White Mountains

In the beginning of July, many low altitude places in Arizona were experiencing uncomfortable, hot temperatures. I had been camping near Payson AZ, a moderate elevation of 5000 feet, that usually remains bearable until the calendar signals the true start of summer. Payson is a good intermediate location between the low desert areas of southern AZ and the high plateau of the rim country of northern AZ. This year seems to be a crazy problem of migration to find comfortable weather. 

I was staying near Payson mainly because it was a convenient commute into the Valley for several doctors appointments. I was in no hurry to travel higher onto the Mogollon Rim because an unusually severe winter had left stubborn drifts of snow and muddy road in the forest.  Even though lower elevations were experiencing 90 degree temperatures, snowpack was still a problem getting into camping places in high forests. 

Eventually, good weather made its way up to the rim country and I drove up into the Sitgraves National Forest and secured a campsite in a campground known as FS171. After a few days, sister Donna joined me in her RV and we kicked around plans for where to go after my stay limit was up. At first, we thought about going over to New Mexico and staying in state parks. We enjoyed a previous summer, hopping from park to park and thought it would be fun to do again. I have been dissatisfied with New Mexico SP system mainly because they turned all the parks into reservation system. That’s not the way I like to travel because I never plan where and when I want to go. It’s way more fun to wander around and make it an adventure. 

We thought about other places, but I didn’t want to travel too far away from Phoenix because of regular doctor appointments coming up. When we looked at the latest long-range weather forecast, there were record breaking high temperatures forecast for all of the southwest. Places as high as Flagstaff were predicting near 100 degree temperatures in the coming weeks. I got an idea that we should go up into the White Mountains near Big Lake to beat the heat, and Donna agreed. 

In the next few days I researched places to stay in the White Mountains. I found a dispersed camping area near a place called Carnero Lake, that was only 100 miles from the campground where we were staying, was situated above 9000 feet, and because I had not been there since I was a kid, would be an adventurous place to explore.  Never in my travels over the last several years had I considered the White mountains, mainly because there is no cell signal in many areas of that forest. With Starlink that’s not a problem anymore.  On July 10, 2023, we packed our RVs and headed for the White Mountains. 

2 Responses to “White Mountains”

  1. Donna says:


  2. RV John says:

    Good to know you guys are on the road again, I sure wish I was out there with you.

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