||Place / Site
||Verde Valley area
||Click here to view our Verde Valley webpage
||Montezuma Castle National Monument
||Montezuma Castle is a spectacular
place to see. It was built in the 1100's and was abandoned in the
1400's. There is a 1/3 mile loop walkway with lots of displays describing
the location. We learned that there were about 200 inhabitants within
the community. The "castle", cliff dwelling seen here, housed about
35 people. The kids enjoyed reading most of the displays and talking
about the different trees plants, and animals. We saw soapberry trees
that had poisonous berries that were used to make soap and learned about
the uses of many other trees and plants
||Tuzigoot National Monument
||Tuzigoot is another indian ruin from the 1100's
It is built on the top of a small hill with the Verde River and farmland
around the bottom. Each cell in this pattern
is a separate room. The river can be seen in the background in the
second picture. Access to the rooms was through an opening
on the roof using ladders. On top of the walls were thatch roofs
covered with mud. Today most of the roofs have fallen, rotted, and
been blown away by the wind
||Quartzsite Arizona is a very small town. There are two truck
stops, one McDonalds and a handful of local businesses. The town
has three intersections with four-way blinking red lights. Now, imagine
for four weeks each year, this town is occupied by eight to ten thousand
RVs. There are four or five main flea market areas. All together
there must be two thousand booths. As we understand it, this all
got started as a gem and rock hound show and trading session. Without
a doubt we saw many beautiful gems, rocks, petrified wood pieces, fossils,
etc. It looks like it grew by attracting people that have specialized
RV equipment and supplies to sell, so now it's about 50-50 rocks and RV
||Tournament of Roses Parade
||Click here for description.
||As we drove along south from Big Sur, California along Highway 1 we
saw "rockplows". They look just like a snowplow. There were
rocks on the road every mile or so along the way. At one point mud,
water, and rocks were flowing and bouncing across the road as we drove
through. The cliffs were nearly strait up and at least 100 feet high
and it was raining very hard, creating a wash. One time we could
hear many rocks clashing as they fell down the slope but we didn't slow
to look. I was glad we were going south since the northbound traffic
had five times more rocks on their lane. Some rocks where as much
as eighteen inches in diameter. The rock plows drove back and forth
over a twenty mile stretch and still the roads were covered with rocks.
||This is an excellent aquarium with some of the largest tanks we've
ever seen. They have many educational displays. We
learned a lot about different fisheries, the problems of over fishing,
habitat destruction, pollutants and solutions to these problems.
Here's some pictures we took at the aquarium of an orange
Jelly fish, a link to the aquarium's
web page, a picture of their web cam,
a link to their web cam
and the kids working on a project in one of
||The trail enters the beach in a small cove mostly shielded by seventy
foot rocks. The large waves, fifteen to twenty feet that day, smash
over, around, and through the rocks. Again,
we had the opportunity to see the awesome force of the ocean waves.
||Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
||Here we saw our largest redwood trees. We measured one having
a circumference of 21 feet, but the next day found another with a 32 foot
circumference. Both of these trees were older then 1500 years.
We learned a lot talking with Harvey, an older fellow that staffed the
nature center. Harvey had many skeletons, animal skins and
written material. We learned about the different kinds of snakes
that live in this areas. Max held up the tail of a mountain lion
skin while Harvey held up the head. The big cat was at least nine
feet long. We looked over the skulls of several animals and compared
the jaws and teeth to match them up to the food they each ate. We
saw the skulls of a sea otter, mountain lion, seal, beaver, horse and pelican.
Harvey also told us more about the redwood trees.
||Carmel River Beach
||On our way to Big Sur from Monterey we stopped at the Carmel River
Beach. The waves were very large that day and the bowl-like
shape of the beach kicks the surf up. The wave actually breaks right
on the beach. You can stand right in front
of a ten foot breaking wave but we usually ran before we got wet.
There was two life guards training in the surf that day. An extremely
large wave came along and washed over the highest point on the beach.
Mitch and Max jumped up on a large log to keep dry. Although the
water was only six inches deep Max jumped off quickly as it began to move
and Mitch held on for the ride. It moved about two feet as they both
learned how powerful the ocean waves really are. We
all had a good laugh. A young girl lost her sandal during this
large wave giving the life guards something to rescue. They used
a whistle to communicate over the roar of the waves and used hand signals
to communicate directions.
||Santa Cruz Pier and Bluff
||Santa Cruz is a fun town. Along the beach is a large arcade and
amusement park. There is a great beach and a long pier with lots
of shops and plenty of seals hanging around to watch. We also walked
along the bluff and watch the waves and
Here's another shot
||In Felton California, 9 miles north of Santa Cruz is a park with a
steam train ride that travels into a old growth redwood forest.
||We made it far enough south to get out from under the clouds.
We were just north of Sacramento and saw the most meteors between 8 and
9:00 that night. All together we saw about a dozen shooting stars.
||Myrtle Creek Mill Grind Stone
||We stayed in a city park that had 7 RV sites with full hook up.
There was a lot of history here. The park was previously a large
paper and lumber mill and after a large fire was later donated for the
city park. There was a large mill stone display. The
mill stone was from the old mill along the river next to the covered bridge
which still stands today. The mill stone was so heavy it could not
be brought to the west over land. Instead it was brought by ship
around the cape of South America. We forgot exactly what year it
was brought over but it was in the 1800's.