Monday we took Lewis and set off in the Jeep. Our goal was to do a little off- roading and find a nice waterside place for lunch and a quick swim. We never reached our goal, however. I underestimated the time it would take to drive through the desert to Sheep Bridge and the Verde River. The road was very very rough and rocky, we had to drive very slowly. The first 18 miles or so were fairly boring, mostly dust and desert scrub. We arrived at Seven Springs Recreation area in the Tonto National Forest around lunch time so we stopped beside the only "spring" we saw.
|one of the Seven Springs|
We enjoyed the pretty surroundings for lunch, but didn't let Lewis swim because the water looked a bit "iffy". We continued on the dusty, rocky road away from the little oasis and back up into the high desert.
It was a long long ride. After about 33 miles, very slow bumpy miles, we came to a cross road. A right turn would take us another 12-15 miles to the river and our destination. A left turn would take us 27 rough miles over the mountains to the highway then another 40 easy miles home. It was already almost 4 p.m. and we were beginning to see long shadows so we abandoned our thoughts of letting poor Lew out at the river and took the left turn.
Did I mention this was a rough and dusty road? We passed one or two pick ups the entire way. Mostly it was just the three of us and the mountains.
We came up over a rise and encountered a huge road grader trying to smooth down the track. All it actually managed to do was rip up large rocks in our path.
He finally found a spot to pull out and we were able to pass and negotiate the rest of the road without his "help".
|we discovered this beautiful pattern of dust on the back of the Jeep|
Up and over the mountains wasn't my favorite part. I took no pictures.
Dave and Lewis were very good sports. I should have done my homework more carefully and realized how long this ride would be. Or, perhaps we should have left much earlier in the day. Either way I think it's safe to say that none of us enjoyed our adventure. Ah well, some you win and some you lose.
As if to try and make me feel better, Mother Nature provided a beautiful display in all directions shortly after we arrived home.
|looking south (ish)|
|then back west|
Tuesday I couldn't convince Dave to drive anywhere so we stayed home and did laundry in preparation for Wednesday morning's departure.
|the Four Peaks stayed in view the whole way to Usery|
To avoid the crazy traffic on the day before Thanksgiving we took the long way (but lightly traveled and pretty) from Cave Creek to Usery Mountain Regional Park via Fountain Hills and the Bush Highway.
We settled into our site (#58) after lunch and went for a walk in the surrounding desert. I selected this site because it was the only one left available over the holiday weekend......I was prepared to just deal with it until the park emptied out and we had more choice but I was very surprised at what a great site it is!
|Happy Hour view!|
We have a lovely private area under a large Palo Verde tree to sit in if the sun is too bright and there is enough greenery around us that I don't even notice the motorhome in the next site. This will be a perfect spot for the next two weeks....
|Mom, mom, are you coming? We're going into the desert, are you coming? Mom?|
As we walked through the desert we came upon this broken giant. I've never seen a huge saguaro down before, it made me sad.
But then I saw something that made me smile.....My boy running down the wash with a big grin on his face, so happy to see me.
We're thankful to be able to enjoy such a pleasant and peaceful time together. We're thankful for the great fortune of our family, our friends, our health and the wonderful life we are living.