Traveling, and living in an RV can be a bit of drag, if you don’t do some traveling while the RV is stopped! Running around, can get expensive however. The State and federal Parks are starting to get used to the revenue generated by fees, and they are raising them all the time. We are always looking for free parks. Here in Arizona, much like California, a free park is rare to say the least. Oregon’s parks are down right inexpensive and the rangers tell me they could easily be funded by fees if the money was not being swept into the states general fund. Never the less there are many parks that are real gems, and they must be visited. Last week, we covered a lot of ground. This first park Motezuma’s Well, just 7 miles north of Montezuma’s castle, and was worth our time to visit. (Figure 45 minutes from Verde Valley Thousand Trails)
Though the parking is not pleasant as they only put in about a dozen spaces, and about 30 dozen people are competing for those spaces, the park is well worth visiting. Key point to remember here, is if you have a soccer mom in the family who is used to competitive parking at she shopping mall. Let her drive!
As you approach the park entry station after you get out of the car hopefully you will see the sign I saw “No FEE” , this is always my favorite sign in the park. There is no need to stop at the ranger shack unless you want to chit chat with the ranger. I found him to be quite pleasant, and I thanked him for coming to work so that we could see the park.
About a hundred yards up the path, we see a pool of water in a basin. Unless Montezuma was a volcano, he did not dig the well himself. This well appears to have been an old volcanic crater where a natural aquifer hit basalt and went straight up into the crater, much like Crater lake in Oregon, only smaller and less impressive. What surprised us, is this water flows out of the crater through a crack. Which we will try to see later on.
Along one edge of the crater, are cliff dwellings. Not entirely sure what they were used for, some say the well was actually a burial ground. Seems odd they would bury their dead in their well. My guess is, if they found bodies in here, it was either accidental death, or Montezuma had an Al’ Capone’ in his tribe.
You can’t see the water come out of the crack anymore, but in this picture is a ditch the water flows into. They say it is seven miles long, I say don’t stick your hand in it; it’s full of leaches.
I found a desert Holly, so I took a picture of her.
This is a Beetle Of Unusual Size, it would make a meal for a person, but I think it is just full of juice.
Break time! The weather is 80 degrees and it is time for Watermelon!
This park is 1.5 hours drive from Verde Valley Thousand Trails. The park is too expensive, but is worth the money to go once. Figure $5.00 per person. Also note that this is a State Park. Arizona State parks are screwy just like California. They close them at times, so make sure they are open before you go. It took us two trips to this park to catch it open for use. Currently these parks are closed Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s. This park is advertised open from 9-5, but no one can enter after 4-pm without getting charged with criminal trespass. (Oregon seems to have its head screwed on correctly when it comes to their parks. New Hamphshire, Vermont, California, Texas, and Arizona make me thankful for the way Oregon runs its park system.)
The trail has lots of rock formations along the way.
The cliffs around here are a cool red color. You will see young people in top of them at times
I see faces in these rocks, do you? If so, rest assured, they make medicine for that.
A visitor on the rock, he almost blends in.
We can see into the canyon. The trial is too rough for me, and Holly takes me back to the car.
Athena and Sarah went a while longer and came back with this cool picture.
We have covered less than 1% of the natural things to see here at the Verde Valley Thousand trails park. We could spend many months in this area. Our main advice, is watch out for idiots on the road who think the speed limit and other traffic control devices are just mere objects of suggestion. Watch for snakes see my article Venomous Snakes, don’t wear sandals as there are red colored scorpions around. If you dress appropriately and educate your self on what to look for you will be fine. The humans are as dangerous as it gets.
Good evening and Good Night…. PS: Enjoy today for all its worth, learn from yesterday, and don’t squeeze onto tomorrow too tightly