Back to the White Mountains
July 6-9, 2022
We've made a number of trips to the White Mountains, but we were always somewhat put off by the crowds — especially when we stayed in campgrounds.
Over the last three years, we've become better acquainted with the area, and we've learned to venture farther off the beaten path.
We spent a delightful week there in June of this year,
when nearly all New Mexico National Forests were closed for Fire Season. So we were only too happy to oblige when our young friends
Josh and Carole suggested we rendezvous there in early July.
We arranged to meet at one of our new favorite boondockings sites. Lots of room and plenty of shade at a cool 9300'.
We took a sunset walk that evening to the source of the South Fork Little Colorado River, a pretty cienega that collects water from a high, rolling treeless meadow.
On our walk, we came across a very pretty Western Terrestrial Garter Snake.
The summer wildflowers put on quite a show. This is a type of rubberweed — possibly an owls claw.
Rocky Mountain Penstemon.
There's something about these high, huge, open, rolling meadows.
Boogying back to camp (photo by Carole B)
Dennis and Josh testing their marksmanship (photo by Carole B)
The nights were delightfully chilly! A most welcome campfire (photo by Carole B).
The next day we paddled around Big Lake — Dennis and me in the Sevylor, and Josh and Carole on their pack raftsphoto by Carole B).
It was a lovely day, despite ending up with a blowout and a bit of raftpacking for Josh and Caolephoto by Carole B).
For our final adventure, we chose the East Fork Little Colorado Trail from Greer. It began with a stream crossing and then a very steep climb — 800' in less than a mile.
But the ridge was devastated by a recent wildfire, and we turned back after a couple of bleak miles. Here's Dennis executing some fancy mid-stream footwork.
Some iced coffee in Greer, and then it was time to wander home.
We spent the last night of the trip camped in a very green meadow on the edge of the Gila. We loved the cool weather, the water, those see-forever views, and most of all,
the time with our friends.