Monday, May 31, 2010


Joe Cool just taking in the beautiful view. One more step and I would be history.

The van was packed, every inch and cranny was taken by some sort of cover, ice chest, tent, supplies, etc. etc. No space was unused. We were supposed to hit the road at 3:00 a.m. but by the time we hooked up with the rest of the party we it was already 4:30 a.m.

Not one inch was wasted, we had supplies or passengers occupying the space inside the van.

We got to Payson pretty fast, there was no traffic at all. A quick mandatory stop at the local WalMart to buy last minute things and a stop to McDonalds to get some breakfast and we were on the road again. We drove through some of the areas devastated by last year's fires. Not a pretty sight at all. When you catch a glimpse of how big the forest is I can see how frustrated the firefighters can get when they see the fires get out of their hands. To that add the fact that the wind blows pretty hard and it's easy to see why fires spread so fast.

The ground no longer black but you can see the lifeless trees.

A few minutes later we got off the main road and into the side roads. The pavement ended and it was nothing but dirt roads. Needless to say our pseudo off road vehicles (a Dodge mini van and a Cadillac) were completely covered in dust. I guess leaving late by one hour made a big difference because most camp sites were full and therefore closed. A nice older gentleman closing one of them told us our best bet was to to go some 25 miles outside Payson and into the forest.

Those in the Cadillac were probably saying, "Eat my dust".

The van and Caddy had to morph into off road vehicles.

A dusty van and a wishful sign. Too bad we got stopped. See ya next year Suns!

We drove up and down those dusty roads and finally we found a pretty good spot for our camp site. No camping fees here, but no facilities either. But we managed just fine. The tents went up and so we started to enjoy the wonderful noises the forest make. When the gusts of wind came it sounded like we were camping next to a raging river.

Lunch consisted of Sandwiches and chips. The the task of building a fire pit started. I turned out to be one heck of a supervisor but the camping expert had the most awesome looking fire pit in no time. I pays to go with someone with experience.

Here's our campsite once all the tents went up.

We played catch for a while which by the way gave me a sore arm which still persist. The kids run free and got hurt, from falls to scratches, to every thing in between, but it was all fun and they loved it. So it was all good and part of the experience. Then it was time for dinner. The menu read, Havanero Burgers made from scratch. My tummy said yummy. Wow! those things were like totally and awesomely tasty. I for one had never had them before, now I want more. While at it, they also made the beans Havanero style.

Havanero style burgers and beans. Ummm yummy!

Sometime during this time, the weather started to drastically change and by the time we were finishing eating some of us were starting to feel very cold. I told them to pay the heater bill but nawww they chose to ignore me. lol I took a bunch of covers but the coldness seemed to perforate them all reaching all the way into our bodies. Yes it was cold at night, but again it's obvious we survived. I got up before everybody else and enjoyed the coldness of the morning.

Sunday morning I woke up to the smell of chorizo and eggs with jalapeno peppers. A coffee and some good music out the van made it for a perfect and fun morning. But of course neither of us had cables and then this happened.

Yep, dead battery. Luckily the people on the next campsite did have some cables.

All in all, this my first experience at camping was really nice. I'll do it again now with a little more of personal experience. I can understand why it is hard with large groups of people, but with a small group such as ours it was very easy and enjoyable.



Wanda said...

Oh looked at your picture on the other blog first, and here you are by the rock...not on top, but close enough.

The camping trip looks like quite an adventure. Love the dinner cooking on the grill.

Jose said...

Wanda - I'm not kiddin' from where I'm standing, one more step and I would be history. It's crazy beautiful but scary to be so close to a fall of that height. The camping was really fun, and those Havanero burgers really were the best.

ChrisJ said...

That looks like camping in style -- camping style that is.One of my sons is a dyed-in-the-wool Holiday Inn style camper. The other one -- I don't even want to know where he is or what he is doing when he goes camping. But he has some gadget now that emails his exact location to us, which he does when going hours and hours out into the wilderness. It's a load off my mind.

Angelica said...

adventure but just direct me to the nearest hotel :)

Jose said...

Kika, next time you are coming. Gotta experience it at least once.

Chely said...

First of all, let me tell you that your belly is gone!!! That is a great looking picture of you at the edge of the rocks.=)

Second of all, who did you go with?=/

Third, the campsite looks so pretty and peaceful, along those gorgeous trees.=)

Fourth, that fire pit/stove is amazing! I would have thought that it was already there.

Fifth, it figures that you guys would forget something as important as cables. Ayyyy Tontitos!=/

Sixth, I'm sure glad you guys had fun or pretended to have fun, because, I, sure as hec, am NOT a camper. Yo soy Nina Fresa=D I'll leave that to adventurous people like you. Give me my Timeshare anytime instead!!!!=p

Felicia said...

Hey we went camping north of payson this weekend! over at pivot rock! Happy you had fun! I love camping!

Jose said...

Chely - Boy you are full of questions aren't you.
First, I kindda sucked it in and ate so much over the weekend that it's back. lol But I started going to the gym today so we are good. lol
Second, with my friends from work.
Third, it was peaceful and we enjoyed great weather. The nights are hella cold tho.
Fourth, the stove was built from scratch.
Fifth, yeap cables are coming with me next time.
And sixth, renting your time share, lets discuss. I'm in a roll. lol

Felicia - We got to Payson and then I don't know if we went north, or east or what but there was a lake near the area we camped at.

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