirt in no time.

    Awesome scenery (except for that snake!):)

    Can't wait to read each post and relive this awesome place. Enjoy!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Pam...our Verizon connection here is iffy, but I am hoping I can check out your blog. We went to Chicken Point this morning via a hike on the Little Horse Trail. When we arrived at the point there were jeeps there and yes a couple of them were pink. Those pink jeeps seen to show up everywhere! Pearl will just have to make that trip too! Can you believe that is the only snake we have ever seen on a hike? Hope its the last one too!

      Delete
  11. You certainly picked a lovely spot for your first outing. I've heard that area of AZ was gorgeous & your photos definitely confirmed that, that is until I got o the snake pic, HaHa, even a photo of one gives me the willies. It looked long. Was it a rattler? Enjoy the sunshine you're having, we sure aren't seeing any of it back here in Georgia.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The weather is always iffy this time of year in Georgia. Hate to hear you are not having sunny days too. We fell in love with Arizona last year Gayle...just cant seem to get enough! Joe doesn't think the snake was a rattler...he looked it up when we got home. I'm not especially fond of snakes!

      Delete
  12. Great idea--wildflowers identified! Gorgeous photos--B-I-G snake.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Dawn...I don't like snakes either! The wildflowers have been really pretty on our hikes...just wish I could remember the names I saw at the display!

      Delete
  13. If you get to Cottonwood, visit Dead Horse Ranch State Park. Every April they conduct an annual Verde Valley Birding Festival. We have been there during this time and it is awesome. Here is their web-site: http://www.birdyverde.org
    Gosh, wish I was there to attend! Hope you get to go!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Sheila....I will be checking on that next. Sure hope I haven't missed it!

      Delete
  14. This is a beautiful area. And yes do visit Dead Horse Ranch State Park.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks JO...Dead Horse is on the list! I am so glad we planned a month here because our list just keeps growing!

      Delete
  15. Great photos and sounds like a nice hike. I'm still working on building back up to any hike past an hour.....tough going. I'm hoping to spend a little more time in this area in the fall on our way to the desert southwest for the winter. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to following more of your hikes and explorations in the area.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ingrid...it is beautiful here! In fact, we might just stop back here as well on our way south. Everything is so green and the weather has been perfect with cool nights and warm days...well, except for a couple of afternoons with gusty winds!

      Delete