Tuesday, 7 September 2010

28 August, 2010 Wilderness Train

The Verde Canyon Railway www.verdecanyonrr.com travels along the Verde river valley from Clarkdale to the ghost town of Perkinsville.

We travelled in the first class Flagstaff carriage which was very comfortable, part of the service included complimentary champagne, (I just love champagne) snacks and brownies. I have to say the brownies were to die for.

Each carriage had access to an open air viewing car with knowledgeable attendants.

Not far from the depot there are Sinagua cliff dwellings visible from the train.

Further along there is a bald eagle nest high on the cliffs above the river, the eagles are called Black and Decker. Our attendant said it was getting more and more difficult to see and she was right we never did manage to find it.

The train also went past the entrance to the Sycamore Canyon Wilderness, the area is wild, remote and full of mysterious tales, Indian dwellings, petroglyphs old mines and lost gold mines. Apparently the lost gold mine was found by conquistadores who were picked off one by one by the Apache, two survived and escaped but the mine was never found again. Hmmm now where did I put that gold panning sieve...........

The journey ends at Perkinsville which was once a railroad depot. In its heyday about 10 families lived and worked there, once the railroad switched to diesel locomotives and the water tower was no longer needed it became a ghost town.

The water tower is no longer there as during the 1960’s some scenes from the western ‘How the West Was Won’ were filmed in Perkinsville and in one scene the water tower was blown up. Although rumour has it that this particular scene was never used and ended up on the cutting room floor. Ooops!

The railroad was a wonderful way to see the wilderness area and this was another day we missed the afternoon thunderstorms.

Have fun, we are!

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