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 but....wow.  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.




Friday, July 21, 2017

Day 6: Mine Museum

Our friend @seanrubiconnery has a skillet for his large campfire.  It was a game changer on our February camp trip.  Pete crafted a smaller version for their Campfire in a Can.  We used the heck out of that thing this trip.  Much more even cooking than a grill and more food can be cooked than a skillet.  Mike needs to make me one....hint hint.


After a hearty breakfast, we parted ways for the day.  We've driven by the Silverton Museum many times.  Today proved to be gloomy and rainy most of the day, so it was perfect fit for a museum.  Silverton has an interesting history, rich in mining.



The diminutive museum took most of our day up, showing off it's jail and mine wares.  We also learned that our campsite sat alongside the original road between valleys.  Lime Creek Road was ultimately replaced by Highway 550, but until recent history was the route between Durango and Silverton.  It was ravaged by fire and only recuperated after human intervention replanted pines 36 years after being barren.

On our way back to camp, we detoured down to the now dead end of Lime Creek Road.  There we saw the remains of a Chevrolet C10 and a 57 Chevy that appears to have met its demise after falling from 550.



We proceeded back to camp where Mike aided Pete in some campsite mechanicals.  The FJ had a horrendously annoying squeak.  A bit of grease and all was well.


This week's rain allowed us to test out the rain blocks Mandy made for the teardrop.  As the interior is wood, moisture is the enemy, which means during rains, we'd have to close the rear hatch.  The remains of a ruined Foxwing made for a good start.  Some crafting by Mandy and we were in business.  They worked like a charm.



After dinner and in between rain drops, I snuck down to the creek for low light, long exposure camera time.



It is amazing to travel and camp with friends who are not afraid to part ways once in a blue moon.  We all had things we wanted to do the last two days and were not afraid to say farewell until meeting again at camp for dinner and beer.