Saturday, May 9, 2015

Peeks of Peaks -- May 9, 2015

I’m inching into the small amount of internet data time I have left til the cycle renewal begins on the 16th to catch you up on where Nikko and I have been this past week.  I probably won't have any left by the end of this post! We headed east on I-40 just a few exits away from the city….about 20 minutes, I guess, after wrapping up all the tiring errands in Flagstaff on Monday. One stop in town was Goodwill where I picked up 10 paperback mysteries, knowing I couldn’t use data time to download books to my Kindle.  I had just finished my last book, The Mysterious Island (Jules Verne).  (Most of the time I feel like I’m on a mysterious island!)  It was a great read.  These mysteries won’t compare, but they’ll do. 

Very rarely do I have any idea what we’ll find at each spot….usually all I know is it’s free to boondock….usually for 14 days.  That’s actually a great amount of time if you don’t have to be anywhere and have everything you need to hold you over.  After all, it’s a half a month!  There’s time to settle in and feel like you live there (well, in reality, we DO live there!)….taking in all there is to see within the walking area and just hanging out and enjoying whatever the site has to offer.    

We are in pine tree country now!  Nothing like the desert environment we left a mere 38 miles behind us at 3800’.  We’re at 7000’ now.  Arizona is so diverse!  We get to our exit and within a couple of minutes we’re on the DIRT (of course!) road we were looking for.  It’s more or less a “main” road back in here if any dirt road can be so important, so it’s wide and in fine shape for driving.  However, I knew our site was going to be off on some artery forest road….and that’s where fine road conditions invariably lessen to who knows what. 

It seems there are several forest roads (designated by numbered signs) for pulling off and camping….so which one do you choose??  A few we passed early on had a site virtually on the main road…one was taken with a couple of travel trailers – imagine they were all friends…why bunch up with people you don’t know when there are plenty of other sites?  Of course, I wanted to see what was a little further along than those first ones, anyway.  At some point, tho’, you just have to pick an artery and see what happens.  I knew I wanted to be on the left side of the main road as I could see some decent views between the pine trees on that side.  In a few minutes I saw an artery road where the entry didn’t look too hard to navigate – some had such big dips they were only good for 4WDs/high clearance vehicles to enter.  Why do they grade them like that??  Anyway, we turned in here….(always good to know the FR # in case of emergency!)

It has the expected slight roughness to it, but not too bad for driving – have been down much worse!  So, off we go.  Hmmmmm….we don’t see any place that appears to be a campsite……so, with no [easy] place to turn around, we just keep going…hopefully it will turn into something good.  A little more rocky here and there but still enough clearance…just driving slowly and navigating the rocks and ruts the best we can….but this is where you begin to wonder…. “What am I doing?? This better work out!” Oh, and you learn to drive with your fingers crossed and holding your breath!

Finally, after some twists and turns and a few more rocky areas…and stuff clattering about in the back of the RV, the road dead ends into a single campsite.  Great!  I see a good fire ring area and trees ¾ of the way around the site.  This works!  After a bit of maneuvering, I get parked in a relatively level spot.  Not perfect….it’s okay front to back, but a little off side to side, but it will be okay.  We jump out and take a look around.  Ta Da!  Success!  As tired as I was, I set up camp a bit….outside mat, chairs, table….mostly so “we” wouldn’t track in so much dirt.  Much to his chagrin, I’ve trained Nikko to put up with getting  his feet cleaned off with a towel if they are more than just dusty.  But the outside mat catches a lot of it. 

The weather can’t decide if it wants to give us rain or sun…the minute I think “sun”, it starts sprinkling…and vice versa.  But, it makes for interesting photos of our new “yard”…

As I had hoped, through the trees, there are peeks of peaks – the San Francisco Peaks, that is.  That’s cool!  I was hoping the unknown path to our site would offer a glimpse at what I could see in the distance from the main road. 

See the RV?

During this week the weather was if-y.  No substantial rain at all, but just enough if-y-ness that a lot of hiking didn’t sound too appealing.  We did go out here and there, tho’…even with a few raindrops. Nikko loves it here!  He runs all over but I’m never far from his view.  A whistle brings him back.

Our site is behind the trees on the left at the curve....

Did I say something about if-y weather??  Late yesterday afternoon…we started seeing THIS – a snow squall:

I didn’t think too much about it, really.  We’re in the mountains and it was chilly, humid and windy.  Then I started hearing ice pellets on the roof.  But it was all off and on….just a little cold snap coming through.  Nothing in the forecast about it.  No big deal.  As I usually do, I woke up about 2:00am.  For some reason…and I never do this in the middle of the night…….I turned on my phone to look at the weather. 

Then I thought….”Hmmmmmmm…..I’ll look outside – that can’t be right…at least not right here where we are....”  I was WRONG!

Okay – it’s snowing!  This was actually kinda cool since I didn’t have any “winter” and because I knew it would be going away really quickly.  Nikko and I snuggled down and I woke up at daybreak anxious to see the snow in day light. 

This was the best sight, tho’......gorgeous!

I took a few more photos and ran back inside – it was almost as cold inside as out.

Nikko wouldn’t get up.  Presumably brought up in Phoenix, I doubt he has ever been in “cold”, let alone snow!  He stayed all wrapped up until about 9:00am this morning.

By then, I had the space heater on and it was warming up inside.  And….warming up outside….most of the snow was gone by 9:30am.  I’m glad I got up early to get a few shots!  Always have your camera ready! 

There probably won’t be a lot more to report from this site, whether we stay much longer or not.  We may or may not stay another week.  Maybe we’ll just move to another site around here somewhere for a change of scenery…just haven’t decided yet. We have experienced summer, spring, fall and winter all in one week within 40 miles!  But, I have saved some additional photos of the San Franscisco Peaks to show you.  The highlights (in addition to the unexpected snow) of this site were the views of this mountain range! 

They were snow-capped prior to last night!

Until we catch up again ----

To all mothers out there -- enjoy a very Happy Mother's Day!


  1. Snow!! But beautiful! Never know what will come along at a site! But I think Nikko has the right idea. ...stay in bed where it's warm! ! We'll await next post!

  2. Winter there, 85 here! How crazy! Beautiful shots, tho!

    Thanks for all the awesome pictures, as usual!

  3. Love your photos and stories Tiff! Only 78 more days until we can head that direction! Yay!

  4. I believe you have already done the Mogollon Rift coming down for Sho Low to Phoenix. Underlines your comment about the diversity of Arizona. Keep up the posts. Miss them after a few days of silence.