Clear Creek

Campsite at Clear Creek

Campsite at Clear Creek

I caught this little guy in the midst of shaking his head.

Shaking his head–probably wondering “Who is that woman?!”

For our monthly camping trip in April, we went to the Camp Verde/Clear Creek area to set up our temporary household. As you can see, our camp is far from luxurious, but it has the familiar feel of home because we’ve used the same equipment so many times. Though it is basic, we’ve found ways to make our campsites comfortable, chief among them the cots we use for sleeping. Once you’ve passed 60, as we have, sleeping on the ground loses some of its charm and getting up becomes a tricky exercise!

Clear Creek and its surrounding area held several interesting places to visit. One was the Old V Bar V ranch, now a state park. It contains some extremely well preserved rock art sites. The other was Montezuma’s Well, a unique small spring whose water never fails no matter how dry the area becomes. Best of all, desert wildflowers bloomed wherever we went–past their best, but still very beautiful. Here are some of the photos from our trip.

Claret Cup Cactus (I think)

Claret Cup Cactus (I think)

Petroglyphs at the V Bar V Ranch State Park

Petroglyphs at the V Bar V Ranch State Park

In the petroglyph, the spiral symbol near the left side of the picture is one of a series of spirals at the site. Curiously, at each of the solstices of the year, a shaft of light from the top of the cliff above will cross one of them exactly. The ranger there speculates that they may have been part of a calendar or other time-reckoning system. Interesting, isn’t it?

Ancient dwelling places seen from across Montezuma’s Well. See the black doorways beneath the top rock layer?

As far as anyone knows for sure, Montezuma never had anything to do with this site, and the origin of the name is uncertain. Whenever I see ruins like these, I wonder at the amount of work it would have taken to live in them–climbing up to the gardens above on the rocky shelf, and climbing down again to sleep. Imagine raising children in a cliff dwelling with water beneath it and sharp rocks all around. I’m filled with admiration for the people who did these things.

It was a wonderful couple of days, though the nights were still chilly for camping. We’re already looking forward to next month.

More interested in whether I had something for him to eat than in posing for the camera.

More interested in whether I had something for him to eat than in posing for the camera.

Globe Mallow, my favorite wildflower.

Globe Mallow, my favorite wildflower.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Judy Smith on April 28, 2015 at 11:40 am

    Ah, camping! It will soon be time to pack up the 5th wheel for our first trip of 2015! We hope to attend the Jeff & Sheri Easter Festival in early May in Lincolnton, GA. We are blessed to be retired and able to set out own schedule as God permits. A longer trip is in the works later on. Glad you enjoyed your weekend away. Thanks for sharing pictures and thoughts and hoping to see more in the future.

    Reply

  2. We certainly do love our camping, Judy. Glad you are going to be out doing the same thing soon. Yes, your retirement is such a blessing. Both Jeff and I are still working at the moment, but not for too much longer.

    Reply

    • Posted by Judy Smith on April 29, 2015 at 10:43 am

      I’m thinking that this most recent camping trip was a little more enjoyable than the last one you reported. Hopefully they will just get better as the months go by.

      Reply

  3. Thanks, Judy. I hope so, too!

    Reply

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