Tuzigoot National Monument, Jerome AZ, and mini golf…

While we were staying in Cottonwood, AZ, we took the opportunity to visit the 2 local National Monuments; Tuzigoot and Montezuma Castle and Well. I THINK these are the only 2 National Parks in AZ (that offer the Jr. Ranger program) that we had not been to yet.  One day we took a lunch and struck out for Tuzigoot National Monument.
It was only a couple of miles up the road! We toured the little museum, met the very friendly rangers, and picked up Jr. Ranger booklets…

The program was easy; Peanut even did it pretty much by herself…

(Peanut requests that her hair be done this way every day – personally, I think it fits her! LOL!)
The kids did most of their booklets sprawled out on the floor of the visitor’s center, and then we took the (very) short walk up to the ruins…

Where we read about the people that used to call this area home.
The remains of this community used to be completely covered by rocks and dirt, but have been excavated and somewhat restored.
There are over 40 such similar dwellings in this area, and Tuzigoot is the only one that has been excavated.
Once the walls and artifacts are exposed, then the elements start to take their toll. We have found the current common thought throughout many of the parks is to not uncover any more (of whatever that park is about) than what has already been excavated; to leave it all covered/unrestored.

At this park, there weremano (stone that corn/seeds/beans were placed in/on to be ground) andmetates (grinding stones – such as Joel is holding) that the kids could try to grind with…

and Peanut is all about ‘Hands On’!!!

After we had finished exploringTuzigoot, we drove across the road and up into the hills to check out a little old mining town called Jerome. Jerome used to be a copper mining town, and once the mine closed, it became a ghost town.

Then, years ago, ‘the artists’ came in and revived the town. It now seems to be a thriving little community full of touristy shops, and brimming with little hole-in-the-wall eateries. Vaughn had driven through during a weekday on his way to Prescott to pick up some bolts for the rv; he said that it was still quite a quiet town.
But when we drove through on a Saturday, it was hopping. There were oodles of people out from the city walking through the eclectic shops and leisurely stopping for a bite to eat while visiting with friends.
We drove through. The crowds aren’t really our thing – we like to get out and away from them actually.
Vaughn took us up the mountain – it is a stunningly beautiful drive! But don’t be in a hurry…
The road is well maintained, but full of switchbacks.
The view is unbelievable – I seriously need to take a photography class on capturing the vivid colors of desert views :(

After our day out and about visitingTuzigoot and Jerome, it was back to the campground. Mom had a few loads of laundry to catch up, so we all hung out at the family center: mom was back and forth to the laundry building while the others…

checked out the mini golf course.
Peanut dressed herself this morning… she will be herself no matter what anyone else thinks.

As the sun set, the temperatures cooled and the guys gave that as a reason to join Beth, who was in making a list of pictures to get printed; how convenient that the guys could check out how the football game was progressing.

By this time the little girls had tired ofmini golf and were wearing out the slide at the playground while Dad and Daniel playedping pong…

It was a wonderful day spent together! Just the way they should be :)

Lilla Rose

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  1. FUN!! FUN!! FUN!!

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