Friday, December 28, 2012

Snow Day 2012

The end of days never came. Winter did. Christmas has come and gone. And we have house guests for the week.  I've been meaning to take the dogs to play in the snow for weeks now.  Winter covered northern Arizona in a nice blanket recently.  Now was the time.

We drove north, through Miami, and headed towards Roosevelt Lake.  It was a very calm day.

Northward to SR87. Once we hit 87, we could see the mountain peaks were dusted with white. Our initial plan was to go all the way to Flagstaff, but the closer we got to Payson, we realized that we could cut the drive short and play near the Mogollon Rim.

As we neared Sitgreaves National Forest, the snow cover was perfect for a romp.

House guest, Harley, wasn't as impressed as Elly was.

With his big sister, Bella.

There was running, playing, and lots and lots of falling.

And of course, Rommel's new favorite.....snowball fetch!

Pretty posing pups.

And busy, non-posing pups.

Defending his fort.

While my dogs are expert portrait posers....the house guests...not so much.

We exhausted this area when we realized that we were behind a neighborhood.  We loaded up and made our way to the Ranger station for a potty break. Only to realize that the Ranger station was closed and unplowed.  Luckily the potty was still open and the flat recreation areas made for some knee deep snow.

Of course, we played here some more....

The house guests were unimpressed, tired and cold.

Elly and Rommel were in heaven.

The sun was starting to sink in the sky. Back into the Jeep with our tired four-some.  We considered going the back way home through Young.  So we made the turn off of 260 and met a snow covered road.  We decided not to go the whole way but had some daylight to kill and wanted to explore.

The snowy sunset was spectacular.

The sun finally sank below the horizon and the temperature plummeted to 18 degrees.  It was time to go home.

Today was fantastic.  I missed snow. It was amazing to see how much joy my dogs got out of playing in it.  Snow is a close second in Rommel's mind with water play #1. I now have four dogs, curled up on the floor after a great day of play.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Jeepin' in Box Canyon

It's been a busy few months.  We've neglected our outdoor endeavors, and our dogs.  Between conflicting work schedules, and social obligations, its been a sad life for the Jeep.  To and from work is hardly exciting.  The other night, I turned to Mike and, without giving him a choice, said we were going to load up the dogs and go somewhere on our day off together.  Where? I left that up to him.

As Elly had her annual vet appointment this morning, we got a late start. So a local route it was: Box Canyon in Florence, AZ.

Rommel was annoying and whiny, so we stopped in a wash for a bit of frisbee.
Who me?

Down some sweet dirt towards the narrowing canyon...

The canyon kept narrowing.  I commented that I was really only seeing ATV/UTV sign in the wash...very little Jeep sign.

Box Canyon not only narrowed to a Jeep's width, but was full of boulders to climb over.

We popped out of the canyon and ran into three Jeep's heading the opposite direction.  A nice enthusiast crushed our plans by informing us today's route was no longer accessible.  He gave us a card and is eager to find more Jeeper's to play with.

The road out of the canyon proved to be more challenging that the wash.  Actually the afternoon route we took today was more challenging than the whole week's worth of routes we did in Colorado.
I have the cutest family.

The camera never does the difficult stuff justice.  This was a pretty good climb.  I cringed when the undercarriage left a mark.

We kept climbing and reached a perfect ridge to take a break and have a snack.

The sun was starting to creep further west, so we turned around and headed back down. Back into Box Canyon.

Just as we were hitting the smooth grated road back to Florence, the setting sun put on a great show.

It was a fantastic afternoon. Midweek is the perfect time to explore Box Canyon.  The weekend ATV crowd is still entrenched in their cubes and not out ruining the experience.  We saw few people and felt like we had the whole area to ourselves. I'm looking forward to getting back out there and exploring more.

Bonus: two exhausted dogs, passed out on their beds.