Gold Canyon, Az

Gold Canyon, Az
New Years Day 2015, Gold Canyon, AZ

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Verde Canyon Railrod

On Saturday, Nov 12, we stopped in at Starbucks to update our technology and post some blogs.  Next door is a Tourist Info booth and they were advertising some discounts on some local attractions.  One was a ride on the Verde Canyon Railroad which we wanted to go on so we stopped in.  Turns out this was a front for Sedona Pines which is a time share resort.  If we agreed to attend a 90 minute presentation we could get discounted tickets to the Railroad as well as a Jeep tour.  Since we have more time than money we signed up to attend their sales pitch on Tuesday and in turn we got 50% off the first class tickets to the Railroad ride on Sunday and 70% off the Jeep tour on Wednesday.  More about the Time Share pitch later. 

The Verde Canyon Railroad departed from Clarksdale (yes they did play “The Last Train To Clarksville” as we were leaving Perkinsville for our return trip) and took us along an old railway line which was used primarily for mining and is now strictly used as a ride for tourists.  It took us about 20 miles back into the wilderness following along a canyon wall.  The destination was a ghost town called Perkinsville.  

We had first class tickets which would have come at a cost of $100 each but with the discount we got ours for $100 total.  That provided us with seating on soft comfortable sofas, a champagne toast to start our trip, appetizers and a cash bar.  Each air conditioned car had an open air viewing car attached and we could wander back and forth at our leisure.  The return trip took just under 4 hours and was a very leisurely way to spend an afternoon.  I am glad we got the discount as I’m not sure there was enough value for the tickets at full price.  

The cars and tracks are all older and we were doing a lot of rocking and rolling down the tracks but at 5-10 miles per hour we stayed on the tracks.

The open air cars provided a great view of the scenery.

We were warned to keep our extremities inside the car as in places, especially through the tunnel, the clearance could be as little as 6 inches.  Going through the tunnel was interesting.  From a bright sunny Arizona day to total blackness in seconds.  And then blinding light as we came out the other end.

 The train station in Perkinsville has seen better days.  There were 2 sets of tracks which allowed the engine to switch positions to pull us home.

 The 1st class train car was quite comphie although the sofas, which we were seated on, provided a closeup view primarily of the rock face and the chairs on the left provided a better view of the canyon and the rock faces on the far side of the valley.  I spent a good portion of the ride on the viewing car.  Lori never left the comfort of the sofa.

The caboose, seen here right behind the 2 engines, could be rented for small private parties.  We only had one drink each but with the sun shining in the windows and the gentle swaying of the train car it would have been very easy to take a siesta.

Next up, a Red Rock hike.