Sunday, December 31, 2017

New Year's Eve Trails

We started the year with new friends on a trail, it seemed fitting to end the year with the same amazing people.

The end of year crew was smaller: Pete and Mandy in the FJ, Liz and dogs in the Tundra, Jeremy in SeanRubiconnery, and Dave and Charlie in the TRD 4Runner.  We met up at their campsite off Table Mesa Road and caught up after our extended disappearance from off roading.

Then onto trails!  SeanRubiconnery lead us around for the day.  While the start of the year was wet and cold, today proved to be sunny and dusty.  Couldn't have asked for better weather.

We made our way to an old fort and explored before lunch.  Hope wasn't much of a fan of climbing rocks.  Elly needs to teach her the ropes.  (We left Elly and Rommel at the house.  Old age sucks)

After a fort-side lunch, we made our way along a ravine towards an old mine site.  We explored and chatted for a while before turning back.

After meeting up one last time, we all said our goodbyes.  Half the crew was camping again, while our teardrop is trapped behind car parts.  On our way out, we met up with Brett who had to work today, but was on his way in for an afternoon of trails and camping.

This was an amazing way to end the year.  I very much needed a day on the trail.  The fresh air, great scenery and good friends is just the reset button my brain needed.

Happy New Year!!! May your 2018 be filled with adventures great and small!

Full photo gallery found on SmugMug

Monday, December 25, 2017

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Roosevelt Lake and AZBDR

You can't abandon a plan if there wasn't one in the first place.

Mike was away for work last week.  I made the executive decision that we'd go camping when he got back.  Where?  Somewhere north of where we live.

Saturday rolled around and we loaded into the Jeep and made our way to Globe.  Just south of Roosevelt Lake, we turned down our trusty 288 and made our way up.  A few miles up, Mike said "wonder where that goes".  The map showed a dirt road heading straight down to the lake on the north side.  The plan, lunch at the water before heading into the pines.

Surprisingly, the road actually did go right to the water.  

After lunch we donned our suits (because ALWAYS travel with bathing suits) and went for a dip.  The water temperature was perfect.

The breeze turned into wind and the water became choppy.  Everyone but Rommel decided to get out of the water.  He lounged in the surf for quite some time.  The temperature was livable and we decided to stay for the night.  

We had dinner during a killer sunset.  But the second the sun set, the wind died.  And then the bugs.  We aren't sure what they were, some sort of tiny grasshopper type thing.  Not bitey, but they came in the millions.  We hurried into the trailer and suffered all night.  There was not amount of swatting, they got into the trailer and kept us up all night.

We "woke" early to a swarm of biblical proportions.  I didn't think to take video  Millions of them decided the Foxwing was the place to be.  We packed in a hurry to a still and silent lake.  Exhausted and without coffee, we scurried off the beach.

Mike wasn't ready to head home yet so we decided to continue up 288 towards Young and hit the top loop of Cherry Creek Road.  AZBDR reported the lower loop was closed and rerouted due to last seasons fire damage, but we checked that off the list a few years back anyway.

A few miles in, the "Expert Rating" became apparent.  

I'm going to gush over our teardrop for a second.... This baby will GO ANYWHERE we point it.  While this technical section wasn't very long, it had some decent rock work and drops and made it through like a CHAMP.  /endgushing.

This part of Cherry Creek road was pretty rocky throughout. We noticed (especially in the above shown section) that there wasn't much tire sign, and it was only UTV tire sign.  

At a wide point in the trail, we stopped at a natural spring and Mike made us coffee and oatmeal.  Coffee was long over due.

During each stop, we kept finding more of the plague bugs.  Lesson learned, don't camp AT the lake.  Enjoy it and flee before the sun sets.

We pushed on towards Young.  The road progressively improved.  Even still, we only saw two UTVs the whole day.  It was pretty rad.

Our impromptu and unplanned trips are usually the ones we remember fondly.  We had a day on the water and a day on the trail.  Can't beat that.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Day 9/10: The Journey Home

We got an early start and made our way to pavement.  After 8 days off roading, the Jeep and FJ needed to be aired up.

At this point, Elly was over camping.  Rommel was beat.

On our way south, as tradition would dictate, we stopped at Honeyville for wine and goodies.

Since we forwent breakfast, we only made it as far as Durango before stopping to make lunch.  And then the drive started.

It is a boring trek back to AZ.  Once out of Dolores, CO, the countryside is desolate.  After 8 days in the pines, snoozing next to a rumbling creek, it is downright depressing to once again traverse desolate desert.

We made it as far as Flagstaff where we pitched up camp for the evening.

No one set up awnings, to avoid a long morning.  And then it rained.  All night.

The morning was soggy.  We didn't even make coffee.  We pushed down towards Camp Verde were we found a small eatery north of there: Nikki's.  It is right off I-17.  Small town food, affordable and tasty.  Just what the doctor ordered.

After topping off the tanks, we all pushed homewards.

As usual, I'm less than thrilled to be back.  Work has already interrupted my vacation bliss.  Back to reality.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Day 8: Kendall Mountain

What happened to day 7? The collective group went into Ouray for the day.  I didn't take any photos for some reason.  It was a nice day touristing about and popping into the vendors of the FJ Summit.

Onto Day 8.

Camp KGB went into Silverton to explore the town, while Pete and Mandy stayed back to begin putting non-essentials away.  Tomorrow would be a long day on the road and they wanted to get a jump on packing.

Mike and I wanted one more day on dirt before slabbing our way back home.  Mike chose Kendall Mountain.  On our way up, we passed several people heading down the mountain and were passed by a few UTVs.  The guide book touted an amazing overlook of Silverton at the peak, so we headed that way.

I'm so proud of my fear-of-heights husband for powering through the rim road and pushing onwards. But as we rounded the bend, it became apparent that we would not see the views promised as a snow bank covered the road.  Oh well.

As we made our way back down, the incoming storms darkened the sky.  That is a theme in this area this time of year, and we knew it.  It makes for gloomy photos, but if it doesn't bother you, you generally have most trails to yourself.  Apparently people think they will melt if off roading in the rain.

We pit stopped at an old mine shaft and let the dogs play.

We took CR33A trying to find an old bus that you hike to.

Elly and I hiked and hiked but never found it.

Time was passing and we opted to head back to camp.  One more stop in Silverton and we headed back to camp.

We should take stock out in OzTent.