Thursday, April 22, 2010

Verde Valley Railroad and the Noble Invasion

When Mike and Jane Bronchuk visited us, we were looking for something different to do. We had heard that the Verde Valley Railroad trip was fun so we decided to try it. Prior to that, our friends from Walpole, Pete and Ann Brundrett spent a couple of nights with us too. It was Pete's 60th b-day and he wanted to see the Grand Canyon. So, we invited them to use our place as a rest stop on their way up/back from the canyon. They really enjoyed the canyon and Pete and I took a nice hike in Sedona while Ann did a little shopping. When they left to spend a few days in Scottsdale we gave them a list of things they could do like visit the Desert Botanical Garden to see the variety of flora in the southwest.

Meanwhile we did a little off-roading with Mike and Jane. We took them to one of our favorite picnic areas up near Sycamore Canyon. This is the road where we saw the dead steer from a previous post. Jane was a little nervous being in the passenger seat and looking over the edge of the dirt road. She didn't want to get too close to the rim of the little canyons we enjoy. But they were blown away by the scenery.

So, we decided to take the railroad trip. This is a 4 hr train trip from Cottonwood to Perkinsville along the Verde River through the Verde River Valley. The train originally existed to get miners and ore back and forth between the two areas. It was converted into a tourist attraction a while ago and is really worth the trip. The scenery is spectacular and we were able to spot turkey vultures and golden eagles (too high for a photo). We even saw a school of fish in the clear waters of the Verde River. Here are a couple photos that may not do it justice.

Before the Bronchuks had left the building, the Nobles arrived. Mike, Pam, Matt and fiance, Emily arrived friday evening. We invited the Sullivans and had a birthday party for Mike N. A nice round number of 10 for pizza. Judy sat on Mike's cake (old story. if you don't know it, you haven't been listening.) It was a great night. Then 8 of us crashed around the house. Mike and Pam in the pullout couch, Matt and Em on an air mattress, Mike and Jane in their BR and Tony and Judy in theirs.

Mike and Pam had met Matt and Emily in Phoenix thursday afternoon. Matt and Em came from LA. After getting their luggage, they went directly to the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. On their way out, they bumped into some people who sounded like they came from Boston. They started a conversation and found out a little about each other. It turns out the other couple was from Walpole. They found out that the other couple had just come from Sedona and that the Nobles were on their way to Sedona. The other couple eventually decided to take a shot at the coincidence and asked if the Nobles were going to stay with the Donovans. Mike and Pam said "Yes!", and the other couple shouted "we just left there!". Yes, folks, it was Pete and Ann Brundrett. They couldn't believe it and I'll bet all of Phoenix heard their shouts of amazement. Unblievable. It wouldn't be too much of a surprise to run into someone and have common friends, but to actually run into someone, pretty randomly, who had just occupied the bed you would sleep in that, that's an amazing coincidence.

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