Today, (yes, on Friday the 13th), Ron and I finally left the 110 degree heat in Mesa and headed for cooler climes. When anybody would ask us where we were going, we just replied, "North and uphill." We're on our way to visit several friends outside of Show Low, AZ at a blessed 7000 feet. We thought we would make it in one day (184 miles), but after loading up and the stress of leaving, we only made it to outside of Payson at 5728 feet.
We actually took the same route last year when we left for the summer, but that was in May. The drive is very scenic, but nicer last year when everything was in bloom.
We settled in the same National Forest campground among the impressive ponderosa pines. The campground is aptly named Ponderosa campground.
They have sites that are more scenic, but we just took a pulloff so we didn't have to unhook. When we were here last year, we saw lots of unusual and colorful birds. This time all we saw were robins and goldfinches. I guess the others were migrating.
Even in the dead of summer, I managed to find a wildflower to capture for the blog. I have no idea what it is. Anybody?
I love the look of the alligator juniper trees with their distinctive alligator-like bark, but they also often have areas where the bark seems to have fallen off, reveling a smooth skin. This one was doubly interesting since it looked like one of the scary trees in the Wizard of Oz.
We have already discovered a problem with long-term RV storage. We knew that if an RV is stored for the winter in a cold area, it must be winterized. What we didn't realize is that in hot summer areas, it needs to be 'summerized'. As you know, we had no intention of staying in Mesa this long, but at some point, Ron did drain the fresh water tank. However we didn't think about the water heater. Wow! Did we have some bad-smelling water. Ron drained it, getting a shower in the process (note to self - don't forget to release the pressure by opening a faucet, after turning off the water pump.) After he refilled the water heater, the smell decreased, but is still pretty obnoxious. We're not sure what to try next. Any ideas?
After dinner, which was cooked with bottled water, we took a walk to enjoy the cooler temperature. I like how the mushrooms push aside the dirt and pine leaves to claim their place. Our fellow WIN member Will could tell us if this is edible. Unfortunately, he's not here so we left them alone.