Tuzigoot, choo choo
Sedona was our home base for a week of road trips. Awe-inspiring vistas, magnificent views and the bright red rock make Sedona a must-see on any trip to Arizona. As the sun and clouds change, so does the color of the rock, making for stunning pictures any time of the day. We put quite a few miles on our rental car and next time we come back we’ll stay closer to Sedona, to see more of what it has to offer. The sights to see and the trails to explore are plentiful – Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock, Devil’s Bridge and the Chapel of the Holy Cross, just to name a few. Of course restaurants and shopping are abundant and the temperatures were very pleasant in May. If you’re a newbie to roundabouts, Sedona has quite a few easy ones to get your feet wet and the red rocks are absolutely fabulous. Have I mentioned those before?
Day 2 started with a trip to the grocery store to stock up on essentials, then two great stops that were pretty close to Sedona to make this a wonderful (relatively short) day.
Tuzigoot National Monument
Tuzigoot National Monument is the largest and best-preserved of the many Sinagua pueblo ruins in the Verde Valley and was a wonderful start to our trip. It was just east of Clarkdale and so interesting. We thoroughly enjoyed exploring the ruins in the Arizona sun while a slight breeze kept us cool. Lots of great pictures of the ruins and the surrounding area and you could see forever. I also got the first western region stamp in our National Parks Passport!
“Crowning a desert hilltop is an ancient pueblo. A child scans the desert landscape for the arrival of traders. What riches will they bring? What stories will they tell? From the rooftop of the Tuzigoot pueblo it is easy to imagine such a moment. The pueblo shows us this ancient village built by the Sinagua people. They were farmers and artists with trade connections that spanned hundreds of miles.” – READ MORE
Verde Canyon Railroad
The Verde Canyon Railroad is a heritage railroad running between Clarkdale and Perkinsville. The passenger excursion line operates on 20 miles of tracks of the Arizona Central Railroad, with its depot, headquarters and a railway museum in Clarkdale, about 25 miles southwest of Sedona.
We opted for first class, since it included some snacks, more comfortable seats and access to an open car for better views. Although they say these are snacks and not lunch, there was plenty to keep you filled up for the four-hour trip. The only thing we needed was – you guessed it – a margarita, sold on board (I’m sensing a pattern?). All of the crew was knowledgeable about the history of the railroad and eager to tell their stories.
“The first excursion train of the Verde Canyon Railroad rolled out of the Clarkdale depot on November 23, 1990. It carried neither freight nor ore, only people. They were not seeking a better way of life, but the beauty of a wild river-carved canyon where eagles nest among high cliffs and wind makes music in the cottonwoods.” – READ MORE
Of course we did a little shopping on the way in and out of Sedona, but you’ll just learn to expect that!
Next stop: A Castle and a Ghost Town