Arizona is Burning

Northern Arizona has been hot and dry this year. Even up in the mountains the temps have been over 90° for many days in June. With all the high temperatures and low humidity, it has been ripe for forest fires. 

It is monsoon season but very little rain has materialized out of the storms that pass through. What is a sad fact is that the storms wield dry lightning that has set many blazes in the Coconino, Kaibab, Tonto, and Prescott National Forests. Every day as we camped near Flagstaff, new fires were reported in the forest. Two days ago after a generous round of new fires in the area, we received notice that they were closing all the forest in two days. None of the fires have been caused by careless campers but they want to get us out of the way anyway. 

Rafael Fire

As we all stood around and pondered what we could do, no one had any brilliant ideas. North in Arizona is the only place cool enough to survive in a camper. I had some options to go stay with family and store my motorhome or rent a spot in an RV park to run my AC night and day. After weighing all the options, I decided to head north to Colorado or check out New Mexico State Parks to see if any of the higher parks were open. 

With a little investigating online I found out the New Mexico State had opened their parks to limited first come sites. They also were selling the camping pass that lets you into any park. This morning I loaded up and headed 200 miles to Bluewater Lake State Park. 

There was a lot of construction on Interstate 40 and lots of semi trucks on the road. I only drive about 62 mph so I am passed consistently by big rigs that knock me over with their wake. I was out early so missed much of the high wind, but near Window Rock, AZ there were some gusts that I didn’t care for. I arrived at Bluewater shortly after noon and looked for someone to give me information on camping. 

I flagged down a worker and inquired about camping. Yes… I could indeed camp in one loop where they put the low-life people that don’t want to use their reservation system. I always hate using reservations. For one thing, I never know when I want to go someplace or how long I want to stay. And along with the reservation, Reserve America wants a cut so you end up paying another $12 to them for making the arrangements!

But I am ranting. I don’t mind being put back in the corner as long as I don’t have to pay extra. Today was up in the 90’s so it would have been nice to have electric, but I ran my generator for a while and now that the sun is low it’s cooler. The weather is calling for lower temperatures and a chance of rain in the next few days.  That would be nice. 

Jeanne is coming tomorrow to camp here. Margaret has been asking questions about here so she may be interested too. I thought maybe a few more forest dwellers would end up here but not so far. There are hundreds of them scattered about the woods and I don’t know where they will all go. 

Donna just texted that the last holdout, Apache-Sitgraves NF, is closing too. 

2 Responses to “Arizona is Burning”

  1. Donna says:

    I’m so glad you found the NM state parks open, and even more so that you found an open spot! I remember 2-3 years ago, Bluewater Lake was full and you waited for someone to pull out before you could pull in. That time it seems like you needed electric, because it was even hotter than 90°. I sure hope it cools off a bit, and maybe some moisture moves this way from the system over Mexico. When I get my Minnie back from the shop, I’ll start looking at dates to join you. I might buy another annual pass too.

    Stay safe!

  2. Daryl says:

    Did you get the New Mexico camping pass?

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