The year 2022 is here! What did you do to ring it in? Me and my folks headed up north to snow shoe. Mowgli, who has been with us a full month now, stayed at home. He seems to like water as he will join mom or dad in the shower (weird, I know), but I’m not sure he would be keen on snow. We were super excited that Flagstaff got a bunch of the white stuff, so off we went on I-17 north.
We left really early in hopes of beating the crowds but that is getting harder to do. We have had way too many people move here! Traffic was light until Munds Park where it was slick. A car was going too fast and spun out into the ditch – upside down! Seemed like everyone was okay, but it sure slowed us down.
We were going to visit the Wildlife Viewing area again, but we were already past three hours of driving, so we opted for Plan B. We found a parking area off North #180 or N Fort Valley Road just past the Snowbowl area. Just keep an eye out on the right for plowed snow that gives you access into the forest.
Most of the roads we would normally take were block by mounds of snow from the plows. Remember, it is against the law to park on the side of the road on #180. Unfortunately, nearly a hundred people didn’t abide by that, and they were making matters worse for everyone. We saw very young children right there on the road. How dangerous!!
The parking lot was small and designed for maybe eight cars at the most. No human restrooms here – only trees and bushes – but it’s free. No passes required. I was eager to get going, but mom and dad needed to get all their gear on. Poor humans have to put special snow shoes on and extra clothing. I have a most excellent fur coat and paws that do just fine in the snow.
The temperature was 17 degrees, but it was sunny. We were grateful that it wasn’t windy because changes everything. Some people were already there making snow men right by the parking lot. We hoofed it into the wilderness in FEET of snow! Yes, it had dumped. It was awesome.
The elevation is about 8,000 feet, so I felt it sooner than later. I allowed daddy to break trail and lead the way. It is easier to walk in his snow prints that dive into that deep snow. I tell you what – it’s a workout! Mom was feeling her legs, too.
We continued on up a hill and deeper into the trees. The sun was glistening off the snow on the trees making it a winter wonderland. We were far enough away from the road to only hear nature. We then found an open meadow where daddy dup up a little bench and cave for us to have lunch.
Once I stopped, I got chilly. I’m just not as used to cold weather now that I am a desert dog. Mom gave me her down jacket liner to keep me warm. She got to drink hot tea, so that warmed her up. The sun beamed on us and actually made it feel tolerable. We ate a yummy lunch and then packed it up to head out.
We did a loop and eventually made our way back to the parking lot. Instead of eight cars there were 30 or 40! People kept piling in, blocking everyone else in. Who does that?? Mom and dad got out of there gear, and I got in the truck with the heat on. Dad was really frustrated because people wouldn’t move, and no one spoke any English. They didn’t seem to care that no one could get out of the parking lot, so dad got his rope. He attached it to one guy’s truck and pulled him out of the way. Ha! He was shocked and tried to put his breaks on, but he was on ice.
Once dad got the obstacle out of the way, 30 more cars were trying to turn into that tiny, little parking lot. They blocked the exit, but dad told them to move. They finally did, and we got out of there. Eeesh. Chaos!
Loads of people were out now, and every single gas station and/or mart had 15 to 20 people deep in the restroom lines. Poor mom. She had to go but ended up waiting until the rest area near Sedona off I-17. One gas station wouldn’t open their restrooms for customers. Unreal.
We were glad to get out of the area and headed home. This is one of the reasons we sold my camper. It is getting difficult to find places to enjoy nature without hoards of people ruining it. We have no problem with people who respect nature, but unfortunately, most of these people have no clue. They are destroying it for the rest of us.
Mowgli greeted us when we returned. I got a long drink of water then took a nap! Even though I slept on the way home, I was tuckered out. What a great way to start the New Year! It’s our tradition, but we may need to find new places to go as our population continues to soar.
I got a Go Pro for Christmas and posted our first video on my Facebook page. Keep an eye out for the Kuma Channel on You Tube where I will supplement my adventure blog with some live footage. Happy 2022!
My mom, Lorraine Bossé-Smith, is kind enough to help me share my Great Adventures, big and small. My mom is a motivational speaker, corporate trainer, executive recruiter, business consultant, coach, fitness expert, and author of nine published books. More importantly, she’s the best doggy mom ever!
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Get outside! You never know what you’ll discover, and our paths just might cross. Happy tails!