Sunday, November 20, 2016

Camp Verde, AZ 9/20/16

It was a fairly quick drive from Payson to Camp Verde considering the twisty windy road. Ugh! I'm surprised I didn't get car sick. We did a search while on the road (you'll see a pattern here) and chose an rv park called Distant Drum. Wow! This place was great! It was right off the highway, but I never heard any road noise while inside the trailer. Outside I heard a little bit, but really not much. This place was spotless! The concrete pads with greenery in between gave the park a nice uniform look. Of course I prefer shaded trees with ample space between slots, but this was a really good find. My kids were excited about the smooth roads so they could ride their bikes. The staff was exceptional & really went above & beyond to help hubby back into his slot. Keep in mind he's a new 5th wheel driver & this was his first backing up slot. It took several tries IN THE RAIN, but the camp host was there guiding him as well as a fellow camper. They were so nice & we were so appreciative & grateful for their help. Had I been the one guiding hubby....well let's just say he would NOT have been smiling the whole time. Hubby mentioned something about a "pow wow" that evening. My mother in law & I were all excited, but it wasn't an actual full dress pow wow. Instead it was 3 men singing traditional songs. Still it was very nice & they had a fire pit going & free snacks. After the singing we enjoyed smores, cup cakes, fruit, hot chocolate & other goodies. Their laundry room was huge & I had no idea they had a full workout room. I decided to use the showers & took the kiddos along & whoa! They had 6 large private bathrooms with showers in them. Plenty of room for all of us. I was impressed. Overall we enjoyed our stay at Distant Drum & gave it 2 thumbs up.

Since we weren't staying long we had to squeeze in both the Wildlife Park and Slide Rock in the same day. We got up the next morning after checking in & headed to the park. The kids were excited to use their new CamelPaks. Yay talk about a back saver for me....well it should have been. No more carrying bottles of water for the kids was the plan. Now they carry their own water & a couple snacks. Of course I carried my own CamelPak with my stuff (keys, phone, small wallet, wipes, band aids, antibacterial gel, extra clothes for Emry, etc) as well as extra snacks. My back was feeling it & they didn't even eat the snacks I packed. Good grief. They ate the potato chips from vending machine purchased by the grandparents. Uh huh. Of course if I didn't have the packed snacks then they would have been wailing for them. Better to prepare I guess. Anyway, we had been to this wildlife park years ago when my oldest was about 3 yrs old so we decided to revisit. We took the bus tour & it was hilarious! They gave us celery sticks to feed the giraffe & hubby got a wet tongue to his beard by a giraffe. We think the giraffe liked the texture of his beard. I got the perfect photo too. That's a keeper for sure. Annika & Emry both fed the long necks, but Dalton was not interested. Party pooper.

 It was a bumpy ride on that bus, but fun & very interesting to learn about all the animals. Afterward we took a tram up to the top where we could walk around & see other animals (tigers, bears, wolves, hyenas, etc). We were passing time as we waited for the animal show to begin. They brought out 3 animals. A big ol snake that all 3 kiddos touched, a cute tiny hedge hog and this weird looking rat/deer/rabbit that turned out to be a Cavy.

 After the show the complaining started "I'm tired, I'm hungry, I'm done looking all the animals" etc. I still wanted to do the zip line, but wasn't able to because of the time situation. We still had to do Slide Rock. Thus instead we went back to the rv park, fed everyone then changed into our swim gear & headed to Slide Rock. We drove thru Sedona & that was beautiful....until all the touristy businesses popped up. Why must we put up all these stores & take away from the natural beauty of the land? Oh Grrrrr. I didn't see one store that made me want to shop. What a waste I tell ya, in my opinion anyway.

We pressed on & got to Slide Rock, which by the way used to be an apple orchard back in the 1930s. There was a subtle scent in the air....sniff sniff....ahhhh apples! I was craving them from that point on. I was able to buy some wet socks in their little general store. Lifesaver! You see as a mom we think of everyone else first so before we left Tucson I made sure all the kiddos had proper water shoes & of course I never got any for myself. Thus, I was excited to find wet socks for myself. Woohoo on towards the water! I was anxious to get in & then......I felt the water. Brrrrr! Holy freezing temps! I slipped while walking & scraped my knuckle on a rock then Emry slipped & scraped the side of her leg, but she's a trooper & no tears. The older kids told me she stepped into a puddle & much to her surprise it was deeper than expected & she was in past her knees. That would have been funny to see. Hubby walked to the start of the sliding area with the kids, but I could see a lot of hesitation from everyone. The girls came back over to me to wait & discuss what they were going to do. Hubby took our son with him & proceeded to slide. I was laughing because I could not only see the expression on hubby's face, but hear a somewhat high pitched noise coming out of him as a result of the freezing water. I knew he'd only venture down once & I was right.

I was up next. My youngest decided not to go so it was me & the oldest. As we got to the beginning there was this sudden swarm of young teenage boys. They came out of no where. Turns out there was a large bus full that unloaded. Either some kind of camp or after school gig. All I know is that we got most of their backs on camera as I was getting ready to slide. My daughter quickly changed her mind as I was pulling her down to sit. Yeah it was cold alright. My body was telling me to high tail it outta there, but my brain was telling me we had to do it at least once. I had her kinda on my lap in between my legs & I pushed off. Holy smokes did that take my breath away. Have you ever been so cold that you momentarily can't catch your breath? Brrrr!!!!! I lost my grip on my daughter & she kept going with her little fingers clenched to her nose. We got to the first pool area & I quickly yelled "get outta the water, get outta the water". I helped her off to the side then here came one of those teenage boys & he kinda knocked me off balance and there I went further down the pool area. You can hear me on the video making all kinds of noises then I was so numb I couldn't get up on the nearest rock. I felt like a beached whale rolling onto the rock. Yes it was funny afterward. Since hubby only went in once & refused to go again, I as usual took one for the team & stayed in so the kids could go down the second smaller area into the next pool section. The things we do for our children. My son went about 4 more times & my oldest daughter went a few more. My youngest daughter kinda jumped from the side once & that was enough for her. There were really no grips along those rocks so once you went that was it. I went with my son a couple times & I got him to the side safely, but the current kept pushing me. I had a death grip on the side of the rocks to try & get out, but it required hubby's strong hands to pull me onto a rock where once again I felt like a beached whale trying to catch my breath & my strength. It wasn't a raging river, but that current was enough to push you along & tire you out. I don't know how long we were there, but it couldn't have been longer than 30 minutes and we were ready to go. It was a bit of a walk out of there with all the steps to climb up. We did see a red & black striped snake along the way. This little guy caused quite the debate among our family & I had to recite the poem "red & yellow kill a fellow, red & black put him back/friend of Jack". I was right, he was a friendly so on we went & tried to warm up. A few more pics & we were outta there. Checked that on off our list. I'm sure when it's 100+ degrees that cold water would feel wonderful, but it sure didn't on the day we were there. Fun yes, but dang soo sooooo cold, but gotta do it at least once.

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