June 2019 – Arizona is one of America’s most beautiful and varied states, but lots of people think of it as a place that has only cactus and dry desert landscapes. The surprising thing is that Arizona is home to several radically different types of ecosystems that vary by altitude, and lately we’ve been enjoying some wonderful forest camping in the pines at a cool 7,500′ elevation.
Deep in the ponderosa pine woods of Coconino National Forest we’ve been getting out on small two track trails to see what we can find.
While most of the scenery is just woodsy landscapes filled with pine trees, one day we came across a small stream.
It was early morning, and as we followed the streambed we saw some fantastic mirror-like reflections in the almost-still water. In an instant we parked the RZR and began exploring on foot.
After a nice stream-side stroll, we got back in the RZR to explore some more trails and then got out on foot again to hike in the woods and soak in the peace and solitude.
All of a sudden, we saw a wooden cross near a tree. As we came closer we noticed a big pile of stones in front of it.
Was someone buried out here?
The wooden cross was well constructed. When we bent down to get a better look at it, we noticed it had a dog collar wrapped tightly around it. We could see the word “Good” hand-written in pen on the visible part of the collar. Maybe it said “Good Dog” on it?
Carved into the varnished wood was the name, “Mause” (perhaps an “r” was under the collar?). The words “Bird dog” and “Companion” had been carved on it too. On either side of the cross were the dates 11/04 and 04/18. He’d lived to be about 13 1/2 years old.
You could tell just how much this dog was loved by the care with which his owner had buried him. There were flowers placed under the cross. We wondered why this particular spot had been chosen and if it had a special meaning to the owner or the dog, or both.
We left the dog to rest in peace but returned to the little stream a few more times during our stay in the woods. Buddy just loved it there, and he’d run in crazy circles between the two of us to let us know just how great he thought this place was.
Perhaps that bird dog had loved the spot near the tree in the woods just as much as Buddy loved this little stream.
These were lazy, happy days for the three of us, and Mark and I both took endless photos of our playful puppy as he posed and pranced along the stream.
We planned for this year to be our test-run with the new RZR to see if it was fun enough to bring along in our future travels. Even though the triple towing is a bit of a hassle (but, really, would maneuvering a 44′ to 47′ toy hauler be any easier?) we’re finding that our little 4×4 buggy is taking us places we would never get to otherwise.
Other years we have traveled through five states by June. But covering shorter distances and staying for longer in each place has given us wonderful rewards this year.
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More info about this area:
Other blog posts from Arizona’s higher elevations:
- Stunning Grand Canyon with a Private View at Timp Point 07/19/19
- Point Sublime – A Wild Ride to a Stunning Overlook in Grand Canyon! 07/12/19
- Saddle Mountain Overlook – A Different View of the Grand Canyon! 06/28/19
- Grand Canyon’s North Rim – Breathtaking Bright Angel Point! 06/21/19
- Grand Canyon – A Winter Wonderland with Snow! 01/18/19
- Grand Canyon’s North Rim – Magnificent & Intimate by Day or Night! 12/06/16
- What is happening to our Public Lands? 10/02/14
- Petrified Forest NP and Mogollon Rim – Cool pines & hot rocks in AZ! 05/29/12
- Parowan UT, Las Vegas NV, Williams & Sycamore Canyon AZ – Wow! 08/28/11
- Wupatki Nat’l Monument – Ancient Indian Ruins & Great Camping in AZ! 08/25/11
- Grand Canyon’s North Rim – Its Better Half! 07/31/08
- Sunset Crater, AZ – Looks Like it Exploded Yesterday! 06/15/08
Our most recent posts:
- Capitol Reef NP – Cathedral Valley – A Stunning Backcountry Drive in Utah! 09/20/19
- Fish Lake Utah – Fun Things To Do in the Lakes and Mountains 09/13/19
- Fish Lake Utah – Alpine Beauty & Brilliant Stars in Dark Skies! 09/06/19
- Red Canyon – Arches Trail – Windows & Hoodoos in Utah! 08/30/19
- Casto Canyon Trail – A Delightful ATV / UTV Ride! 08/23/19
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