Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Year, New Friends, New Trails

2017 started out with me stepping way out of my comfort zone and making new friends.  A few months back I started following a couple who was renovating an Airstream and posting their progress on Instagram.  Around Christmas they posted a picture of one of their Jeeps on a soggy trail on their way to find snow.  I commented, asking them to let me know where the snow was as Mike and I had already planned on Jeeping New Years day.  Little did I know that that post was an accident - it was meant for their other Instagram account I wasn't currently following.  Regardless, Brett reached out and said that they were planning on wheeling New Years day and invited us along.

The rest is history.

We left home at 7:00 AM and made our way to their campsite near Lake Pleasant.  It was raining and would remain cloudy and rainy all day.  No one cared.  About 13 rigs met up and took off just before 10AM.  The plan?  Crown King only on dirt.  Well, the Mill Restaurant, because stomachs always win during planning.

Off we went!

Until we hit a raging wash.

It wasn't worth the risk.  The power of water is unmatched and we turned back.
This shot was inspired by Liz.  I spotted her using this small puddle for creative shots and totally stole her inspiration.

The sun peeked out for a few minutes giving me adequate light for some pictures.  And Heather picked up on my unique was of taking pics on the fly: I sit on the window sill, hanging onto the roll bar with one hand and using my abs to keep me steady.  She called me a National Geographic Photographer.  Ha!  I wish!

The next plan?  Tiny bit of slab and off road at BumbleBee.  We lost a few folks to other plans and the herd started to thin out.

Elly and Rommel got a bit of rest on our way up north.

It pretty must misted on us all day.  But the farther north we went, the thicker the fog.  Climbing up towards Crown King, we lost a lot of the good landscapes.  A bit of a bummer for sure, but it made for some interesting overlanding.

We crested the mountain and started to see snow.

We stopped into the Mill Restaurant and had a killer meal among our new friends.  Kindred spirits, all of us.  Sharing stories of camping and wheeling and, of course, dogs.
A video posted by Amanda (@the_adventure_wife) on

From Crown King, we started our way towards Prescott.  I honestly couldn't tell you our route, as we were at the tail end of the group and just enjoying the trek.

The snow got deeper the higher we went and it was amazing!  A snow play break was in order.  The gaggle of dogs (and kids) had a blast.

The pittie and black dog were found by Brett and Liz the day prior. No tags and no owners in sight.  And they were amazing pups.  They spent the weekend with the crew, getting loved on and thanks to a spotted flyer were reunited with their people on Monday.

Heather made a sweet little snow man

Onwards up the trail!

We got out of the snow and right back into the fog.

Pit stop:

And then back into the snow! It got deep.  It got cold.  It got interesting.

Finally we popped out into Prescott and stopped in town for some libations.  It was a great way to end a fantastic day.

I think we started 2017 off on the right foot.  We made several new friends.  We had an amazing time beating on the Jeep and playing in the snow.  We hope to have more fun overloading trips with the gang, and will surely head back towards Crown King to explore more.

Check out my SmugMug for the full album of the days adventures!

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