Still More Arizona

It’s’ been a low-key week for us. The best news is that we finally got Jezzy’s stitches removed by a Vet Tech at the Humane Society in Payson, AZ.wp-1491944559513.jpg She’s free of that annoying inflatable collar, and her face seems to be healing pretty well. I hope you don’t hear any more from me on this subject (other than when we find out what the disposition of our case with the Las Vegas Animal Control people comes out). We are moving on….

It was fun to camp in two new (to us) National Forest Campgrounds this week. First was Clear Creek Campground in the Coconino NF. wp-1491944098838.jpgThis small campground was rather non-descript, but had the wonderful composting toilets that are such a treat to run across in a rustic campground (those of you who camp know what I’m talkin’ about!). There are lots of trails around here, which made for a great bike ride, but I was rewarded with a couple of flat tires. Damn thorns.wp-1491944032952.jpgIt was just a pleasant bike ride down to Fort Verde State Historic Park.  This restored Fort was active for 20 years from 1871-1891. Luckily for us, it was the weekend of the History of the Soldier, so they had re-enactors representing all armed conflicts of the US – from the Revolutionary War to today.

It was sad that the majority of people there were volunteers or the participants themselves – there were hardly a large handful of others there. We feasted on Dutch Oven chili and peach cobbler made on site.wp-1491944155909.jpg One presentation on the Navaho Code Talkers was very interesting – we learned how the codes were set up, and the presenter (Navaho himself) actually read some transcripts in Navaho. The Arizona State Historian, who is kind of a cowboy singer-storyteller also gave a presentation. John really enjoyed this, but it was excruciatingly long. Yawn….

The big excitement of that portion of our stay there happened that night in camp. Apparently, the two guys next to us were doing some very heavy drugs, and OD’d. Every ambulance and cop in the county came rushing in. Both were taken to the hospital and one was arrested as well. We had wondered what was going on over there…..

Houston Mesa Campground in the Tonto NF (Payson, AZ) is our current home. This is one of the most gorgeous National Forest campgrounds we have ever stayed in. We’re at about 6000′ elevation, primarily in a pine forest. Campsites are huge, and quiet. Unfortunately, we’re pretty close to the road, so we do get lots of traffic noise until about 9pm. But, what a gorgeous spot. I have yet to get a decent photo, but will try again later.

One of the main attractions here is the Tonto Natural Arch. After setting up camp, we wandered back to check this out, and were rewarded with great view of this spectacular sight. wp-1491944421248.jpgIt was hard to get a decent vantage point for photos, and the light for shooting them was horrible.wp-1491944497897.jpgwp-1491944474399.jpg So, check these out and magnify them 100x in your mind to capture the real images. It really is a wonderful spot to visit, complete with a hair-raising twisty drive.

We’ve both been stricken with very low energy levels. Seems like we just want to kick back, read a bit, and hang out where we can have Jezzy with us. That included a stroll along the nature trail here in the Campground, where the terrain varied from open slickrock to deep Pondersa forest. wp-1491944613159.jpgwp-1491944648677.jpgA perfect hike for three slackers (I’m including Jezzy in the slacker designation). Our next destination is the Petrified Forest/Four Corners area, and we’ve got some more aggressive hiking targeted. Time to get our camping/hiking/cycling groove back.

Just to make everything just a bit more interesting, I got what is probably the worst haircut of my life today. John’s comment? “Well, probably the worst of it will grow out in a couple of weeks, and we’ll mostly be in Texas until then. Nobody will notice.” So, if you see me, you might not recognize me. I’ll be incognito – wearing a hat.


10 thoughts on “Still More Arizona

  1. Sorry for the delay in commenting, it’s been a tough month for me. Both of the campgrounds look like places that I’d like to stay, but it must have been weird having the neighbors that you did. Good to hear that Jezzy is healing well also.

    I like seeing the scenery that you find off the beaten path, away from the better known touristy areas. I hope to see them myself someday.


    • Hey Jerry. Never feel like you have to comment. I always enjoy your insightful views, but understand that you’ve got a crazy schedule to manage.

      National Forest Campgrounds are the best. We don’t find many BALM campgrounds, but Datil Wells was special. The camp hosts there worked hours every day to keep it pristine. That really makes a huge difference.

      I also can’t wait for you to have more time to turn your lens to new subjects and places. You’d be surprised how many times I think, “I bet Jerry would love this….”

      Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

    • She’s doing great – we are both surprised and grateful for her quick healing. There sure is a lot of great stuff to photograph out here in the West and Southwest. Thanks for taking the time to comment.


    • No! Guess I should have run when I got there, and saw that it was INSIDE a Walmart (I don’t do Walmart). After discussing how I wear my hair, she proceeded to actually pull the top of my hair back to cut bangs! You know, like a third-grader! (or every other old Walmart customer). I stopped that, but the end result isn’t much different.

      I’ll be wearing my Easter bonnet until Memorial Day.


  2. I love your posts. I plan to be spending some time in Arizona next winter and these posts have given me so much information that I wouldn’t find in other sources. Thanks for your time and effort.


    • Hi Mary. Thanks for taking the time to comment. There’s so much great camping in Arizona, that I’m pretty sure you’ll find places that fit your style. Makes me happy that you’re finding some useful info here – we find ourselves referring back to prior years for campground info, too.


  3. Timely post. We may be in Payson in August and this CG might work perfectly. Any problem with our 31 footer 12 and a half feet high RV fitting into a campsite at Houston Mesa? You two do travel at a pretty good trek so no wonder ya’ll needed a little down time. Hope it’s not too hot for you at the Petrified Forest.


    • Hi Ingrid. You could park a 50 foot RV in many of these sites. Yours will be no problem. We are in Mountain Lion #9, a giant pull through. Only problem is that it’s pretty close to the road. Think I would try for site ML #13 when we come again. Sites are reservable. This place rocks!

      Been a long time since we’ve been in the heat. That really didn’t even occur to us – thanks for the warning. I know that our camping options are limited there, so if it doesn’t work out, we may have to move on.

      Payson is nice. Thank you will like it here.


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