Saturday, May 15, 2010

Scenery From The Train

Some days are just about looking at the scenery. That is what the Verde Valley Train is all about. Following the Verde River from Clarkdale to Perkinsville and then a return. For most of the journey I stood in one of the open cars listening to naturalist/geologist talk of the geologic history to the human history of the valley, the one time Indians who lived in cliff dwellings above the river, the ranching, the mining and why this railroad was built.

Cottonwoods had already leafed out. The acacia were just beginning to green out. Cactus blooms, the red blooms of ocotilla, several varieties of wild flowers provided color along the railroad tracks.

Per the naturalist, along the 20 mile route that we traveled were two nesting pairs of bald eagles. On the return an eagle was sighted in a tree top on the cliff over the train. There was a nagging suspicion in my mind that it was a Disney creation and just as the train neared the area, it was hoisted to the position so the train riders could say they saw a bald eagle. :-)

There were plenty of opportunities for me to chat up some of my fellow passengers. There was the couple from the San Francisco Bay area taking lots of photos and commented they would have lots to delete. There was the gentleman my age from Pennsylvania on his first visit to the west and Arizona after going to Florida for many years. His impressions were quite positive and would certainly return. There was a younger couple from Boston who were equally enthused with the scenery of the west. The scenery was visible in Arizona because there weren't all those scenery hiding trees which are very common in the East.

Then a scene shortly before the end of the journey back to Clarkdale.

Okay. So it was scenery overload. Regardless. It was enjoyable.

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