Hello from Prescott National Forest. We moved here yesterday since the Phoenix area is approaching 100 this week and we were already feeling it. The truck cab AC is still broken but we finally got some action from Dometic thanks to one person who actually cared enough to bother and new parts are on the way. Hoping to spend a few days here exploring. We walked around Watson Lake in town which has interesting rock formations and saw a friendly threatened Arizona garter snake, then a big fat greenish rattler on the trail- no pics of that one. It’s unfortunate that the town isn’t up & running since the main street looks nice and there actually is some history to this town. I didn’t know it used to be the capitol until we drove by the green square and saw the building.
I have a lot of coloful pics from the past 2 weeks of our very uni-dimensional life right now because we’ve pretty much been hiking a dozen or more miles a day, or sometimes biking. Its pretty much the three of us right now- Jon, me and the truck! We did a big touring loop with the truck around Roosevelt Lake and the Payson area. A lot of elevation change! Its funny the lake itself didn’t end up being our favorite but the mountains and beautiful roads that ventured up from the lake were and we found some killer campsites. We are bummed that the Grand Canyon is closed so we found our own rim- the Mogollon Rim to explore instead. This 200 mile rim marks the southern edge of the Colorado plateau and is very apparent in the area between Payson and the lake with numerous areas for dispersed camping right on the edge. The national forest motto is “land of many uses” which is true, there are all manner of uses including everything from mining to recreation to cattle grazing. But if there was a negative thing in this recent travel we’ve done aside from the waves of incredible disbelief at our babbling leader, it would be the trash that is left behind from some recreational users. Its a kit of sorts of cheap beer cans, cigs, TP, candy wrappers and usually one or two ez flossers. I don’t know why, it just is that way. I mean, teeth are important… Sometimes it feels more like the land of many abuses instead. But there are many jewels in the rough.
This one felt a lot like a fairytale and it was hard to leave it. A kangaroo rat dragged my flip flop over to a shrub and chewed the upper webbing clean off so we figured the next thing would be the air hoses for the truck!
We took out our Me-bikes (meaning Me doing the peddling) and biked straight up for 6 miles and then straight down to get back! But the wildflowers were great and all the cows out among them with their calves made the scene.
The town of Payson sits up in the ponderosa pines and is a popular getaway from Phoenix. We were excited to get there ourselves. But the reality is with everything closed there isn’t much to do other than grocery shop! And so we kept moving out of town to find a rimside campsite, on a Saturday. We remember all too well what it’s like to be working for the weekend. But now we find we dread the weekend because of that. We were driving down one of the muddy forest roads with campers lined up in all the spaces along the rim. At one point we pulled aside to let a pick-up pass and felt a sinking sensation of the two passenger tires. That was us getting briefly stuck! This calls for that saying “no good deed goes unpunished”. So Jon christened our little shovel for about 5 minutes to make a clearer path for the tires, which were sunk in almost entirely, then engaged the rear and center lockers and backed us right out of that hole! It was good practice and boy, those lockers work! And the family in the truck felt really bad and tried to help which was nice.
So we head on down off the rim on a national scenic windy dirt road that is the main road in the area, most of it still in national forest, in the direction of Young. In our minds we just wanted to get back down to the open sky and desert where the wildflowers were. Young is a small town of about 600 that is most known for a 10 year family feud between livestock ranchers that lasted from 1882-92 that ended up with reportedly several dozen people killed over the years. Apparently now it is just a quiet little town that makes a living on a few tourists that come. Once again, because nothing is open, there wasn’t much to see so we kept driving to find a campspot on the other side of town. Along the way, we had picked up a sheriff that had been following behind us for about 10 miles or so and when we’d pulled over to ket him pass, he motioned for us to keep going, no problem. But then when we left town, suddenly the blue lights came on and we pulled over thinking what in the world had we done? Turns out, he wanted to tell us that he really liked our truck!! And he’d thought we would stop in Young and he could talk to us more about it there but we’d driven right through. Anyway, that is the first official blue light pull over but we had another cop follow us into a truck stop in Texas to do the same thing and he asked us if we were preppers. I find that ironic since little did we know at that time that the world was about to shut down from a virus! Anyway, we did find a neat place to stay that night.
Previously, we’d found a leak in the radiator along the crimp of the metal and were losing coolant. So Jon ordered a new one from Denmark (most of the parts we need for the truck have to come from Europe) and once it arrived to Superior, AZ we went back to Box 8 campground to install it. He replaced it in half a day and I was filling it with fresh antifreeze that afternoon. We also changed the oil. Now the new radiator is on probation and we’re hoping the coolant loss issue is fixed. My new laptop arrived as well. The hard drive was broken right out of the box. When we contacted HP to report it, they said I had to send the new laptop in for repair. That way I could have a reconditioned computer for the price of a new one and I could also wait a couple more weeks to get it back, wherever that might be. So Jon ordered up a new hard drive from Amazon which arrived the next day, installed it and now I have a new laptop that actually works and has a lot of nice upgrades, better than the original!
We’re starting to work our way north as temps and restrictions permit.