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home : latest news : latest news September 15, 2014

2/12/2014 6:00:00 AM
Full steam ahead
Verde Canyon Railroad is the ticket to romance
Jon Pelletier, Verde Independent/Courtesy photoMatthew and Lindsay Oxendale of Cottonwood take a romantic journey on the luxury cars of the Verde Canyon Railroad.
Jon Pelletier, Verde Independent/Courtesy photo
Matthew and Lindsay Oxendale of Cottonwood take a romantic journey on the luxury cars of the Verde Canyon Railroad.
The Daily Courier

If a Valentine's getaway is on your agenda for this weekend, little else could top the combination of beautiful scenery, a train ride and, of course, chocolate and champagne.

In fact, the only way to improve on a trip to the red rocks of Sedona is to combine it with the romance of the rails offered during Verde Canyon Railroad's Chocolate Lovers' Festival.

From Friday through Sunday, Feb. 14-16, the rich flavors of chocolate will stream across tastebuds like the wild scenery passing the train's panoramic windows during this four-hour rail adventure, said Teresa Propeck, marketing director for the railroad.

"The biggest thing about this is it's an adventure plus a romantic time - at the same time," Propeck said. "Couples get to sit back and look into each others' eyes while eating chocolate and drinking champagne while eagles fly outside, as the train passes picturesque scenes of the Verde River."

Matthew and Lindsay Oxendale of Cottonwood recently took a ride on the train. "We love it - it's nostalgic, classic romance. It's a trip back in time when there were no cellphones, no emails, just you and your spouse, sipping wine and eating chocolate," Lindsay said.

For the food, the trip consists of all first-class offerings, Propeck said, including appetizers, savory pastries, hand-dipped candies, cakes, chocolates of many kinds, plus champagne and a chocolate fountain for dipping.

Postcard-perfect scenery is only part of the magic of Verde Canyon Railroad, Propeck adds. The train provides a comfortable yet exciting journey through this historic setting as it travels a leisurely four hours from the Clarkdale depot to the ghost ranch at Perkinsville and back.

First-class cars boast plush seating and a full-service bar. Coach offers vintage Pullman-style seating and snack bars. Everyone has panoramic windows and limitless access to open-air viewing cars offering 360-degree views and spectacular photographic opportunities.

Awe-inspiring rock formations, historic trestles, ancient cliff dwellings and soaring raptors are just a few of the trip's many highlights.

Raptors? "(The eagles) hear the train coming and are naturally curious," she said. "They come out and fly near the train ... we call them our best employees."

Tickets for the Chocolate Lovers' Festival are going fast. "We're almost sold out for Friday and Saturday; the most seats we have are for Sunday," Propeck said.

For information about the Verde Canyon Railroad, 300 N. Broadway, Clarksdale, call 800-582-7245 or email info@verdecanyonrr.com. The train rides begin at 1 p.m. each day. Tickets are $119 per person for all ages.

"It is a very, very complete little romantic getaway," Propeck said.

Courier Editor Tim Wiederaenders contributed to this story. Follow him on Twitter @TWieds_editor

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, February 13, 2014
Article comment by: Jack May

I have taken the Verde Valley train twice and agree that it is well worth the price of a ticket. I disagree that it is a good place for romance though. There are just way too many people on board for any hope of privacy.

Posted: Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Article comment by: Doctor Bob


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