Monday morning we have final coffee with our friends. They get loaded up and head out ahead of us. Donnie and Anna returning home to Tombstone, Jimmy and Maggie beginning a six month cross-country sojourn. We're on the road ourselves before 10 AM, on our way to Payson, Arizona.
Much of the 130 mile trip is through steep mountains, and we arrive around 1 PM to set up at Payson Campground and RV Resort. Interior roads are very tight, but our site in the back of the park is a good size, level, and private. Our satellite connects but ends up not working on over half our channels. We get a chance to adjust it after a couple days.
For the last several days I've had itchy skin on my scalp and back. I figured it was dry skin from so many weeks in the desert. After an hour in Payson the itching moves to 90% of my body, including soles of my feet and palms of my hands. Hives surface and it's nearly unbearable.
|This, plus a million.|
I spend our first 48 hours with 2 hours sleep (insomnia is an unfortunate drug side effect when staying awake to itch is the worst). Eventually I figure out that ice packs give me some relief. Wednesday I finally sleep and the itching lessens. We get nice light rains throughout the day.
Thursday I'm hopeful that the hives are calming, and we load up the rig for a quick drive to On the Road Again RV. When we left Las Vegas we didn't have all our lights or brakes on the toad. Bill has done all he can without resolution. The owner, Brian, works on the problem as soon as we pull in.
As happens too often with auto repair, the issue disappears as soon as they check the connections. Still, Brian doesn't just send us on our way. He makes several checks and then pulls the Jeep into the shop. At Bill's request he reinforces the plug bracket. We're hopeful this will permanently fix the connections.
We prefer to use small businesses when we can, and I highly recommend this service shop for any RV repairs you may need when in the area. Brian is a great guy!
An hour after we left, we're back in our site. Parking forward a few feet makes the satellite connect correctly. Despite our shaky start, I really like this place.
Friday we're very ready to get out and see some of this beautiful area. This is the last area of Arizona we haven't visited, and we've both been looking forward to being here.
This doesn't look like any other part of the state. It's now easy to believe there is more mountainous terrain in Arizona than there is in Switzerland, and more forest than Minnesota. We spend a wonderful day at the Mogollon (muggy-un) Rim under blue skies with temps in the high 60's. I can't keep my sandals on without my feet itching, but otherwise I'm better.
|The visitor's center is closed, but the large deck is open for enjoying the amazing views.|
|At 7500' we can see miles of thick forest.|
|Looking more blue ridge than southwest.|
|We drive about 12 miles to the top of the rim. It's a rough, washboard forest road, but worth the bumps to find this view!|
|The rim includes a few small reservoirs. Water levels are low, and everything looks like maintenance is sporadic.|
|The water is clearer than the green reflections show.|
|So much forest.|
|When the ears are up, she's really moving!|
|The Ponderosa Pines grow so straight.|
|A small stand of ghost trees.|
Sunday is our last day so we take a day trip to Roosevelt Lake. We've been to the lake from the south on another day trip, but turned back at the bridge and didn't see much of the area.
As we drop back down to the desert, we leave behind the pines and find cactus. Saquaros! Lots of them! Temps steadily climb and we hit triple digits at the lake.
|For a hot Sunday afternoon there are very few boats on the water.|
|Salido-Style cliff dwellings.|
|The ruins are dated between 1250 and 1450 BC.|
|Late spring blooms surround the visitor center.|
|I love seeing healthy Ocotillos.|
|Colors of the Tonto Basin.|
|Palo Verde provide splashes of bright yellow.|
|Several Saquaro are beginning to bloom.|
|Some will be spectacular!|
|A tiny bee approaches nirvana.|
Monday we pack up, and our "fixed" connection is not working again. We make the short drive to the shop only to find it's closed on Mondays. Oh well.....we'll find another place down the road.
The drive to Show Low is more mountain driving through miles of thick green pine forest. I'm feeling pretty good, and looking forward to a week in the beautiful White Mountains.