Site... I don't remember now

Trip Start Jan 09, 2012
Trip End Jun 04, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Sunday, April 29, 2012

I went into town, Payson, today to pickup some supplies and go to the Chamber of Commerce.  It was a bit tricky finding the Chamber, but I did it, with or without the help of the Hussy.  I talked with a guy there, who gave me some maps of hikes on or near the Rim and some ideas for a campground.  Finally some good stuff.

I went to Safeway and picked up some fruit, bread, and finally, some ice cream.  Now that I’m in a cooler clime, I get ice cream.  Go figure.  The main reason, is that I’ve eaten enough bread to make adequate room in the freezer.  Now that Lynn is gone, we don’t need to keep as much  food on hand.  That’s my reasoning.

After I left Safeway, I found the AA meeting I had been planning to attend.  It was in a small mall.  Fortunately I spotted the address number and there it was.  The group that meets there is the Rule 62 Group.  The don’t take themselves too seriously.  The meeting format was new to me, but the folks were friendly and interesting, as most folks in the program are.  I didn’t stay long, since it was after six-thirty and I was hungry.  Plus, the ice cream...

It was another quiet night of sleep.  I woke up to a clear sky and a temperature of thirty-five degrees.  Shades of the old West!  Since there was no one camping near me, I started the generator and furnace and went back to bed for a bit, until six o’clock.  I did my usual reading and what-not and answered my email etcetera.

I got out of camp a bit before nine and headed to find a campground.  I made a stop to gas  up Shorty at a Shell station.  Gas here is more reasonable at $3.72 a gallon.  It took me longer than usual, since some “fine individual” was messing about and taking his time doing whatever he was doing.  I finally had to back up the rig and Sooby to get to a pump.  With driving all of the steep ascents, the mileage suffered a bit, but it was worth it.  The area hereabouts is beautiful!

My target was Ponderosa Campground.  I had called and talked with a gal about where to go to camp.  She told me that Ponderosa was a good bet.  It wasn’t far from Payson, with a continuous climb and some construction to deal with.  When I got there, the Host Guy told me that they are primarily Reservation Only, but had two spots available. That is, until the Host Wife showed up.  She must have been having a bad day...mobbed.  She told me that they had NO spots and I’d have to go elsewhere where they could “handle” a rig as big as Shorty.  I replied that this is my house; I live in it.  I can’t make it smaller.  The Guy laughed.  The Wife, not so much.  I thanked them and went on my way to Sharpe Creek Campground, as they/she suggested.  I don’t remember if it has an “e” at the end of Sharpe or not, but it sounds a bit classier to me, so there it is.

The nice Host Lady met me as I pulled into Sharpe.  She was very outgoing and friendly, welcoming me to the place.  This is a smaller CG, with only twenty eight sites, no electricity or other amenities.  Houston Mesa had pay showers at $2 for six minutes, a dump station for $7 and water for fill-up at $.25 a gallon...that, cents.  Everything was a bit dear in my opinion, but most of the Forest Service campgrounds in Arizona are privatized and run by concessionaires.  Thus the cost.  The “volunteer” hosts are paid by the hour too.  I can’t imagine how this would be cheaper than running them with government folks, but no one asked me my opinion.  Again.

Anyway, Sharpe Creek is a beautiful spot with towering Ponderosa Pines and various other deciduous trees.  Most of these aren’t in leaf yet, since we’re at just a bit over six thousand feet altitude.  It was warm and sunny when I arrived and I had a chance to drive through the loops and take whatever I chose.  I met a couple in a VW Vanagan Kamper and visited a bit with them.  They live in Globe, AZ in a fifth wheeler and travel in the V-Dub for the hotter months.  They are originally from Oregon and definitely don’t miss the rain and cloudy skies.

My site is about a “football field” plus from my nearest neighbor.  I can see their trailer and hear them at times, otherwise it’s very quiet here.  It got up to about seventy degrees with a light breeze and clear blue, mountain skies.  You can see part of the Rim form the campsite.  A beauty of a place.  But, no animals, to speak of.  I did take a ride on the bike and spotted a new variety of squirrel...long tufted ears were the main feature that I noticed.  I had no camera, so you’ll have to take my word for it for the time being.

I sat outside in “the chair” most of the time except for nap time.  Can’t miss that.  Dinner consisted of a ribeye steak that I finally found lurking in the freezer and a baked potato, both cooked on the grill.  A fresh green salad complemented them well.

The sunset was good, considering the fact that we’re surrounded by tall trees.  I think that I got a few decent shots.  It’s cooled down to fifty degrees now at about eight-thirty.  It got down to thirty degrees last night, per the Host Lady, so I expect much the same tonight.  Perhaps it will be grandma’s quilt time.  Semper paratus, as Joey might say.

I’ll spend Saturday night here and then move on to the Rim Road and see what I can find that is open, campground-wise.  

Day Two

It was warmer last night than I had expected, getting down to only forty-one degrees.  I again ran the furnace a bit on the battery before rising and for some time longer.  There are a few other campers here now and I didn’t want to disturb them.  The sun quickly warmed Shorty after the furnace had done it’s work.

The Camp Host finally stopped by and we settled up. At ten dollars a night, it’s really a bargain.  It’s a beautiful place and one of the newer ones, according to Sheldon, the Host.  There are several campgrounds in the area of the Rim.  Many folks from Mesa and Phoenix come here to beat the heat of summer, he said.  This is the last one to fill up most times, with folks coming well into the night.  He said that he never knows what to expect when he makes his rounds in the morning.  

I’ve been able to text a bit and send and receive some emails with the phone, but have no access to the internet here.  That’s plenty though to keep in touch with Lynnie and my friend Pete in Seligman, Arizona.

I took a walk around the Oak Loop, where I’m staying.  There are Live Oaks here, meaning that they keep their leaves year around.  Other trees inhabitant the area too, including the manzanita and some other varieties I can’t identify.  I visited with a few campers and came back.

I read and sunned the rest of the day.  In the late afternoon I took Dolores out for a three plus mile ride in the park.  There aren’t any actual trails here.  It’s hilly and makes for a great workout.  
I got a text from that it was snowing a bit there in Helena.  I must actually admit, yep, that I do not miss the late and unreliable spring there.  I hope that by the time I return it will be there... seriously.

The sunset last night was a good one, but I didn’t even go out to look this evening.  I was busy editing the pictures I’ve taken.  My dinner was the rest of the ribeye and a salad.  I’m looking forward to the ice-cream in a while.  My diet is well-balanced  enough, I think.  I imagine I’ll know for sure in about ten years or so.  But, won’t we all?  The exercise, as I have heard, makes a huge difference in one’s health.  I like it and try to do as much as I can.  Of course, a nap is good too.  “Moderation is all things, especially moderation.”  That’s my motto.

 That’s it for today.  I’ll leave here tomorrow after noon and go as far as Forest Road 300, the Rim Road.  I plan to camp there and drive Sooby up the road a bit and hike to get some photos.

I'm now at another campground near the Rim, Sinkhole.  It's much nicer than it sounds, believe me.  There are 26 sites and it's $7 a night with no amenities except a basic toilet and water.  It was difficult to find, since there's no sign on the highway.  It's on the road to Willow Springs Lake.  I took a ride looking for a trail and got one new shot.  That's it.  I did find lots of rocks in the trail, however.  Oh, one of the pics is a video, which I'm experimenting with.  Let me know how it works.

With internet again, I hope to see y'all tomorrow.
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ferd on

Looks like home with the Ponderosa Pines and all! Sounds like you are still having a grand adventure! The snow storm missed us, north and east mostly! Maybe some moisture this week! Hope so...time to tag the trees for spraying! Hugs....

mike noble on

It sounds like you are really "roughing" in , not many services. But as always, you make the best of it. And no sympathy here for the low temps...sounds like here except we don't get your daytime highs....Soon, I hope soon,,,back to a decent spring. Erica gets her masters next week and Nashea her BS this week so we are gone a lot. My brother found a place albeit a bit the walking mall-Placer Bldg. Let me know if you get near Winslow, AZ....I have a song for you. Take care trekker....

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