Friday, July 14, 2017

April 26, 2017 - Cottonwood, Clarksdale, Jerome & Sedona, AZ

After breakfast we left for Clarksdale, AZ for a 4 hour train ride with Verde Canyon Railroad.  We were advised to be at the train station between noon and 12:30 pm.  We were too early, so we visited Cottonwood and Clarksdale for a short while before heading up to Jerome.
Verde Canyon Railroad is open all year round.  The 4 hour train ride takes you on a 40 mile round trip through canyons, mountains, valleys, and one tunnel. There are three types of rides: Caboose, first class and coach.  First class car will hold fewer passengers than the coach car.  There are amenities, such as champagne, full service cash bar, sandwiches, fruits, vegetables, chicken wings and snacks.

We presented the voucher to the train ticket station, were given two souvenir books with information on the journey.  We were assigned to Cottonwood train car (first class) with its private open-air car (with the shaded canopy and benches).  On the ticket there is a clause to notify the attendant that we are “hearing impaired”.  I don’t like it at all.  It will be better if they put down “deaf”.

We were the first ones to board the train because the attendant announced that we were handicapped. 😔   We were led to seats with a large window view.  A couple from San Francisco, CA were seated across from us.
The train left the station at 1 pm promptly.  About a mile or so later we were given a glass of champagne. 
There were some interesting rock formations that Susazane, our personal guide, wanted us to take a look at -  Howling coyote (I missed taking a picture of it), Turtle, Three monkeys, Budweiser frog, Guardian Angel and Mack Truck.
Suzanne, our guide

There are mileposts along the way.  The souvenir book has information on some mileposts.  Susanne came out to tell us what to look for in the canyons and mountains.  She has worked for Verde Canyon Railroad for 11 years, was very nice and informative. 
There were three railroad bridges and one tunnel.  When the train arrived Perkenville, the end of the 20 mile trip, it took about 15 minutes for the locomotive to move to the front of the train.  We got back to Clarksdale at 4:45 pm.  We really enjoyed every bit of the journey.  It was really beautiful. The hit song "Last Train to Clarksville" by the Monkees was based on this train ride!

On our way back home we took a quick look around in Clarksdale, took some pictures. We did not stay long enough because most stores were already closed.  Yes, many stores in small towns close early!
The sun had not set when we were on way to Sedona.  We decided to go up on Red Rock State Park Loop, but then realized it is a 8 mile loop. We decided not to continue because we were starting to feel tired.  We plan on coming back here tomorrow or Friday.  

The weather called for partly cloud for tomorrow, so that should be a perfect day for hiking. We would like to go hiking at Bell Rock trailhead and Cathedral Rock trailhead.


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