There are a bunch of reasons why I have not been back to the White Mountains of northeastern Arizona since I was about 14 years old, most of them came down to taking other trips when we had enough time off to go that far from home. We had an opportunity to have all the kids and grand kids together so decided to plan a trip some place very cool instead of cooped up in the house when we were too tired of 110+ degree heat by the pool. We came to the conclusion to go camping near Greer Arizona since it’s like 68-75 degrees when Phoenix is 110 plus. As time went by, the camping idea unraveled when we came up short on sleeping space so we decided to rent a cabin for the week.
Later we found out our son Craig couldn’t get leave until a week after we get back, so we didn’t get to have him with us. But his wife and kids were able to come from Florida. Our oldest daughter Carmen came with her family from Texas and Carla with her family from Gilbert a few miles from our house. The weather that week was very cool, sometimes cold with daily rain showers. The highest temp was 68 degrees all week, a far cry from the dry 110 degree heat only 200 miles away at home.
We managed to get in some fishing, plenty of home cooked meals since the nearest grocery store or restaurants big enough for all of us were 35 miles away. There was lots of yard toys for the kids. Greer and Greer lakes were almost all grasslands last time I was here, now the pine trees were tall and thick at least 40-50 feet tall. The places that had short trees before are now 50-100 feet tall despite forest fires in the last 15 years. The only area that is as barren as it was in the 1970’s is near the banks of the lakes. At an elevation of 9300 feet, it only takes a short walk to get you breathing heavy.
We visited a few of the places we used to go when I was a kid, but the trees are so much larger now that I barely recognized where I was at! One thing I had no plans for, ended up high on my list. I felt the need to go to favorite place we had gone to many times growing up, Sheep’s Crossing on the Little Colorado. We had a great little memorial in the woods for Dad, Dave and Jeff.
I think one of the reasons we have not gone camping here is not only distance but lack of dry camping locations, about the only places to bring an RV are a hand full of campgrounds. We used to have more dry camping choices here in the 1960’s and 70’s, times have changed and you have to be quite some distance from water sources for the animals.
I miss those cold temps already!