For the last few weeks I have been wandering around northern Arizona and camping with friends near Flagstaff. The friends I have been camping with are basically all ladies. Some of them became friends at the women’s RTR and some of them met when they joined one of the caravans that formed after the RTR. It works out well to travel in a group. It allows you to have companionship, learn from each other about this lifestyle, and feel a certain amount of safety. The group is always in a state of flux with people joining and then drifting away to do their own thing. I’m not sure how I became part of their tribe but you can imagine the teasing I get from my siblings being the only male in a group of females. I can assure you that we are all just friends and enjoy each other’s company.
Two weeks ago I moved over to Winslow to camp at McHood City park and do a little kayaking. I spent a week there and went kayaking several times. McHood Park is basically a parking lot campground with only a few small trees. There is however dumpsters for trash and flush toilets. The main draw is the Clear Creek that cuts a beautiful gorge across the landscape and creates a fun place to kayak for three miles. The river is dammed below the campground so the water is still and peaceful.
After a week at McHood Park I heard from a couple of the group that they would like me to show them where I camp in Payson. Payson makes a good location to transition from the cool summer altitude in Northern Arizona to the warm winter climate in Southern Arizona.
There are a lot of people that like to camp near Sedona this time of year. Several places near Sedona and Cottonwood that we used to enjoy for dispersed camping are being closed down. It only takes a few people that leave piles of trash and set up homesteads in the camping areas that spoil it for the rest of us. With so many people trying to squeeze into the remaining spots, we figured that exploring another place would be worth a try.
There are two places near Payson where I like to camp. Neither of them are large enough to hold the whole group that plans to come, so I explored a forest road northeast of town and found two campsites next to each other. The area is not as pretty as the tall pines around Flagstaff and some of the sites have trash left in them, but with slightly warmer temperatures, it should work for a few days.
Pictures to come when I get a better connection.