Oct 29, 2013

Verde River exploring

Let's see. Crown King, Cleator, Arcosanti, Child's Verde Hot Springs, Sheep Bridge, River crossings and some run ins with "Bro's." Don't tell me that doesn't sound like a good time!! I had a buddy in town visiting so we decided to do a good bang for the buck trip and see a lot not far from Phoenix. First up, an old classic I've do so many times, the back way to Crown King. Just needs windows! Fixerupper! "Handyman Special!"  photo IMG_3394.jpg The good old general store! $5/gallon gas and all, but it seems cheap when you really need it badly.  photo IMG_3395.jpg This is the most crowded I've ever seen Crown King due to the Apple Festival!  photo IMG_3397.jpg Arcosanti is the creation of Paolo Soleri. Check out his Wiki page here. Paolo Soleri Wiki  photo IMG_3403.jpg I would say that Arcosanti is worth the side trip, but not a dedicated trip. It's a neat place that's worth the $10 (Donation) for the 1 hour tour. Paola was way ahead of his time in using basic orientation and building techniques to make the most of what nature provides. Certainly, nothing I saw was revolutionary or a revelation, but it is a beautiful spot and some neat architecture. Not to mention that some "followers" or students of his have lived there from the day they started building and now have 16 year old children still living there. I think a couple months would be enough for a "city person" who doesn't know much and a couple hours is enough for more of a hands on person.  photo IMG_3402.jpg The foundry.  photo IMG_3407.jpg Not a bad view for a workshop.  photo IMG_3406.jpg  photo IMG_3408.jpg  photo IMG_3411.jpg A lot of the structures are in need of work. It's neat that most of it was built by the residents and volunteers of Arcosanti, but our guide let us know that most of the full time work is either making bells (For sale to pay the bills) or maintaining the existing property.  photo IMG_3412.jpg  photo IMG_3414.jpg As impressive as this hall is it's actually "supposed" to be one of the smallest structures of Arcosanti. If you look at the models and plans on site the city is supposed to be more than 10 times it's current size, but most of it on the same footprint.  photo IMG_3415.jpg yah, I could sit here a while.  photo IMG_3418.jpg Town square, so to speak.  photo IMG_3420.jpg One of many residences:  photo IMG_3421.jpg  photo IMG_3422.jpg The community stage. They show movies here regularly. Mental note, head up here on the moto to watch a show sometime.  photo IMG_3425.jpg  photo IMG_3430.jpg Not a bad view.  photo IMG_3431.jpg Okay, that was neat, but time to keep on keeping on!!! We headed down Dugas road towards the Verde. At times it got pretty narrow. The Arizona Pinstriping factor was at 9.  photo IMG_3432.jpg The view was worth leaving a little paint behind. The Verde Valley.  photo IMG_3433.jpg We watched sunset as we made our way to the edge of the Verde. Amazing views at this time of day.  photo IMG_3437.jpg What's that? Yes, there was beer... and it was good.  photo IMG_3439.jpg Good morning! Time to go to the hot springs!!  photo IMG_3448.jpg Since we were on the more remote western side we needed to cross the Verde River twice. That meant two crossings, two lower body numbing crossings!  photo IMG_3449.jpg Made it, crossing 1 down. Just a mile hike and we're there.  photo IMG_3453.jpg Crossing number two. Notice the left over power lines from the now defunct Child's Power Plant that used to harness Fossil Creek.  photo IMG_3455.jpg  photo IMG_3456.jpg This spot was once the site of the main building of the Verde Hot Springs Resort.  photo IMG_3459.jpg

What it used to look like:

Almost there.  photo IMG_3462.jpg With views like this I see why people make the trek.  photo IMG_3479.jpg  photo IMG_3464.jpg The inside tub is filled with art from the last 70 or so years layer upon layer. Notice the painting of what the Verde resort used to look like.  photo IMG_3473.jpg  photo IMG_3465.jpg  photo IMG_3474.jpg If this guys here, I'm coming back. What a cool dog!!  photo IMG_3475.jpg  photo IMG_3469.jpg  photo IMG_3476.jpg After a morning swim we headed for Sheeps Bridge.  photo IMG_3487.jpg Not a bad place to hang out.  photo IMG_3492.jpg The original bridge was in fact a bridge for running sheep so they didn't have to get them through the Verde River. You can still to this day follow (In real life or on Google Earth) the remnants of the burned in sheep trail to the east from the bridge that used to take the sheep to and from higher pastures.  photo IMG_3493.jpg  photo IMG_3494.jpg Did I mention this is a great spot.  photo IMG_3495.jpg  photo IMG_3497.jpg Ernie appreciated the river!  photo IMG_3506.jpg After crossing we headed out and back towards Phoenix.  photo IMG_3518.jpg  photo IMG_3519.jpg This was a Saguaro rich environment! More than I've seen in one spot in a long time.  photo IMG_3527.jpg A couple more water crossings and we were back in civilization.  photo IMG_3528.jpg What a great loop for a quick overnight trip!!  photo IMG_3529.jpg