Our Adventures RV'ing

Our Adventures RV'ing

Friday, October 23, 2015

October: Cottonwood/Jerome/Verde Valley

Our time in Arizona is winding down. The house is up for sale and we will make our move to Utah right after Thanksgiving where the coach will go into hibernation until April. With our remaining 2 months in Arizona I wanted to see parts of Arizona that we had not been to before and may not get to visit in our future travels. These practice runs also allow us to test the new equipment we installed on the coach before we travel to Utah. We decided on Cottonwood, Jerome and the Verde Valley. Sedona we will do in the 1st week of November. Hopefully, Sedona will get cold enough at night so we can test the important Aqua Hot system and furnace before our drive to Utah.

October 5-9th: Verde Valley RV Resort & Campground, Cottonwood AZ

I chose Verde Valley RV Resort http://ttverdevalley.com/ because it had good ratings and reviews on RV Park Reviews http://www.rvparkreviews.com/regions/arizona/cottonwood/verde-valley-rv-camping-resort-thousand-trails. It was off the main highway giving it a remote feel and would be close to Jerome and Cottonwood. Check out Gone With the Wynns blog http://www.gonewiththewynns.com/verde-valley about their adventure to the Verde Valley area and stay at TT Verde Valley RV park.  It is also close to Sedona, but we will be visiting Sedona in November so we didn't spend any time there on this trip. This property is a Thousand Trails/Encore property so if you have a Thousand Trails membership you can stay here a lot less than the non-member rate. It's still reasonable for full hook-ups and all the amenities. My only complaint is they charge a $2.00 per person per day resort fee for non-members in addition to their daily rate. Not all sites are 50 amps, it is recommended that you call and reserve a 50 amp site which has a surcharge of $3, $4 or $5 depending on the site. You also can not pick a specific site, they are  assigned by management just before or at your arrival. We arrived at TT Verde Valley RV Park at the check in time of 12noon. I  had called the day before our arrival to confirm the reservation and the agent said we were assigned a 50 amp site in the H section but when we arrived the gate attendant said the site we were pre-assigned was not going to accommodate our size RV. I told him that I did give our size at the time I made the reservation. He said not a problem and moved us to a better suited 50 amp site in section A. It was perfect for us being a large pull-through in a quiet section of the park. I was told the A section is usually reserved for TT members but will be used for non-members if no TT member has reserved it. The park has 4 sections, H section is the 1st you come to as you enter the park and is located by the Activities Center where they have evening activities like Bingo and Karaoke. The restaurant is in H section and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner Wednesday to Sunday.

H Section with lots of trees.

H Section

The next sections you come to are B and C and are located another half mile into the park near the pool and family center. Section A is just a little further. Here is a picture of our coach in A-Section. Large pull-through with grass.

Our site A-68

Another view

Entrance to Section A

We took a trip to Jerome, considered "America's most vertical city and largest ghost town". Jerome sits on the hillside at a 5000 foot elevation and being a cold and rainy day on our visit it was a little chilly walking around town. Didn't help that we left our jackets at the coach not realizing how cold it was going to be with the rain. We adjusted and when it started to rain we stopped in a wine tasting room (Caduceus Cellars) to warm ourselves, sample, and buy some wine.  Jerome was an old mining town in its day and is now home to a large artistic community with shopping, art studios, restaurants and wine tasting rooms.  Historically, there is a state park and local museum devoted to its mining history. Definitely worth a stop if in this area.

Some artifacts from the mining days

Caduceus Cellars Wine tasting room

Main street-Jerome, AZ

Cottonwood has 2 areas, the newer part of Cottonwood has the major stores, Fry's and Home Depot and Old  Town Cottonwood which is the touristy section with antique stores and restaurants. We stopped at a brewery, called That Brewery which had a tasting room in the newer section of Cottonwood.

That Brewery

A little beer sampling

We had a great dinner at a restaurant in old town called Nic's Italian Steak and Crab House  http://www.nicsaz.com/.

Anniversary Dinner at Nic's, Cottonwood, AZ

We visited Alcantara Winery http://alcantaravineyard.com/ which is right next store to the RV park, not walking distance but a short drive on a dirt road off the main road just outside the resort.

Alcantara Vineyard

Inside wine tasting area

More wine tasting-outside patio


Overall, we enjoyed this resort a lot and would recommend it. Lots of wildlife in the area; we saw javelinas in our section at night when walking the dogs. They seem to frequent the area and should leave you alone but I wouldn't want to get too close and provoke them. I rate the park a 4.5 out of 5. My only complaints are the resort fee, and that you don't get to reserve your actual site# ahead of time.

Bowie and Cooper just chillin'
October 15-19: Distant Drums RV Resort-Verde Valley http://ddrvresort.com/

We decided to sneak another trip in October and I was able to get one of the last large rig sites at this popular RV resort. We didn't have plans to do any siteseeing other then maybe a trip to the nearby casino but just relax and enjoy their facilities. This is more of a parking lot style RV park run by the Yavapai Apache Nation and is close to their casino Cliff Castle Casino. http://www.cliffcastlecasinohotel.com/  It is right off of I-17 in the Verde Valley, all sites are 50 amp and full-hookups and can accommodate large rigs.  They have a basic Pool/Jacuzzi area, a well outfitted exercise room, and shower and laundry facilities. Everything is spotless and well maintained. Wi-Fi is adequate at your site although it was slow. Faster Wi-Fi is in the main office area. We did get cable here but used our antennae which picked up a good supply of HD channels with better image quality then the cable. Distant Drums is also close to exploring the Cottonwood, Jerome and Sedona  and they offer a free shuttle to and from the casino. I did venture over to the casino where they were having the Taste of the Verde Valley Wine Harvest Celebration  outside with wine tasting, food and music.
It was fun and I did sample and buy a bottle of wine. The entrance fee included $10 of free slot play in the casino. After the wine tasting and to burn off the buzz from wine tasting, I decided to go into the casino and try my luck at the slots. Not my 1st choice in gaming but if they are going to give me some money to play, why not. Lady Luck delivered, I won $51 on my 1st spin and ended up covering the wine tasting entrance fee and the bottle of wine. Not bad......
Local music

Wine bought from the tasting

Main office-Check in

Our site  #7

Street view

I rate this resort a 4.5 out of 5 because sites are a little closer together than I would like.

I plan on using the crock pot a lot and have found a number of recipes to make while traveling.
This was a Chicken Marsala recipe I found on Pinterest. http://simple-nourished-living.com/2014/11/slow-cooker-chicken-marsala/

RV staple- the Crock Pot

Dinner- Chicken Marsala
I found a great social site for RVers called RVillage http://www.rvillage.com/. The site gives you the opportunity to connect with other RVers to socialize or exchange ideas. When you arrive at your destination and check-in your location with RVillage it will let you know what members are at the RV Park and when members check-in. The day before our departure, when we were walking our dogs, we ran into a couple (Eric and Sandy) and their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (Hayden) who had just arrived and were registering in at the main office area. We saw besides being owners of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel they also owned a Newmar RV. RVillage notified me when they checked in their location on the RVillage website. I messaged them and we got together that evening for happy hour, shared our RV stories, and made 2 new friends. It was a wonderful evening on our last night and they took a great photo of us and our fur-kids.

Us and the fur-kids

Great end to a perfect day

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