Wednesday, April 20, 2016

National Park Free Days: Tuzigoot and Montezuma

Did you know that the admission fees to all National Parks are waived this week?! Get out there!

In my "Living a Life You Love" series I talked about why we feel so strongly about exploring where we live. It's such a special part of our relationship as a couple and a family! So this past Monday Cameron took his last day of leave for the school year and we went exploring some new sites in Arizona. And we had a ball! Nothing fancy, but it was fabulous! 

We started our trip by heading down through Oak Creek Canyon and Sedona. We didn't get out to play in the water, but we still loved the green and the gorgeous canyon.

Our first main stop was Tuzigoot National Monument. After spending 2 summers working for the National Park Service at Fort Bowie National Historic Site, we have a special spot in our hearts for the National Parks. We just bought our 2nd America the Beautiful Pass and plan on using it fiercely this summer. It's great! We don't feel like we have to spend hours and hours at the park dragging around cranky kids to get our admission fee worth. We can just go and spend 30 minutes to and hour and be done because we're not trying to get $20-$40 worth of an adventure out of the experience. Pretty much we just have to hit up 4 parks with a fee entrance and we've make our pass pay off. We plan on hitting way over that number this summer!

But I digress.


This was a great park! We LOVED it! Darrow could run the trail easily, which meant that he loved it too. 

 Of course he's picking his nose. Thanks child. 

 It was soo cool to get to go up on top of the ruins! The view was so pretty! They sure picked a great spot to live!

Darrow is into jumping now and spent a good chunk of the day jumping along the trails. Man he was worn out by the end!

From Tuzigoot we made a detour up to see Jerome. It's a cute town up on the hill!  

From Jerome we went over to Montezuma's Castle. I remember seeing the sign for this as a child and the images I came up with in my head were spectacular! The ruins didn't end up being as cool as my little kid mind made up, but it was still neat to go see them and, again, a perfect place for Darrow.

It's been too long since we were somewhere with trees! Darrow couldn't get enough of watching the shadows go across his arm. I'd almost forgotten that he did that!

Our last stop for the day was Montezuma's Well. We almost skipped this, and we would have regretted it. I think it was our favorite stop of the day! It's amazing to see this bowl in the desert. The water pours into the bowl from the bottom, and then there is a small natural tunnel off on one side that the water spills out of, traveling through the hill and out the side, keeping the water fresh instead of getting stagnant! It's really something!

Here's where the water comes out of the hill on the other side. It's really amazing! 

We thoroughly enjoyed our family day together exploring the state! Winslow is perfectly situated with all the National Parks around. We have so many day trips to choose from! This gave us a taste of summer, and now we can't wait for school to get over so that we can get to all the upcoming weddings and hit as many National Parks possible!

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