Monday, April 8, 2013

Reynold's Creek: April 7, 2013

I woke at a more normal hour.  Still later than Mike.  I found him reading...a dog and his boy.

We had ample amounts of coffee, pancakes and bacon, packed up camp and set out to explore the road we camped along. Down the road, we found two more camp sites, both much better and more secluded than ours. Next time, because there will be a next time, we hope to get one of those two spots.

At a split, we chose to stay on the main road instead of climb the mountain.  The creek crossed the road several times before it dead ended at a trail head.

We explored around the trail head a bit.  I was determined to catch one of these little butterflies.  It was tough.

I spent so much time chasing these guys down, that Mike had to draw my attention up to this...

The red cliffs we chased down yesterday were just a few minute drive away.

Back into the Jeep we turned off and started to ascend the mountain.  Hell, why not.  We didn't have to work the following day and it was still early. What a great idea that was.  We literally drove to the top of the world.  Well, the mountain anyway.

This view was spectacular! I can only imagine the colors at dusk/dawn.  Too bad the mid day sun washed most of the reds away.

We hopped back into the Jeep and made our way back down the mountain and out towards Globe.  We stopped along 288 for a quick lunch of bison burgers and olives.  (Did I mention how awesome our meals were this trip?) All three dogs were passed out and the drive home was pretty uneventful.

Its great to unplug.  No cell phone, internet, TV, work...nothing but ourselves to worry about.  A much needed journey away from it all, and we found the perfect oasis to enjoy it in. 

Reynold's Creek: April 6, 2013

The sinus demons plagued me throughout the night.  I didn't sleep at all.  I was hoping that the white noise provided by the generous little creek would lull me to sleep.  My sinuses had other ideas.  Non stop sneezing and runny nose.  Mike was a doll and let me sleep in.  He hiked around with the kids while I slept in.

She poses so seriously....then laughs at Mike.

And Rommel in his natural state: wet.

The three amigos.

 The tent really blends in.  The Jeep, not so much.

I finally woke and we had lunch.  The kiddos rested and Mike took out his bow.  He bought the silly thing years ago and decided to dust it off and practice.  He's contemplating hunting season this year....we'll see.  His aim is pretty spot on.  The arrow is so fast that the shutter couldn't catch it mid flight. 

We mostly lounged.  Snacked on cheese and crackers under the whispering canopy.

Mike spotted some red rock cliffs peeking through the tree line.  We hoped that hiking the opposite slope would drop us into an opening for some cool shots.  Not so much.  More teasing peeks, but nothing spectacular. 

Hiking isn't nearly as fun as the water, but he managed.

Everyone worked up a sweat.  What does that mean? Soaking wet dogs.

Bear graced us with his presence.  Even on day two, he still didn't understand what was so great about this whole camping nonsense. And he missed Elly so much he molested her eye ball.

Dusk came pretty quickly.  I considered finding a cool spot to capture the sunset, but it clouded over while making dinner.  And dinner....dinner....dinner...was fantastic.  I've been experimenting with pizza making.  I've made several at home, in the stove, in a dutch oven.  Various crust recipes.  I did something right.  And I think I know what it was.  I googled whether or not I could prepare my dough days in advance. Long story short, you can.  It was made Thursday night and slowly rose in the fridge until Saturday.  Same with the sauce, it sat in its herbs and spices all weekend.  Cooked slowly over coals in a dutch oven.  It was the best yet.  So great, I forgot to take a picture.   Pizza inhaled, wine enjoyed, fire roaring: another amazing day in our oasis on the books.

We had the bright idea to put the wine bottle in the fire to melt down.  A bit of a science/art project.  The coals were so hot that it melted quickly into a blob. So much for that.

The night was cooler than the one prior.  The dogs really pushed for bed tonight.  Hiking and water play really took it out of them.  They were asleep hours before we even put the fire out.  Going to bed meant leaving the following day.  It will be hard to leave this place.

Reynold's Creek: April 5, 2013

The stars alligned in just the right way. The scheduling gods smiled upon us and we managed 5 consecutive days off in a row.  This is huge.  I'm on night shift now, so our weekends are rushed and limited.  First thought: GO CAMPING!  Our new Foxwing awning arrived and we couldn't wait to try it.  Now we have shade on every usable side of the trailer. First things first: get our taxes done.  Boy, we know how to spend a day off.  That out of the way, we hit the grocery store, prepped the trailer and got some sleep.

We left mid morning on Friday (I really don't do mornings since I've started on nights).  It was already climbing into the mid 80's in Casa Grande.  We were headed to the mountains.  Cooler weather awaits!  Through Superior, Miami, and finally Globe.  We pit stopped at Roosevelt Reservoir for Rommel.

The reservoir was pretty crowded already, so camping there was not even contemplated.

Our original destination was on top of the mountain near Young where we camped last year.  That went out the window pretty quick.

We drove over a running creek.  Running water in southern Arizona is a novelty and one we don't take for granted.  We took the following right turn and hoped beyond hope for a camp site near the water.  The first habitable site was marked with a NO CAMPING sign.  I crossed my fingers that this wouldn't be a sign of site to come.  It wasnt'.  We found a site, Jeep sized, directly next to the running creek!

Perfect timing too.  The sun was getting lower and lower .  Elly found that setting up camp was too difficult.

Meanwhile, Rommel found the water.

Mike and I set up the Taj ma Tent, complete with new awning.  The temperature here was in the mid 60's,, absolutely perfect.

We set out to the creek for fire wood.  This little creek must have seen some wicked water; there were whole downed trees that had formed natural dams all along it.  Made for easy firewood scrounging.  The setting sun, while mostly blocked by the trees and mountain, cast some pretty shadows in the creek bed.

This place felt like a little oasis.  Granted we were along a road, but it was barely travelled.  Nestled in the trees, comforted by the gentle sounds of the water and surrounded by our dogs.  Only thing that could improve the night was a fire and dinner. And dinner was awesome.  Cracked open a bottle of wine, and dove into the grilled swordfish steaks and corn.

With the fire blazing, I set out to capture camp at night.  The dogs decided to help with the long exposure....

I think I'll put it on the fridge.  Parent hang up pictures their children have drawn. This is my middle and youngest child's best art yet.  One more for posterity's sake...

They begged long enough that we finally put the fire out and shuffled into the tent.  One day down in our little home away from home.....