July 1, 2011
This is our last full day in Show Low, Arizona. Tomorrow we will pack up camp and head north. We decide today would be a good day to head east and check out the damage from the fire. We have packed a lunch, and our dirty wares in hopes of finding a laundromat somewhere along the way, and head out fairly early. Our travels today will take us along Hwy 260 past Greer Lakes and into Springerville.
Hwy 260 is a varied path. Coming out of Show Low and heading through Pinetop and Hon Dah the terrain is very woody. Continuing east the elevation begins to ascend to crest of about 9200 ft. Many of the roads heading south from the Hwy are currently closed to traffic due to the fires that have ravaged the area. Most of the danger has past, though there are few spot fires still lingering, however the main concern now is the damaged or fallen trees. We are able to take the road into a quaint little town called Greer. The town, or more accurate resort area, is currently open for business and appears to be surprisingly unharmed. The remnants of the fire can be seen all around in the surrounding trees but it appears as if the structures themselves were spared.
We stretch our legs for a little bit and then head back the way we came to continue our journey east. We found a little toy cow in the parking lot and now have added it as a passenger.
Ironically enough as we head closer to Springerville we find what may be this little cows lost brothers and sisters. We seem to have a fascination with photographing these creatures. As many times as they pop up in our travels you would think this was the first time discovering them. Maybe it is our way of paying homage to them as pretty soon they will just be another “Have it your way” burger.
Springerville is very flat and very barren. Traveling in this area is so diverse. On one side of the street you have prairie grass lands. On the other off in the distance you see the markings of tall tree, or what is left of them.
On the left you can see the scorched remains from the recent fires.
It was a beautiful sky and we stopped several times along this stretch of road to take shots of the horizon. On the way back before we crest over the 9200 ft mark again we see a sign for a local lake and decide to stop for a spell.
We packed our lunch several hours ago and the rumbling we hear is not the tall tell of a distant storm but the loud protests of our stomachs. Okay now for some disclaimers before feasting your eyes on the beautiful site that lay before us. Arizona by nature is very “back to nature” when it comes to lakes and parks. Were we have currently pulled into it looks to be a very popular site for the locals for fishing, even with the receded waters from the current droughts. Popularity means high usuage of facilities and since this is not a park that is monitored with paid employees things tend to be well used……like in the three dumpsters that Andrew for some reason has decided to park up next too. Now if the stench was not bad enough even with the windows up, to add to the ambiance there must have been a million flies swarming the vehicle. Forget the bait, just stick a sticky fly trap out your window and voila….instant fish food. Andrew and I did venture out for a few minutes, swatting the air every second or so like two mad people, and was able to take a moment……quick quick quick moment … to take in the beauty of the setting we found ourselves in.
This area, as the sign states, is wolf country which are protected by the federal government. Not quite sure whether to worry about wolves or not. I know they are not seen as frequently as coyotes but I also know they tend to run in packs. Besides we have much smaller things to worry at the present time. Shortly after taking this shot Andrew was attacked by a fly…..It was determined to take a bite….a rather large bite at that…out of my husband. It was the funnest thing watching him running, swatting, swinging his arms all around. I wasn’t quite sure what was happening but was glad I was inside the truck looking out. Now if I thought I could have helped well maybe I might of jumped out but I could see there were at least half a dozen more of those just waiting outside my door to chime in. Shyla, not feeling herself the past day or so, did not even lift an eyebrow at all the commotion going on outside either. Trust her to find the best spots!
Back safely in the truck we head back towards camp. We find a laundromat in Pinetop and I throw a couple of loads in the machines so that we may begin our next stretch in our travels with clean clothes. With a few minutes to kill I stop and read the headlines of the local paper. Last night a woman was attached by a large black bear while walking her dog. A man heard the commotion and after witnessing what was transpiring decided to use his vehicle to scare off the bear. The bear was persistent and it took three attempts at honking the horn and racing the vehicle at it for the bear to finally leave the woman’s body alone. I have decided to keep this little bit of news to myself until after the trip is over as we are both still very uneasy with our run-ins last year in the wet mountains with these beasts. Besides tomorrow we head out.
In the vehicle next to us Andrew captures a strange sight. While I was busy inside, another vehicle has pulled up along side us. The owner too is bearing soiled laundry and while inside has allowed his feathered friend time to flutter around. I thought we had a pampered pet! While thoroughly amused with the bird, Andrew still finds himself falling restless and has decided to play with our new GPS that we purchased for the trip. This is an upgrade from the previous model that we had. It includes extras like 3-D maps, traffic control and automatic routing, and our favorite… programmable directions. If there are streets or directions not yet listed you can actually type them into the system. Andrew decided to see if our little unit was capable of using words that his mother definitely would not approve of. It was pretty funny though hearing the navigation spouting out such profanity …. and in an Australian accent to tote! Then I don’t know if it was that we were laughing so hard but I swear the unit suddenly got an attitude with us when the word “recalculating” was issued. Missing our turn it now took on a more insistent tone telling us to “take the next right” and then issuing a very sharp “RECALCULATING” message once again when we failed to do as we were told. Of course this only caused Andrew to see how far he could actually push the system. Again and again he kept denying the right turn the GPS wanted us to take and with each miss turn the “RECALCULATING” message actually seemed to get …. well peeved with us. We at this point were in hysterics and barely able to drive and actually had to take a moment to collect ourselves.
Back at the campsite we arrived we a couple of hours of daylight available and so we took a few last shots of the area.
This site had a very long drive. This is the view of the closest site to us…..see…loads of personal space!