We have finally arrived to the volunteer position we accepted back in Feb 2020! We could only imagine what this place was like, as we have never been to Sedona before.. The beauty definitely did NOT disappoint!
We received an escort from our new boss, and after a 7-mile rocky & gravel road, we finally pulled up to our new 3-month home. After setting up, we were given a tour of the archeology sites as well as the visitor center. We were given our uniforms & badges, and now have a few days to relax before getting to work with our training. The 2nd couple will be arriving tomorrow.
For now, all we know is that I (Jeanette) will be managing the visitor center/museum while answering phones, taking reservations, and giving the tour groups a short introduction and sending them down the path to the site where the docents await. Mark will be working as one of the docents in either the Cliff Dwelling site or the Pictograph Grotto, and giving visitors the information about the archeological sites. As on-site hosts, we will also be protecting the sites, cleaning the area, and getting things ready each morning for the visitors. Since there is another couple working with us, we will work W-Sa, and they will be working Su-W.
On our 3 days off, we hope to visit a LOT of attractions in the area, and get a real good idea of what Sedona is all about.
For now, we have a few days to relax before our training session begins. Enjoy the first pics of our travel and our new 3-month home! :-)
It was great to finally arrive into our winter home state - - where we'll be for the main part of the winter. We love it out here because of the dry climates, and beautiful hills and mountains. This trip was no different.
We were in a good position to see Meteor Crater, Petrified National Park and Winslow, AZ, so we did. I must say that Petrified Forest was stunning! There's no many park you can go to see the Badlands, Ruins, Petrified Rock and Petroglyphs all in one!
Meteor Crater was also spectacular. A lot of people say it's just a hole in the wall, but it was much more to us. It was great to see how the impact of the meteorite traveled, and what a large hole it left for such a small little particle. Anyway, BOTH of these are with the visit!
We also stopped in Winslow on our way through, and when this happens, we really must "stand on the corner" as in the Eagles song. We did much more than that, and Winslow was a great little town to visit!
Stay Details: Homolovi State Park - Site 14
Notes: This park has options for electric or water only. We chose water only, as we were staying 2 nights. The park is home of runs from the Navajo people, and it was also home to about a dozen free ranging donkeys.
Visiting Albuquerque was pretty exciting, especially for Mark. Mark lived here when he was young, so we went to see his old house, run around town and see the sights.
Night 1, we drove up to the Sandia peak for some sightseeing. How awesome to see the views and the mule deer!
Day 2, we headed to his old house, school, and saw the hospital where mom worked. We also went to dinner at El Pinto, and the ambiance there was pretty cool! Finally, we went to his old candy store where he bought swizzle sticks for 10 cents each! They are 2.99 now, whoa!
We also toured some Native American ruins in the area which gave us some more really pretty views.
Stay Details: Hidden Valley Ranch; Albuquerque, NM
Notes: This RV park was really tight together, so we didn't feel like spending time outside at all. At the base of our steps was a railroad tie that separated our site from the neighbors, and it was about 2' to the neighbors hoses and sewer lines. The people were nice, cell service was good, but just know that you will not have a lot of room here. However, it was a great place to park close to Albuquerque, so we didn't have to drive far.
Took a day trip to some fun sites just west of Oklahoma City.
𝐄𝐱𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐂𝐥𝐲𝐝𝐞𝐬𝐝𝐚𝐥𝐞𝐬: The icon of Express Employment, this is the farm that raises the Clydesdales and Percherons.
𝐋𝐮𝐜𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐞'𝐬 𝐨𝐧 𝐑𝐨𝐮𝐭𝐞 𝟔𝟔: This restaurant was built as a replica of the original gas station just down the road. The food wasn't very good, but the nastalgia was pretty cool!
𝐑𝐞𝐝 𝐑𝐨𝐜𝐤 𝐂𝐚𝐧𝐲𝐨𝐧: Then a quick hike in the canyon's Horsetail trail.
𝑇𝑜𝑚𝑜𝑟𝑟𝑜𝑤, 𝑜𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑟𝑜𝑢𝑔ℎ 𝑇𝑋 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑖𝑛 𝑡𝑜 𝑁𝑀.
Stopped over to see Katie & the family before heading west. This was the 2nd camping trip we've had with them this year and we always have a blast (like we do with the other kids).. This time, the weather was beautiful except for some tiny bit of rain in the morning, and everyone had a great time. In the morning we went to the zoo, and Sunday Mark went to see the kids sing in church, then helped Tony with the car in the afternoon. I stayed back with a sick me and sick Pica, but felt better the next morning.
Stay details: Charlestown State Park; Charlestown, IN - Site 141
Notes: We choose this campground close to Katie because it has large sites where we have plenty of room to put multiple tents. The sites are electric only and have no sewer or water at the sites. There are water spigots around the campgrounds, and the shower houses are clean and well taken care of. The playground is in the main loop and has a climbing gym and swings.
I must say, Rhode Island is one of the prettiest states we've been to! Besides the mountains, plentiful trees, and rocky cliffs, everyone we've experienced in this state was very nice and all the drivers seem to be respectful to others.
We took a day trip to Newport while here, and found several gems:
Watch Hill Beach: Mark surprised me with a nice beach walk after we arrived at the campground. We were hoping to find the remaining fort and lighthouse at the end of the peninsula, but it was too rock and the sun was setting, so we were more than happy with beautiful sunset photos instead.
Fort Adams: Started as an Army post by President Adams in 1799, this is one of the largest standing forts in the U.S.. We bought the audio tour, and explored the fort with Pica, which was an added bonus. This fort was active in 4 different wars.
Ocean Drive and Cliff Walk: There are a few very beautiful trails you can take around the Newport Island to explore the beautiful homes. After lunch at Chili's, we took both. We enjoyed the walk better though, and you could see the pretty side of all the large homes/buildings.
Stay Details: Burlingame State Park; Charlestown RI - Site 341
This was a beautiful and very large campground that did not offer any amenities. All dry camping, it has two dump stations and all sites are nestled within the woods.
A bonus of stopping here, was there was a lady stranded in the site next to us. Her car wouldn't start, and she'd lost her keys. The ranger never came back after saying they'd help, so Mark began charging her battery. By the time her husband came with the backup key, the battery was full and the car started. The hour we were there, we talked to her, calmed her down and made her realize that the camping community are mostly friendly people.
Ultimately, the rangers never came, nor did they clean up the surrounding area. So, we did that too.
We were lucky enough to be there after school started, so there was nobody around us. We felt we had the entire woods to ourselves, which was very nice.
Ruth & Darrell invited us to the fair before we left. It was large, beautifully set up, and had a lot of wonderful events. Here are some highlights from the fair:
Once the rain moved out, we took off on another excursion to the south area of main. Our highlights are as follows:
Kennebunkport - The Trolly Museum
Many of the trollies have been restored to new condition, including the one they now use as the tour trolly for visitors. They even had a double-decker trolly from Scotland!
Kennebunkport - St. Ann's Episcopal Chapel
This is where President Bush and his family attends church when they are at their estate.
Kennebunkport - President Bush Estate
President Bush and his family still live at this estate, and are well protected by secret service.
Kennebunkport - Beautiful Homes
We did not stop to walk the town for shopping, but instead drove around looking at some really awesome homes! I have the prettiest one shown below.
Ogunquit - Marginal Way
There is a paved path between the beautiful homes and the sea. A must-do for anyone traveling to the area.
Scarborough - Len Libby Candies
Home of the life-size chocolate moose made from 1700 lbs of milk chocolate!! The pond was made from milk chocolate that was dyed blue. It took 4 weeks to carve, and it was revealed on July 1st, 1997. They have excellent chocolate too!
After a day of hiking and checking things out, Pica had enough! The problem was, being in a strange place really stressed her, so she took comfort in being in our bed for this night.
Well, every once in a while there has to be a change in plans. We've been tracking Hurricane Ida, and the recent turn has put us right in it's cone path. SO, we decided we did not want to set up a tent with 3-4" of rain, nor did we want wet bedding or chance ruining our borrowed gear.
So, we reserved a hotel room and put our tent equipment away. It was a feeling of defeat and sadness, but it was also nice to know we wouldn't have to deal with wet equipment.
We took advantage of some extra time, and visited Portland in the evening. Our highlights include:
L.L.Bean ~ With the famous boot that everyone gets a selfie in front of.. We found a duck boot car too! The store was pretty cool too, and I really loved that they allow dogs!
The Holy Donut ~ Locals told us we MUST go to the potato donut shop and get the best donuts around! So we did.. We ordered 6 different flavors, and ended up throwing half of them out. Not the best in our opinion.
Downtown Portland & the Berlin Wall ~ I love that different cities have remnants of the Berlin Wall. Please don't ever forget this incident.. :-( Downtown Portland was just an average city to us. Busy, crowded, cramped, and it was nice to get out.
Fort Williams ~ Nestled next to the Portland Lighthouse, Fort Williams has abandoned forts you can explore and placards give you information about the era.
Portland Lighthouse ~ This was a gorgeous lighthouse that sat upon the rocks. The water was calm during our visit, I would love to see this place when the waves crash against the rocks! This entire area was a nice sea-side walk from one to the other; a definitely recommendation from us.
Stay Details: Best Western, Freemont ME
Nice hotel, beautiful room and comparable prices. They had a pool, but it was too cold to use. They had a decent breakfast in the morning, and they provided Wifi and DirecTV for all their customers.
A trip long dreamed about was finally here. We set up the tent, organized our gear, then settled down for a night in the Acadia 'wilderness'. We were pumped! We read all the brochures, planned our days events, and were ready to take on the world!
Pica was restless.. She ended up finding comfort with us on our bed. First time ever! She was very good through the night though, as she only growled at one person walking to the restroom. Then our bed was losing air. By morning, we were sleeping on the rocky ground. Oh well, we'll try bed #2!
For now, we had to go.. A 4am appointment on Cadillac Mountain for the sunrise came quickly! We packed up some warm clothes and set out for the mountain. Once there we knew there wouldn't be a visible sunrise. We were in a cloud. We could see nothing, and the wind and moisture made us very glad we brought warmer clothing. Well, since we weren't going to see the sunrise, we may as well walk the trail! It was beautiful! Rocky, unique structure, and we imagined the view we would normally have! The next day, we drove to the mountain again and saw the beautiful views just after sunrise.
During the rest of the trip, we hiked a few small trails, road our bike on the carriage roads, saw Thunder Hole and Bar Harbor, went on a Boat Tour, ate lunch at Jordan Pond House, and Mark even capped it off with a hike on the famous Beehive Trail. We also took a trip to the west side of the island and visited Bass Harbor Lighthouse.
The weather was near perfect! Highs in the 70's, and lows near 60 and no rain! The campground itself was beautiful, but honestly I don't know how tenters do this on a regular basis. We enjoyed our 3 nights, but with people yelling nearby, kids screaming, and a radio?? What are people thinking! We prefer the solitude, peacefulness and safety of dispersed camping in our rig, so we'll leave tenting to the younger folk. :-)
By the way.. Night #2, our airbed #2 deflated too. For night #3 we set up our last bed option. A nice airbed we borrowed from Ruth & Darrell. It was definitely a quality airbed, because it worked flawlessly!
All in all, the park is absolutely beautiful! If you love to hike and bike, you will LOVE Acadia!
Stay Details: Blackwoods Campground; Acadia National Park ME - Site B-16
Notes: The campground is mostly for tenters and small RVs. It has modern toilets in all loops, but the shower house is outside the park nearby and is pay per use. The sites have a good amount of space, but none are totally private because of the taller trees. Sound travels very well. If you are going to Acadia, we recommend this campground. There are also a few other campgrounds in the area that seem nice.