Sunday, February 22, 2015

Mountain Views, Mining Town and Vortexes

Location: Fairgrounds RV Park (El. 5,100 ft); Prescott Valley, Arizona

(click pictures to enlarge)

This part of Arizona is basically divided into valleys and mountain ranges. They generally run north and south with the valleys being the location of towns and communities. The town of Sedona (home of spiritual vortexes?) is located one valley to the east from Prescott Valley. The mountain range in between is part of the Prescott National Forest. My plan yesterday was to head to Sedona with stops along the way to look at some national forest campgrounds. 

The picture above was my coffee drinking, sunrise, view yesterday morning before beginning my road exploration. The picture was taken from the steps going into Liberty. That is her side on the right. I liked the reflection and since I was headed to Sedona, I said "groovy" when I saw it. Younger folks can ask older folks about the term. :)

I pulled out about 9:00 and dressed in long pants and long sleeve shirt because I knew it would be chilly at the top of the mountains which were a couple thousand feet higher than the valley. I even threw my jacket in Freedom, just in case. So with fancy camera and binoculars I hit the road. 

The road leading to the mountains is right in front of the campground and you can easily see the mountains. The trip to the top was uneventful and Freedom pulled the steep grades easily. 
Conveniently located elevation marker at the intersection at the summit of the mountain range.
There is an intersection at the summit. The road to the north is paved and leads to the campgrounds I wanted to check out. About 2 miles down that road I reached a locked gate with a note saying campgrounds closed until April 1st. Well, that answered that for me, I won't be around that long. I turned around and decided to explore the other leg of the intersection. It was a dirt road that was badly "washboarded" in places. I didn't see anyone on either road and the view from the dirt road was nice in places. After a few miles of very slow driving because of the road conditions and having went up in elevation about 700 more feet, I reached another intersection. The southern leg was gated like the other place with a note about the campground being closed. The eastern leg looked like an old logging road which didn't look promising at all. The western leg was a better looking road and surprisingly had what looked like a new pick-up parked along the side. No one was in the truck so I assumed they were off hiking or tent camping. Having seen enough and with other things planned to see along the main road, I turned around. 
Dirt road leg of the intersection. This stretch was smooth.

Looking back on the road. The road on the right side of this picture is the stretch of road in the picture above.

More looking back

I was glad Freedoms brakes had been recently checked as I pulled close to the edge for a look-see.
After I got back to the main road I continued on towards Sedona. The views going down the mountain were much better than going up. 

A peek at the valley ahead.

I like this picture of the valley, curved road, plant on the side and the wall of mountains in the distance. I was able to stop to take this one, but kept a close eye in my mirrors. If someone knows the name of the plant, please share. I looked online, but only briefly.
Between Prescott Valley and Sedona is the old mining town of Jerome. When you hear of mining in the west, you naturally think of silver and gold. But in this case, it was copper. At it's heyday, they were pulling 3 million pounds of copper per month out of the ground. The town is located on the side of the mountain and at one time was home to nearly 50,000 people. The last of the mines closed in 1953 and the town almost dried up but in 1967 it was named as a National Historic District which helped save the town. Today, there are about 400 permanent residents and it is home to a pretty good tourist trade. As I drove through, I saw shop after shop selling the typical things in a tourist town. Since I didn't need any of those things, I continued on to the State Park Mining Museum. I toured the museum which was pretty interesting and well worth the $5.00 entry fee. 

One of the statements made at the museum got me to thinking. It was said that the copper was placed there by an underwater "hotspot" (mini volcano) millions of years ago. They contended this area was several hundred feet underwater at the time. I remembered something I had read years ago about the depth of water on the planet if all of the surface ice melted. That depth was supposedly about 200 feet. For this area of Arizona, at an elevation of 5,000 feet to be several hundred feet underwater would mean other parts of the country would be underwater by a mile or more. Hummm. Maybe, maybe not. In my simple mind, there either has to be a lot more water locked up in ice now a days or the earth had to be a lot smaller millions of years ago. There is actually a "growing earth" theory about this, but I won't go into it here. It is just one more of those things that makes me say, "maybe, maybe not" when someone talks in definite terms about something that happened millions of years ago. 
Looking up that the mine locations from the museum.

Looking down into the valley towards Sedona.

I made it to Sedona and was interested in seeing if I could feel the "good vibrations" that are supposed to be part of this area. I stopped at a couple places to sit and see if the vibrations would overtake me. They didn't. I had read about a Buddist Stupa being located in Sedona so I figured maybe the Buddist placed it at a vortex. I found the Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park. It is a real stupa created by the buddists. A stupa is a bell like structure that contains relics and millions of written prayers and affirmations inside. It is suppose to be able to multiply and broadcast a persons prayer as they walk clockwise around it 3 times or sit in front of it and meditate. I did feel a sense of peace from the place but that may have been from the nice and peaceful surroundings. It was a nice exploration stop.
The Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park

The mountains surrounding the stupa. 

I spent some time on this "thinking bench" which is not directly in front of the stupa but more to the side. I figured I may pick up some sideways vibrations. I did have a peaceful feeling, but that may have been the altitude.

The only other vortexes I found in Sedona were commercialized, tourist-trap ones. For example, there are "liquid vortexes", otherwise known as bars. There are "frozen vortexes", which is the ice cream stands. 

I admit I didn't go to the exact locations that are listed as vortex locations and if you go, you may be enlightened. What I saw was a retirement town for old hippies from the 60's. 

It was a nice trip and the kind I like to do. 

Views on the way back to the campground. I went back on a different road.

I nice pull-off on the way back to the campground.

To answer an email question. The nearest town to the campground is Prescott Valley. The town of Prescott is about 10 miles away and yes, that was the hometown of the young woman who was killed by ISIS a while back. Thoughts and prayers go out to the grieving family and friends of this brave humanitarian worker. Thoughts and prayers also go out to the leaders of our country to be given strength and wisdom to end the evil doings of ISIS and their like.

Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.   


  1. I wasn't overtaken by good vibrations at Sedona either. To me, it was just an overpriced tourist trap. But I did enjoy Jerome. I could not believe they could build a town on the side of a mountain like they did and it did feel like an authentic town.

    1. hi cat. I was impressed by Jerome too. Narrow streets though, I had to tuck my side mirrors in.

  2. Tall plant on the right is an Agave sometimes called a Century Plant. Nice looking truck & 5th wheel you have.

    1. Thanks Al. I thought Century Plant when I saw it, but wasn't sure. Ya'll be safe when you head back north next month.