Saturday, May 16, 2009



We arrived here Saturday afternoon about 1400 hours. It was quite a climb up through Prescott, Pine and Strawberry, and we certainly knew that we were towing with a 3.8 liter V6. The Jeep handled it but did not excell at it. However, when we topped out at the rim, and had to hunt a unoccupied campsite, ( it is the weekend and it is very hot down in the Valley of the sun ), we found one readily, that required higher than usual ground clearance to get into. The patience with the Jeep's smaller engine paid off at this point !
So, the question is, how did we know which of the many narrow, rough, side roads to try ?
Tracks, pure and simple. Tracks will tell ya'. You watch the pavement where vehicles have pulled out onto the highway. The Higher 4X4 pickups that pull horse trailers make a wider turn onto the highway and encroach into the other lane a bit. They have rough tread tires on all four corners and with any luck when the trailer tires bump as they hit the pavement a bit of horse manure will be there to verify your findings.
We set up camp and a pickup truck came slowly down the road. It was a Turkey hunter and his son, they went past our camp a ways to set up to call a Turkey. They said that they will be out just after dark. I need to be drinking coffee and listening for gobbling in the morning !

As with many National Forest roads, it has a wire gate and is numbered 8384A and turns south off of highway 87, the General Crook Trail. The coordinates for the campsite are:
34*28.861 North
111*27.409 West
We are at 7 thousand feet elevation, it is just after 8 PM, the shadows are getting long and blurred, the temperature has dropped to the mid 70's already, it's gona' be cool tonite !
Betty has built a campfire, and is calling me, more later . . . .
Well, it's later now. We slept with all of the windows open and had a good night's sleep. We woke up to 51*. I stepped out into the pre dawn cool to listen for the elusive wa-ha-lo-te ( you know I have spelled that wrong ), the Western wild Turkey, and heard only the faint sighing of the breeze in the pines. I did take this photo though:

So, what is the plan for today ? He, he, ain't got none ! We will poke, prod, piddle, and mutt around as we explore the Beautiful Mogollon Rim. Who knows, we may find that perfect campsite, you know the one, it has the million dollar view, for free !

1 comment:

Happy Trails said...

Chuck and I went thru Pine, Strawberry and Payson last Oct. Beautiful country where you are now!