Sep 5, 2007

Labor day camping trip

We took the dogs and headed north over the long weekend to beat the heat! We traveled about 100 miles north to get up on top of the Mogollon Rim, north east of Payson. From there we navigated 20 miles of forest service roads to reach a remote high mountain lake called Chevelon Canyon Lake. It's in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. Once we found the campground, as expected, we found LOTS of people camping, large families, motor homes and 4 wheelers all over the place. This isn't our idea of a quiet weekend camping, so we went exploring. We ended up finding a road (more like a wagon trail to be exact) that lead us down a steep rocky slopes and ended up popping out onto a bluff over looking the lake...without another sole around!! It was perfect. We spent Saturday night at this camp site. Sunday morning we got and packed all our gear and dogs back in the 4Runner and headed back to the boat launch area to do some Geocache and see if Tinker can swim....which she a fish!

Before the trip I had spent a few hours using my TOPO map programs to locate what appeared to be a great spot to test out the 4Runner and it's new accessories....not to mention it's 4 wheel drive abilities! The road was obviously designed more for 4wheelers than for an SUV, but we negotiated the narrow spots, and the rock spots, and the muddy spots and ended up at Hamilton's Crossing. A peak off the plateau that over looks Clear Creek Canyon on three sides. There was a small camp fire pit that obviously hadn't been used in a long time. This was the perfect spot!!! However, at about 7pm we noticed a large thunderhead forming to the north, with MASSIVE lightening. I watched this approaching storm with concern until about 8am, when I decided that if it rained more than a little bit, we could potentially not be able to get the 4Runner back to civilization without the help of a wench and tow vehicle. So...with a sad face we packed up our perfect camping spot in the dark and worked our way back out the trail and ended up heading home. We were going to pitch camp again, but decided it was getting to dark, and it would be tough to get a good camp set up without light and the threat of rain.

Still a great weekend...and the 4Runner is covered in mud!

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