Trees – the smell of pine

Wow, I am traveling again. I had been “home bound” for most of the week. I caught some kind of a bug in Tucson and stayed in bed for almost two days. Fortunately, I stayed at the house (backyard) of a friend of a friend of mine in Dragoon, ten points if you find it on the map. My good fortune didn’t end there. The friend was a retired WW II Navy nurse. So I had someone to look at my leg (it is slowly healing, but still oozing in some spots) and make sure that I had enough Echinacea tea to get me well. It was just nice not to be sick and alone. Never mind the great stories I got to listen to. Eva had traveled this country quite extensively, on her own!, by car and later in a Chinook, the precursor of the truck camper. Thank you Eva for taking care of me and for sharing your stories.

Historic Clifton, AZ

As you by now know, I don’t like to travel via the interstates. Sometimes they are hard to avoid and you just have to take a detour to get away from them. That’s exactly what I did. Instead of continuing east on I-10 into New Mexico, I headed north on hwy 191 toward Clifton, AZ.

Historic Clifton, AZ

The desert is a funny place, it never looks the same. On the drive east of Tucson it looked dull, no real colors, but once I hit 191 colors returned. Not the greens of Nevada, but the yellows / gold of California. Yellow grasses and yucca plants dominated the scenery, beautiful in its own way. I spent the night in Clifton, an old mining town of yesteryears. There is still some mining going on, but seemingly in a different capacity.
I had a pretty late start today and I knew I had a long drive through the mountains ahead of me. One hundred twenty miles don’t sound like much, but up mountains, plus a couple of photo stops, it took me five hours. It was so worth it. I took hwy 78 east, a narrow, winding one lane road through the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. I hadn’t seen trees in almost four months, except for the occasional palm tree or Joshua trees; the smell of pine was just wonderful. I love the unobstructed views you get out West, but there is something to be said for camping in the middle of the woods. Hopefully, the trees are tall enough to keep away the lights of any nearby city.
Once I left the mountains and forest behind I was greeted by endlessly rolling hills covered by yellow grasses and sprinkled with juniper trees, I just couldn’t stop starring, so beautiful. Sorry, but I can go gaga over the beauty and diversity of nature.

Rolling hills - Mule Creek

I didn’t get to Truth or Concequences as I had hoped, but I knew I shouldn’t push it. To my luck, only about thirty miles east of Silver City in the Gila (Hee-lah) Forest there was a sign for a campground right there in the woods. I found myself a nice spot and settled in. Hoping for a starry night, the moon is

Gila Nat'l Forest

almost full. I am going to treat myself tonight to a nice dinner, linguine with shrimp (frozen 🙁 ) in a tomato/zucchini sauce made from scratch, yummy. Who says camping has to be all about hot dogs? Actually, what I am doing should really not be considered camping.

Well, the night was very nice and quiet. I didn’t see many stars, but I could have read a book outside since the moon was so bright. Illuminated my site like a safety light.