Well since we woke up to snow our last morning in the Grand Canyon, Larry was eager to leave ASAP! We headed out toward the Sedona area about 11am. We had a lot of people tell us to stay in Cottonwood because it was very nice and a little cheaper than Sedona. Noted! I took the first driving shift so I could say I drove in snow! Lol When Larry was driving I called ahead looking for a campground in Cottonwood for when we arrived. I was able to secure 2 nights at Rio Verde RV Park with our campsite right on the Verde River!
We were all set up by 3:30pm and we had our lunch by the river. It was warm and Larry loved it. We layed in the sun until the flies got too annoying to ignore. We played with some Barbies before we left to change into our exploring clothes. We walked along the river trail until we found ourselves on private property. It wasn’t interesting enough to break the law. We decided to walk down highway 89 which seemed like the main street into town to see what they had to offer. We explored abandoned properties and creeks along the way til we found a cute little mexican restaurant called Plaza Bonita. I figured we could eat here and I wouldn’t need to cook. Ya! Easy night.
It was a very reasonably priced place with large helpings. I ordered a big beer and was delighted when the mug came and it was almost the size of my head! I only had one beer that night. Larry had a wonderful meal and topped it off with desert. I was trying to cheer him up with food as his cold was still bothering him I asked him several times if he wanted to see a doctor because my belief was the month long cold was bronchitis. He declined on the doctor visit. I was really hoping he would start to feel better and his cold would go away.
We went to bed early because I wanted to go hiking as early as possible before the heat of the day. I had read up on this hike that sounded really good. It was supposed to be 6.9 miles with only a slight elevation gain of 550 feat. I asked Larry if he was feeling up for it before we went to bed, Yep! This was the first night of two that he had night sweats. He sweated so much that he had to change his t shirt 3 times during the night. His side of the bed was soaked. I avoided taking any more of the bed than I needed.
Up at 6am so I asked the question if he still wanted to do the longer hike. I had found a few others that were shorter but he said let’s try the Bell Trail as it was out and back. When I put the trail head into my google maps, it took us to Bell Rock Trail. Check out this trail on AllTrails.
This wasn’t the trail we thought it was going to be. We hiked around Bell Rock which was amazing! It gave a great view of the valley and surrounding mountains and was very beautiful. There were some super steep parts of it and I was definitely scared a few times about sliding down the trail. Larry was much braver than me and went up further on the side of Bell Rock. I took pictures and was glad when he got down. We finished up that hike in less than an hour. It was only 1.8 miles long. We decided to go to that Ranger Station down highway 89 to see if they had better directions to Bell Trail. Check out this trail on AllTrails.
The Park volunteer was super helpful! He gave us so much information and perfect directions to the trailhead. It was almost noon when we were done with him. Now the decision to start the longer hike in the heat of the day and the question of if we really wanted to do the 6.9 miles. Larry said he did and of course I did! We headed out to the trail which was only 10 minutes down 179. We started exactly at 12:09pm. It was mostly flat hiking in the desert until we reached the bottom of the beautiful mountain. It got more challenging but not too bad. We were able to find a nice spot to have lunch about 2pm. We brought tons of water and our usual peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Two for Larry and one for me! I really enjoyed the hike and on the way down we took a side trail and found a large creek. It was a nice resting spot before the hot flat desert trail back to the truck. Larry did awesome! We hiked over 10 miles after we finished both trails. Yeah us!
Larry had another night of sweats and he piled up more laundry to do for our next stop. We were headed to the Phoenix area for about a week. We will spend some time with my daughter Jill and her handsome boyfriend Riley. I was really looking forward to spending more than 2 nights somewhere and I get to celebrate my 55th birthday with my amazing daughter.