Day 146: Bulldog OHV area, Day 5

Ever wonder what Trish is doing while I’m working on the blog?


Kidding!  Kidding.  Sort of.

This afternoon we drove over to Usery Mountain State Park.  The “Nature Center”, which is really a gift shop, has some native flowers planted out front:


We drove over to the Wind Cave trailhead and started up the mountain.  Once we worked our way up the mountain, we could look down and see the trailhead parking lot below:




Wind cave wasn’t very impressive, but we did the hike for the hike and the views, not the destination, so that was OK with us.

Trish checked ahead of time and saw that there was a letterbox at the end of the hike, so we did our letterboxing.  The letterbox contained a “hitchhiker” letterbox which we are supposed to take and put into the next letterbox we see.





We hurried to get off the mountain before sunset:




We’re low on water, so we drove into the park’s campground and filled our two 4-gallon jerry cans, then returned to the RV for the night.

Day 145: Bulldog OHV area, Day 4

The kids worked on leather craft this morning:



After completing homeschool, we left a bike near a boat ramp on the Salt River, then drove upstream a couple miles.  The idea was that we would kayak down, and then I would ride the bike to the start and pick up the SUV.

Unfortunately, the Salt River turned out to be pretty low this time of year, so we spent most of our time dragging the kayaks through the shallow parts of the river.  There were a few deep (more than 6 inches of water) parts:


In some shallow areas, a thick mat of biomass covered the surface of the water:




Even with the difficulties, it was neat to paddle by Saguaro cacti:



At the shallow parts, Trish and I would pull our boats through the shallows as well as the children’s boats with the kids still in them, as the kids were wearing shoes that couldn’t get wet.  It was slow and exhausting, and because the river was so low we had to carry all four kayaks about a quarter mile to the road at the end.  I ended up riding the bike back to the SUV in rapidly darkening twilight, and by the time we got the kayaks back onto the SUV it was cold and dark out.  Trish then drove behind me as I rode my bike back to the RV.


This was the worst kayak trip we’ve ever done, but hopefully it’s something we can someday laugh about.

Day 144: Bulldog OHV area, Day 3

We had a relaxing Shabbos here in the Bulldog OHV section of Tonto National Forest.  A ranger was out looking for the owner of a tent camper that has been abandoned here for four weeks.  I’m surprised they don’t just tow it.

It was another beautiful morning:




After homeschooling, we decided to go for a bike ride.  Initially we headed south on the road the RV is on (FS 10):




I played with my phone’s “drama” photo mode which creates a single photo with multiple copies of a moving object:



After riding out and back on FS10, we rode down to Bush Highway and rode east to the Stewart Mountain Dam, which backs up the Salt River to create Saguaro Lake.  We peeked through the fence and then headed for home:




I did another ride with my son to explore westward on Bush Highway.  We were treated to another fantastic sunset:


We intended to do more homeschooling tonight, but our daughter was up very late last night after drinking what turned out to be a caffeinated beverage, so we put the kids to bed early.

Goodnight from the Bulldog OHV area!


Day 142: Bulldog OHV area, Day 1

After homeschool, I went for a bike ride south along Forest Service road 10 to it’s southern terminus in Apache Junction.  Classic desert scenes were available along the entire route:


The road became worse and worse, and was a bit much for the cyclocross bike with its comparatively narrow, albeit knobby tires.  The steep rocky sections were especially rough:


The road was so bad that I decided to ride back via pavement, even though it was more than twice as far.  There were great views on the way back:


It turns out that the road we’re camped on is part of the Great Western Trail:


Good Shabbos from Bulldog OHV!

Day 141: Back to basics

This morning we packed up and said goodbye to Grandpa Glenn and Edna.  We stopped at Walmart for some groceries, then headed to a local Chevron for a $5 tank dump.  We then stopped at Target for some new shoes, and then visited the Tonto National Forest administrative offices to get a permit for the Bulldog Canyon OHV area.  It’s a free 6-month permit, and in exchange for submitting driver’s license information, the permit has the monthly combinations for the gate locks for all the entry points to the OHV area.  We entered from the North, and after some bike scouting I found a great spot about a mile in on unpaved Forest Service road 10 (also called Phon D Sutton road) off of Bush Highway.  See the trip map for details.

The sun had already gone down when I took these photos.  Our nearest neighbor is over half a mile away and out of sight.  I love the isolation of sites like these:


The views aren’t too shabby either:


With the directional cell antenna deployed, we’re getting 4G with three bars.  We’re looking forward to spending some time here!