Showing posts with label Verde Canyon Railroad. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Verde Canyon Railroad. Show all posts

Sunday, March 3, 2013

On The Road to Arizona’s Summer Deals

Arizona Spring 2012 131Pssstt. . .did you know that when Arizona’s Valley of the Sun (Phoenix and Scottsdale) starts heating up in the summer you can nab some of its coolest hotel deals? 

Think 5-star luxury . . . pools . . . spas . . . fine dining. . . at prices so low you could stay three or four nights for the cost of one night in the same room during the winter.

Places like at the Four Seasons Troon North in Scottsdale. That’s their pool area pictured below.  Can’t you imagine yourself sunning there while sipping a cool one?

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I wrote about the drop in prices in an article that appears in today’s Seattle Times.  You will have to click this link however, to see what kind of deals I am talking about (believe me, it is worth your time to do so).

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And if you are contemplating a road trip to Arizona, I have another article in the Seattle Times  today in which I point out  some ‘not-to-miss’ stops and things to do in the North Central part of this Grand Canyon State (beyond the Grand Canyon, you might say).  To see those, you’ll need to click this link.

Arizona Spring 2012 059And for those of you who do click the links to the Seattle Times, you might recognize the guy in my photos with the orange shirt. . .

Hope to see you back here again this week because we are introducing a Travel Classics series featuring some charming historic hotels we’ve happened upon and we will also be taking you to Amsterdam for a night on the town!  
Until then, ‘Happy Travels!’

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Ridin’ the Rails in Arizona’s Verde Canyon

“It’s not the Destination, it’s the Journey”  they told us as we began our afternoon aboard Arizona’s Verde Canyon Railroad

They were right.

The vast open spaces that gave way to sheer canyon walls towering above us, the winding river. . . well, what we had feared might be a touristy outing turned out to be one of the best travel excursions we’ve ever taken in our three decades of travel. 

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Two FP7 locomotives – and two of only 10 remaining in North America -- are the horse power for the renovated vintage passenger cars. We chose coach class (and saved more buying at the AAA discount price) although we could have opted for First Class with a glass of champagne or hired the caboose all for ourselves. (All were air-conditioned.)

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We’d planned to spend just a portion of the trip in the open-air viewing car but within minutes of pulling out of the station we knew we weren’t going inside . . .the views were so breath-taking we couldn’t tear ourselves away from that railing  – we stood the entire way, moving from side to side trying to see it all. (Yes, it was in the 90’s that day but the viewing cars had canvas covers.)

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We traveled along the winding Verde River (verde; ‘green’ in Spanish) from Clarksdale, a one-time mining town, to what was once a train stop – Perkinsville - on the line that served this mining area in north-central Arizona. We passed mountains of slag, the remnants of those bygone mining days as well as cliff dwellings of the Sinagua Indians believed to date back to 600 B.C.

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We passed through a 680-foot manmade tunnel and didn’t realize until we came out the other side, just how small that opening was: this is the car behind us as it emerged from the tunnel.

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Cliffs towered above us and beside us, sometimes so close we could have touched them as we passed.

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The Verde River Canyon was such an enchanting place that we want to do this trip again – and highly recommend it to those who find themselves in the area. (Clarksdale is between Sedona and Prescott). In addition to the daily afternoon trips, they have special holiday excursions and in the summer when the moon is full, or when it's not - under starry skies -- night-time wine tasting trips.  I can’t imagine anything more magical sounding than that. Can you?

I took dozens of photos but will stop here and encourage you to visit other destinations featured this week on Travel Photo Thursday hosted by Budget Travelers Sandbox.  For those wanting more information on Verde Canyon Railroad, schedule and prices, click the link in the opening paragraph to access their website.

Monday, May 21, 2012

High Plains Drifters on the Road Again

DSCF0089The High Plains Drifters, our other nom de blog, will soon be living for a couple of weeks in our hot, dry timeshare world -  Arizona’s desert. 

We’ve got plans to see a number of long time friends from the Northwest (who have also migrated south seeking sun) as well as some local folks we’ve met in the blogosphere: Jackie Dishner author of the guidebook, Backroads and Byways of Arizona, and publisher of the blog, Bike with Jackie (I love that title!) and David and Carol Porter, known  as The Roaming Boomers.  (Take a minute and check out those blogs by clicking the blue links.)

Before we settle in to our Scottsdale ‘home-away-from- home’ life, we’ll be traveling some of the back roads and byways,with stops in Prescott and Jerome in the north central part of the state.
We’ll also be taking a four-hour tour aboard the vintage train, the Verde Canyon Railroad, travelin’ 12 miles an hour through the Verde Canyon, once the home of the Sinagua Indians.

Have any recommendations for us in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area? Or north central Arizona?  How about recommendations for books set in Arizona? 


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