Whether or not we would spend Tuesday night on the Rim was up in the air until mid-afternoon that day. It was supposed to get cooler that night, but more importantly rain and snow were supposed to come through. Being camped six miles in on a dirt road made me uneasy about driving a six ton truck through mud.
In the end, we decided to stay the night and head out on Wednesday morning. We hit the road earlier than expected because a 6am check revealed deteriorating road conditions. With Ayo fast asleep in the overcab, I slowly pulled out of our site and exited Rim road. The forest looked stunning during the hour-long drive out. A thin fog blanketed the trees and small pellets of hail bounced off of the road and RV.
It was early, however, and once I got us on to pavement and down to ~7,000′, I pulled into a gas station / cafe parking lot and climbed back up into bed. The spot was quiet and was nested in the woods, with hiking trails beginning right behind the cafe. The lot was near a geocache and also boasts the tiniest post office that I’ve ever seen.
Later in the day we headed to Winslow to get some solid internet access, and weather permitting we’ll make our way to Petrified Forest National Park tomorrow.
In the meantime, enjoy some more photos from Tonto Natural Bridge and The Mogollon Rim.
[A separate note that Ayo wanted me to include: We learned from a ranger at Tonto Natural Bridge State Park that the state has been skimming off any profits that the parks make to cover state budget shortfalls, and that parks which don’t cover their operating costs through fees are being forced to close. It used to be that profitable parks would keep the nonprofitable parks open, but no longer. Surprising for Ayo, and disappointing for both of us.]
posted by yair