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Arriving in Sedona, Arizona…

Posted by on December 6, 2013

I took the Jeep off the asphalt and right up to the tree line to get this picture. Click your mouse over the photo to get the full effect of the rock formations in this beautiful spot.

Sedona is a small city located in the northern Verde Valley region of Arizona. Sedona’s main attraction is its array of red sandstone formations. They appear to glow in brilliant orange and red when illuminated by the rising or setting sun. The red rocks form a popular backdrop for many activities, ranging from spiritual pursuits to literally hundreds of hiking and mountain biking trails. They are the result of sandstone and limestone deposited at the bottom of an inland sea hundreds of millions of years ago! The “youngest” rocks found in the area are a mere 272 million years old, give or take a few million. The shape of the rocks is the work of wind and water over the course of several million years after the sea receded. Views of rocks similar to the one shown in the picture are abundant around the area.


This kind of depicts the situation!

Our arrival in Sedona was almost a disaster!  We arrived on December 8, 2013, late in the afternoon and drove our rig to a place called Page Springs Park. It’s located in a tiny town called Cornville, just a few miles from Sedona. Our first 12 hours here were “something else.”  We learned two things: 1: Don’t ever, especially when towing the Jeep, try to turn around in a space you even think might be to small to do so, and 2: Seriously consider the weather conditions before camping anywhere, any time! Here’s the turnaround story: The road approaching Page Springs Park is very narrow and has lots of twists and turns. That alone should have been enough for me to have avoided the “turn around” problem, but it wasn’t. As we approached the entrance to the Park, it became obvious that we couldn’t possibly enter from the direction we were traveling. There was an impossible hair pin turn that we simply could not make. Florence ran into a little cafe located by the park entrance and asked how to enter. She was told that if we drove down the road a way, past the little fire station, there was a dirt turn-out space sufficient for a turn around to get back to the park entrance. No problem.  We drove until we found the spot. It looked pretty tight to me, but having just received the directions, I decided to attempt it. In retrospect we should at very least unhooked the Jeep. We didn’t. I began a clock-wise turn from the farthest edge of the turn-out, across the little street and back the other way…toward the park. The only problem is that the worst thing that could have occurred did occur: I got the nose of the RV across the street but couldn’t complete the turn. And, of course, we couldn’t back up because of the hitch to the Jeep. So there we were, unable to turn, unable to back up and completely blocking passage on this little road from either direction!

DSCN1621 (2)

As the sun gets lower in the sky each day, the rocks take on a bright red-orange hue. It’s beautiful.e

We looked at each other as if to say: “Oh, shit! Now what?” What we’d have to do, obviously, was to unhook the Jeep, get it out of the way, and then attempt to back the RV and juggle in hopes it would complete the turn. Now, the unhooking process is about a 10 minute task under the best of circumstances. We found ourselves in the worst: It was cold and the process of turning bolts and removing air hoses is much harder under those conditions. Then, of course, we had nerve-wracking dilemma of blocking the street Many drivers were sympathetic. Others flipped me off and glared at me preventing traffic from passing. While Florence unhooked, I directed the cars from either direction off the road, into the turn-out and on down the road. This was not only embarrassing but difficult. I never completed my college course on Directing Traffic. Some of the inconvenienced drivers were super-nice, offering to help. Others, however, weren’t very tolerant of my stupidity in getting myself into that jam. In retrospect, the event is hilarious. It wasn’t at the time. My biggest regret now is that I didn’t take a few pictures of our dilemma, as they would have been perfect to enter here in my blog. I actually debated taking those pictures but decided that if a motorist saw the traffic-mess I’d made and then observed me lightheartedly taking pictures, I’d have been shot. After all, we are in Arizona and in the back country at that. I suspect that every man, woman and child is armed!  Finally, after suffering the agony of this big mess for what seemed like an hour, I was able to successfully make the turn and we drove our vehicles separately back to the park.


I knew our dilemma would be funny at a later date, but I just couldn’t take time to snap a picture of the mess I’d created on the road. If one of the inconvenienced drivers had seen me taking photos, he’d probably have shot to kill! This picture is as close as I could find to show the predicament.

Here’s the “weather” part of the story:  I can make it brief. The high temperature today will be 37 degrees with a low of 18. Now, for a guy like me who doesn’t even own

a long-sleeved shirt and who wears shorts 365 days a year, this is a problem! My warmest jacket is a wind-breaker…the kind one wears in San Diego when the temperature drops a bit below 65 degrees! The lesson learned is that all those RV’ers who “winter” in San Diego, Florida and Texas do so for a reason: It’s just not feasible to be RV camping in really cold weather.  Oh well, we have only been “full-timing it” for a little over a month. No matter how prepared we thought we were, there’s obviously a learning curve! The campground itself is small, quiet and nice. Our site is next to Oak Creek, which runs through the entire Park.  The air is crystal-clear and invigorating! Both our forced air and furnace heating systems work like a charm so we stayed toasty inside.

All things considered, I think we’ll try to bundle-up and drive into town today. We’ll play it by ear as to whether we’ll stay the entire week we’d intended or depart sooner in hopes of finding some warmer weather elsewhere.

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