Our lunch is packed and we’re ready to go!
I lock up the Best Little Trailer and the crew jumps up into the Perfect Tow Vehicle. It’s sunny and clear with all the promise of a beautiful and hot day. I go to the rear of the PTV and unplug the power cord before starting the engine. We’re going to Burro Creek Recreation Area, ten miles south of our camp.
Bridget climbs up into the copilot seat.
“What’s this, little girl? Are you going to be copilot? It’s a big job, you know.” She’s so cute I have to take a photo. By the time we’re at the end of our lane, turning onto Highway 93, she’s decided copiloting is not her line of work, and goes back to lie down on the bench seat with Spike.
The entrance to Burro Creek Rec Area is not clearly marked, but we don’t pass it this time.
It’s immediately past the bridge that spans the river gorge when heading southward. After cautiously descending a short distance on an 8% grade, the campground comes into view. RVs of all types are nestled on a terraced slope. Burro Creek (more than a creek, less than a river) runs alongside with a spectacular backdrop of striated cliff in hues of tan, cream, and gold. Wow! This is some place! I park in the lot by the restrooms and the crew piles out.
Bridget and Spike are wiggling and jumping with excitement.
I’m feeling the same way, too, as we walk toward the campsites on the dirt lane. Oh, there’s the river! Gee, it’s so nice to see water again! We haven’t been out of the PTV for more than five minutes when I spy a woman sitting in front of her RV enjoying the view.
“Do you feel like talking?” I call up to her.
“Sure! Come’on up!” She tells me her name is Beck and she pulls up a camp chair.
Within a few minutes I’m sitting with Beck, Diane, Nita, and Bill. They’re friends who arranged to meet here at Burro Creek. They obviously love Burro Creek.
“Look up there,” Diane points to the cliff. “Do you see the heron going to her nest?” The others chime in.
“Look at the river! Do you see the ducks flying over the river?”
“There’s even a beaver dam!” Beavers? In the desert? There’s no time to question that amid the excited voices.
“We waded across the river and saw burros on the other side!”
“Have you been out on Burro Creek Crossing Road? It’s a dirt road. If you follow it, keeping to the left, you come to this place where burros hang out, and there are these white cliffs . . . . “ The talk is non-stop, interspersed with lots of laughs about the fun they had the night before, getting wild and crazy . . .
Bill shows me some rocks he picked up, including white ones that look like coral.
He also gives me a map of the area and shows me a book he relies on . . . Guide to National Forests – Arizona and New Mexico by the Dows. Bill has two huge tanks in the back of his pick-up for water. I ask lots of questions and everyone is laughing and it’s obvious these folks are good people. We are going to camp here. This is so perfect!
The crew and I go back to the PTV to get our lunch.
Diane catches up to us. “Would you like to have dinner with us tomorrow night? I’m making Parmesan Whitefish with spaghetti squash.”
“Oh, I’d love to! That sounds so good!”
I take the crew into the restroom so I can wash my hands.
We find a picnic cabana. After a lunch of PB & J, an apple, and Gatorade, we walk back to the PTV. I want to change into my hiking shoes before going down to the river.
“Hello, Sue!” A lady appears with a big smile on her face.
“Do I know you?” I ask, awkwardly, knowing how bad I am remembering faces.
“No, but I know you! I read your blog. You’re rvsue and her canine crew!” She introduces herself as Jeanne. Her husband, Don, joins us.
“Don, guess who this is!” Jeanne points at Bridget and Spike.
“Oh my gosh!” He gives me a warm grin and extends his hand. We shake while Jeanne exclaims, “I wouldn’t have recognized you, Sue, but I knew as soon as I saw the crew!”
“That usually does it, or the sight of the PTV. I used to think I was driving badly when people would honk and wave!”
We talk like old friends, standing there in front of the restroom.
Soon they’re urging me to explore the meadows and pine forests of the Show Low-Pine Top area of the Apache Seagraves National Forest in east-central Arizona. They spend the summer months there.
“If you want, we’ll show you places to camp that you’ll love,” Dan offers enthusiastically. “In a few hours, you’ll know where the best places are, instead of driving around looking for three or four days.”
We exchange email addresses and say goodbye, hugging like old pals. As they leave, Jeanne says they’re going to take a look at Hidden Oasis RV Park in Wikieup. What friendly, nice, interesting people. I’ve got to take them up on their offer!
The sun is high in the sky and it’s getting hot.
The crew and I haven’t been down to the riverbank yet. I change my shoes and we walk back by the group I met earlier. Someone hollers, “Keep going, Sue! The gate is right down there!”
Bridget, Spike and I find the gate, hurry down the path, and scramble over the river rocks to the water’s edge.
The river moves serenely along, the rock cliff on the other side, bright green grasses growing on our side.
If you’ve been reading rvsue and her canine crew, going back to last fall, you know what Spike does as soon as he sees water! Even Bridget plunked down her bottom to cool off.
Tomorrow we’ll break camp and move to Burro Creek!
Note: Unfortunately, there isn’t internet signal at Burro Creek Rec Area. I’ll keep writing, but it may be a few days before I am able to post another entry and respond to comments.