Ruminations of a runner and recipe-maker, who serves up ranty cynicisms from time to time.
Friday, July 2, 2010
Big Lake Camping Trip - Part 1
Ryan and I have always been lovers of the outdoors. With the absolute crazyiness of coordinating our schedules, we have not been able to take a camping trip yet. The number 1 priority on our wedding registry was not dishes, corning ware, or neat kitchen tools (although, I got some great ones at our shower -- and I LOVE kitchen tools). Our #1 priority was getting a good supply of quality camping gear.
And that we did!
So last weekend we took a 5 1/2 hour trek up the mountains to Big Lake, AZ located in the White Mountains. It's actually close to the New Mexico border.
This couldn't have been a better escape from the 100+ temps Tucson has been experiences. It was in the 70's during the day and 40's at night.
So here is part 1 of our short, but amazing adventure!
Thursday morning, I had my Critical Care final. So, we had everything packed up Wednesday night. After my final - I came home and got everything to the door. When Ryan got home from work - the car was loaded within 20 minutes!
We definitely don't have the desired "out-doorsy" vehicle. That Civic Hybrid was seriously packed to the brim.
And we were on the road by 1:00 p.m. Thursday! (I even let Ryan wear his dorky hat in spirit of the trip)
We made a stop on the side of the road on the way to enjoy some sites. But really, we stopped to let the Hybrid battery recharge. Although Hybrid cars are excellent for gas. THey are not excellent for mountainous driving. Every time we would have a steady incline for a few miles - it wouldn't go much faster than 45 mph.
It made for good memories.
This is looking down on the "Little Colorado River". It created some gorgeous canyons!
We broke up our driving trip - and stayed in Show Low, AZ Thursday night. It's a tourist town. Our hotel receptionist recommended the finest steak house in town.
Let me just say this: all the waiter staff had southern accents (somehow, in AZ), and none of them had a full set of teeth. Maybe it was just that night? I'm nots sure. But I am not exaggerating.
You can't really tell by the picture, but about 40% of the Christmas lights are burnt out. Cute.
I'm going to be honest and say - don't go to this restaraunt if you're in the area. I had the Marlin and Ryan had the Primed Rib. It wasn't anything to write home about.....
Friday morning we were up early and ready to hit the road! We only had a 1 1/2 hour drive, so we were able to kind of "take our time".
We arrived wiht a great welcome to the camp site. It even had our name on the site :-)
We got right to work - and set up the tent. For a 1st time ever assembling the tent - it went quite smooth!
We then split off and did our "usual roles". Ryan created an "onning" with tarp and rope (just in case it rains).
Good thing he had that instinct and thank GOD we set up when we did. For 15 minutes after we got all set up - it was hailing!!!
While Ryan did his set up - I did a quick vacuum job of the tent, set up the air mattress, sleeping bags, etc.
Who says you can't bring a vacuum cleaner on a camping trip?? ;)
As I stated - 15 minutes after this picture was taken.............it started down-pouring out of no-where.
So we huddled up in the tent, pulled out the crosswork puzzles and playing cards, poured ourselves a cocktail - and took advantage of "being stuck with no stresses".
Normally, I'm the type of person that would go crazy being in a confined space like that. But the 2-3 hours flew! We had a great time with lots of good laughs. It's kind of nice to have a few hours where you can say "I can't do anything right now but play cards and spend time with my loved one!"
After the rain stopped - the sun came out.
And Ryan attempted a fire. Which was quite tricky since EVERYTHING was wet.
So we resorted to lighter fluid.
After our fire was going. It was time to get cooking!
I had pre-cut up carrots and onions before the trip. I chopped up some potatoes and threw them in a foil-packet with the veggies and some seasoning.
We threw the packets directly on the fire.
We also browned some ground beef on the cast iron pot (on our grill).
And the outcome was delicious!
After dinner, we took a walk down to the lake to see the sun set.
And the view was breathtaking.
The day of rain created the most incredible views of steam rising from the ground!