Historic Arizona, breathtaking Arizona

Trip Start Aug 16, 2009
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Trip End Oct 11, 2009


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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Saturday, October 3, 2009

The drive out of the Las Vegas urban giant south towards the Lake Mead Recreation area on a Saturday morning took some patience on our part. Everyone and their boat and ATV's were on the road with us for a while. We drove over Hoover Dam, past strict security checkpoints where we had to open not only the back of the pick-up but also the camper! All the other dams we passed were closed to the public and could only be seen from a distance, but as at this point the highway goes over the actual dam to cross the Colorado River they must check everything. Most impressive to Victor was the huge engineering feat of the new bridge being built over the river, so traffic will bypass the dam in the future. Amazing construction project.

Arizona - we drive on the historic Route 66, then head into the hills. A breathtaking drive, a tight curve, and suddenly we find ourselves in Jerome, a tiny community clinging to the slope, its houses all vertically designed and its zigzagging streets careening past art galleries, restaurants, jewelry shops. A mining town - silver, gold, copper - in the mid-1800's, then a hippie hang-out, now a tourist stop. We loved Clarkdale, lots of 60's ambience, as we drive to visit the Tuzigoot ruins of the Sinagua people up on a hilltop. We set up camp near the Verde river, this beautiful valley has many historic sites we want to see. The Montezuma Castle, the misnomer rankles, is where we see the ruins of cliff dwellings, also Sinagua, and for balance we visit Camp Verde, an old army frontier post.
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