Sunday, June 5, 2016

Forest Fires and Rocks

June 2, 2016

Left Thousand Trails CG in the early morning planning on stopping around Flagstaff. There were forest fires somewhere north of Cottonwood so I decided not to go north on Hwy 89 through Sedona and went up I-17 instead. Turned out there were forest fires on both sides of I-17 just south of Flagstaff so I decided not to stay near there and went north on 89 out of Flagstaff. I had enough of smelling smoke in the last few days. 

I turned NE on Hwy 160 then N on Hwy 163 heading to Bluff, Utah area. Went through some amazing scenery in Monument Valley and around Mexican Hat. Ended up checking out Devil's Canyon Forest Service CG between Blanding, Utah and Monticello. It is a neat CG with paved roads, drinking water and clean toilets. I stayed in site 33 which had sun for solar and a toilet and water right across the road. The best part was no other sites close to me so it was almost like having the place to myself. The only bad part was the highway noise from across the canyon. Not a bad place though for $5 a night with the geezer pass. 

The last day I was there I was entertained by a couple of small lizards chasing each other among the rocks. 

Life is good. 

Thousand Trails and a Storm

May 30, 2016

Moved over to the Thousand Trails CG this morning. I want to use their WiFi to do some updating on my Apple devices as well as do my washing, dump garbage and fill water. 

May 31, 2016

Worked on getting my updating done. The WiFi is really slow so I am getting some reading done while I wait. Got my washing done today. 

June 1, 2016

Happy Birthday Chris!!

In honor of Chris' Birthday, a storm came through today. Lots of angry clouds, a rainbow, and only a few drops of rain actually made it to the ground. 

Life is good. 

Wind In The Forest

May 20-29, 2016

It was very windy all weekend while I was in the Coconino National Forest. Almost no traffic on the road I was camped by so that was nice. 

Monday morning I left and headed out of the forest. Drove back on FR139 to FR95 and turned left to FR300 which is the rim road. I thought that would be a wider road since it is so well traveled but it was not. It was definitely a one lane road with few places to pass. To make things more interesting, parts of it are right on the rim edge. Of course I had to meet a truck on one of these places. I saw him coming well ahead of time and pulled up on the bank a bit on a wide place to let him pass. Fortunately for me, he was on the cliff side. Made it out to Hwy 87 with no further excitement and headed down a long, long hill to Cottonwood on Hwy 260. 

After stocking up on groceries at Frys in Cottonwood I headed to BLM land across the road from the Thousand Trails CG I wanted to go to. I can't get in there for a week because they are full. The BLM area was crowded but I lucked out and got a place at the end of the trail with only one guy on the back side of the van and across the trail. He was so quiet, I hardly knew he was there. 

Here is the view out my van door.

Cottonwood is off in the distance. No traffic noise and almost no traffic on the trail coming to my campsite. At around 7 every morning though a hot air balloon came over and one morning they came in very low and touched down on a gravel road near here. I don't think they were having a good day. 

Life is good. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Petrified Forest

May 19, 2016  Thursday 

Left Lyman Lake early and drove to the Petrified Forest National Park. Visited the museum and hiked the Long Logs and Agate House Trail. I always wanted to see this park. I had read about it when I was younger and was fascinated. It did not disappoint. 

Left the park and took 180 to Holbrook. Found a laundry behind a McDonald's on Navaho north of I40. Getting my laundry done finally. 

After finishing the laundry, I got on I40 and headed west to Winslow where I headed south on Hwy 87 heading to the forests. Stopped in at the Mogollon Rim District Office for maps and info. Headed down FR95 to FR139 and found a nice meadow to camp in just past the Ubar trail sign. Settled in and took a walk before bedtime. 

Life is good. 

Hail and lightning

May 18, 2016  Wednesday 

Left Piñon CG this morning. Hopefully I can get away from the lighting. Did not like being on the ridge with the storms going through. 

The lake below where I was camped.

Turned north on Hwy 32 to Quemado. When I got there a bad storm was hitting so I slipped into a gas station to avoid the hail. Figured I could always use some gas and they have such nice roofs over the area. The hail and rain were really coming down while I filled up. When I was done I drove up to the small store and ran inside to get what groceries I could. Picked up a few things including a loaf of bread. Waited a bit in the store for a break in the rain then made a run for the van. I fixed myself a sandwich and waited for the storm to leave. 

When it cleared a bit, I headed west on Hwy 60 to Springerville, AZ. Unfortunately, I left too soon. Just out of town on a hill I ran into about 3 inches of slushy hail on the road. It was slow going but the van plowed through it okay. Behind me was a snow plow but there was nowhere to get off the road so it could pass me safely. After that it was easy going with just a few light showers. 

Past Springerville, I turned north on Hwy 191 to Lyman Lake State Park and got a non-hookup site for $20 and settled in. 

A picture from the Piñon CG trail. 

Life is good. 

Storm clouds

May 16, 2016  Monday 

Still have the CG to myself. Got in my 10,000 steps by walking the CG loops. Cooked a pot of beans in my crockpot. Combined the beans with a can of tomatoes, a can of corn, 1/2 jar of salsa and some rice from yesterday to make 4 days of nutritious main meals. 

May 17, 2016  Tuesday 

Cloudy day today. Storm clouds coming in. Got some knitting done this morning on a colorful blanket and walked around the CG some. Around noon I walked down the path to the lake and walked around the CG there. Came back up the hill just before a storm came through. Had hail then lots of rain and lightning. 

A picture from the day before the storms came in. 

Life is good. 


May 15, 2016  Sunday

Left Pueblo Park CG early this morning. Hoped to find a grocery store in Reserve, but there wasn't much there and the most likely place was closed since it is Sunday. Continued on Hwy 12 to Apache Creek CG. It wasn't bad but I needed water so I headed up Hwy 32 to the Quemado Lake area where there are a couple of CG with water available. Ended up at Piñon CG which seems to be on the rim of a cauldron. It is high on a ridge at 7800' and cool with strong winds. I like it cool. I picked a site that should be in the sun most of the day. No one else is here on this side of the CG. 

There is drinking water available and a dump station. The toilets here are composting toilets by Clivus and they even have a small solar panel on the roof. 

There is a trail here that goes down the hill to the lake where there is another CG. This makes a good hike back up the hill. There was a tree that had fallen on the trail so I came back with my trusty saw and cleared it off to the side. 

While here I finished knitting the striped blanket. 

Life is good.