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All Aboard!!!

May 16, 2011

How lucky was I to take a ride on the Verde Canyon Railroad yesterday afternoon!  What fun!  Thanks to my new friend Michael who just took a part-time job with the RR, I was able to join him for a complimentary ride.

We boarded at the new Clarkdale depot, just up the road from the school,  rode about two hours at 12 miles an hour to Perkinsville, where the engine switched from the front to the back and then rode back to Clarkdale following the Verde River the entire way.  The trip took about 4 hours and I spent most of it in the open air car enjoying the dry desert air and the scenery.  Here are a a few shots I took along the way.  This first one is of some desert blooms.  The orange is the ocotillo cactus and the yellow is the prickly pear cactus with the Verde River in the background.

The Verde River is the only Wild and Scenic River in Arizona and it divides two National Forests:  The Coconino and the Prescott.  Right pretty, don’t ya think?

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this or if any of you have figured it out on your own from earlier posts, but you can’t swing a cat around here without hitting an ancient cave dwelling and this trip proved no different.  Below is one of the several Sinagua dwellings we saw along the way.  You can make out the little box looking thing in the big crack in the rock.  The Sinaguan Indians were the first inhabitants of the Verde River Valley dating back to about 600AD.

And moving on to a more lively topic, we were fortunate to have Sonora on board with us.  Everyone say hello to Sonora.

Sonora is a Juvenile Bald Eagle who was rescued after she fell from her nest when she was 8 weeks old.  Apparently her nest was attacked by African bees who killed her sibling, but she jumped out and fell quite a distance to the ground breaking her wing in three places along the way.  It took quite a bit of nursing to see her through and while she is happy and well now, she won’t be able to be released into the wild due to her injuries, so she will play ambassador instead.  At age 4, she is still speckled and won’t become fully brown with a bright white head until she is 5.  It was interesting to learn that desert Bald Eagle females weigh about 15 lbs while Alaskan Bald Eagle females weigh in at double that.  Here she is again with Michael and her handler (check out her talons).  For those of you who know who I’m talking about, doesn’t Michael look a bit like Whitney?

Alrighty then, that’s it from the desert.  I’ve got to hit the books…the hip bone is connected to the leg bone…

Stay tuned!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Heather permalink
    May 17, 2011 8:07 am

    Hi Margie, I have fallen behind on your posts but will read and catch up! Your photos are always so great. Just spent three weeks up in VT helping Beryl (remember my step grandmother?)in her final days. I was able to work with Hospice to care for her in her home rather than the hospital which was good. I had forgotten how beautiful it is where she lives….just incredible. Headed out this weekend to lead a women’s hiking/biking retreat in Virginia. 11 people going….lots of chatting!!
    How are classes going? I’m sure I will find out more when I read the blogs I missed. My best to you….Heather

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