My Hometown · Travels

Rockin’ River Day-Use Site

Even though we are self quarantined, we still like to get out and hike the secluded trails in our area. The State Parks guide hails Rockin’ River as Arizona’s newest state park. Excited about new trails, we hopped in the car and drove on over. At the entrance to the ranch, there was a posted sign saying “Closed to the public”. OK, we are used to that at this strange time, but the sign looked very old. Hmmm…a mystery….has this park ever opened? Nope. After a search on the net, we found that the development is on hold due to mismanagement, corruption, fraud and firings.

Instead of the ranch, I’ll share photos of our art day at the Rockin’ River day-use site. The turn off is an abrupt right into a tiny little parking lot with a trail that snakes down to access the Verde River.

entrance to Rockin' River day use spot.
After we crossed a little bridge, we came to a service road where we had to choose, “Right or left?” I wanted to go right because this lane looked more idyllic. See the photo below. The other direction, Les’ choice, took us to a more craggy, spooky looking turn.
Isn’t this pretty, but nooo- Les wanted to go toward the uglier side. He thinks that the photos will be more dramatic. I don’t like drama. Can’t we just stay with pretty? OK, he won this time.

At this time of the year, the river is low and quite brown and sludgy. The happy relief from all that dull brown is an abundance of spring green popping out all around. At the river’s edge, we fouund sun dappled sand and sparkling new leaves on the shrubs and trees.

Dappled sunlight on spring greens along the Verde River, Arizona
Dappled sunlight on spring greens
Les taking pictures in the distance. See those bits hanging off the tree in the center of the photo? After lots of snow and rain the river floods up to those high points and the tree branches collects all kinds of debris. I always find it to be amazing at how high the river can actually go.
spillway on the verde River outside of camp verde
Most of the trees are not yet fully dressed n green. Even though it was brown water, brown sand, brown grasses, it was still pretty.
Now that is concentration! Too lazy to carry my tripod, I opted to balance my pastel box on my knees. It worked out OK, but it works better for me to stand, so next time- tripod!
Why am I not painting the river? I’m enjoying all of the sunlit greenery at the river’s edge, of course.
Verde River, Camp Verde, Arizona
Scenery on the way to the Salt Mine, Camp Verde, Arizona
On the drive home, we stopped the car to take pics of the varied foliage along the road. It was all so pretty.

Even though we did not get to hike around the Rockin’ River Ranch, we still got to spend a wonderfully quiet day down by the river.

5 thoughts on “Rockin’ River Day-Use Site

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