This past week we headed out with the folks we usually ride with and joined a bunch of other folks up near Cordes Junction, north of the valley, on a place called Arcosanti, in the photo below,
where a group from the Verde Valley was hosting their annual trailride. This was our first time there, but the ride was in its 21st year.
This ride is fully catered, so Brenda was off duty in the kitchen the whole week, a well deserved vacation. We left home here last Sunday and arrived there in time to get our camp set up and join the group for dinner, corned beef and cabbage, of course as it was St. Paddy’s day.
The camp was alongside the Aqua Fria River although as we have come to learn in this country just because they call it a River doesn’t mean it actually has any water in it. Surprisingly though this one did have sections that actually had water on the surface although in other sections it appeared that the flow was subterranean. There was signs of high water at certain times though as there was driftwood lodged high in the trees along the river bed. Many of the trails we rode followed along this picturesque valley for at least the start or the end of the rides.
Each day we headed out with a different ride leader and roamed across the high desert and down through some pretty creek valleys. Rumour has it that there are some antelope around the country but other than a few deer, a couple of rabbits and of course some horses and cattle we didn’t see a bunch of wildlife. Not surprisingly I guess seeing as how on any given day there was somewhere around 140 riders out and about in the countryside, and not all of them were catnapping along a creek bed.
The weather all week long was pretty good, a little windy, but shirtsleeve weather, although one day those clouds in the picture below did manage to work up one of those 3 inch rains that Arizona is famous for, you know the kind where the rain drops are about 3 inches apart.
Each evening there was music and dancing that went long into the night, well at least till 9:30PM or so before we all headed off to get a good nights sleep so we were ready for the next days adventure.
K & Teresa enjoying a dance in spite of her broken ankle
For those of you who like to pore over some maps here is a shot of our weeks riding, each day in a different colour. All tallied up it amounted to within a whisker of 60 miles of riding this week.
And don’t worry even though I only marked a couple of our lunch spots we enjoy lunch each and every day including one day when the catering folks came out and cooked us up some burgers for lunch along the trail.
It was a great ride, well organized, and the food was unbeatable, well except maybe by Brenda but we’ll let those other 138 folks think they were eating the best.
There was one sad note though, a fellow who I only met briefly on Day one, Cotton Voight, had a heart attack while playing his bass up on the stage. Cotton had enjoyed a great ride earlier in the day and was in great spirits when he was called away from us here.
Enjoy that great ride Cotton, RIP Cowboy