We spent a pleasant four nights in the Coconino National Forest about 20 miles south of Flagstaff, joining friends Jeanne and dog Sierra, Laurelee and dog Libby, Barbara and dog Katie, and their friend John. Jeanne and John had a great site right on a small lake and we all managed to fit in around them. It’s a popular dispersed camping area and was very quiet during the week but there were way too many ATVs going by our road on the weekend.
Our buddies Sierra and Libby.
Ladies only happy hour with Laurelee, Jeanne, and Barbara. All three dogs were there but Katie on the right is the only one visible. They were busy chewing on bones.
We took several walks on the forest roads and I did a bike ride. Lots of roads and the Arizona Trail go off for miles in all directions, with occasional views of the San Francisco Peaks.
We were parked on the other side of Pickett Lake, which we were told dries up in the summer.
One morning Laurelee and Libby joined us for a hike on the Sandys Canyon trail off Lake Mary Road. It started off with a glimpse down into the volcanic rock of Sandys Canyon.
A climbing area called The Pit is accessed from another trail.
After the trail drops down into Walnut Canyon the walking is easy.
There are signs for Fisher Point overlook in 1.1 miles, which we thought was the way we wanted to go, but it was a steep climb and Libby was getting tired so we turned back after a half mile.
Went back down to the canyon floor to have lunch in the cave below Fisher Point. We ended up hiking almost 7 miles, a good day on the trails.
Another day we went to town to check out the big sale at REI, and get a few groceries at Sprouts. Jim ended up buying hiking boots and a pair of more casual shoes to replace the ones he’s been wearing that were falling apart. They really had a good sale going on.
We were hungry after shopping so we went to the historic downtown area and had a black bean veggie burger at Altitudes Bar and Grill., next to the train station/visitor center. It was half price burger day, but you had to also get a drink to get the half price, so we each had a beer, an ale and and IPA that were both good. Then we walked the streets, where Jim had to check in all the outdoor shops to be sure he didn’t find any better deal on shoes, which he didn’t.
Yesterday we moved on about 160 miles northeast to Navajo National Monument. We did an overnight here once before and it’s a great free place to stop, as long as you are not in a big rig. The sign says 28’ length limit and there are only a few sites long enough for our 30’. Luckily there weren’t many people here when we arrived so we ended up in the same site we were in before. It’s wide enough to park the car next to the rig.
Last evening we hiked a couple of the trails, first the paved trail to the Betatakin cliff dwelling overlook.
Then the Aspen trail, which drops 300’ in 0.4 miles to overlook an ancient aspen forest.
It’s a beautiful park, and when we were here in June 2015 it was really hot so we opted not to do a guided hike to the ruins. Thought this would be a good opportunity since it’s cooler, but they don’t start doing tours until Memorial Day so we’re a few days too early. Maybe next time…
Today we’re heading to Dolores, CO where we have reservations for the holiday weekend. Unfortunately our streak of things going wrong has not ended, as the last few times we’ve driven the Lazy Daze, air from the dash vents quits blowing and only comes out the defrost vents while accelerating up a hill. We have two friends (who are nowhere nearby) who had a similar issue with theirs and both were able to fix it themselves with a little help from the internet. We plan to take a look at it this weekend to see if we can figure it out before searching for a mechanic.