Man, is it me or has this been a hot and humid summer? Ugh. My folks were sick of the sticky weather and decided last minute to head to the hills. We weren’t sure we’d find cooler temps, but we brought a picnic and would at least have a change of scenery. I was game!
We didn’t drive too far up the 17th north and took the Bumblebee exit, heading west. We have been on this road before as it leads to Crown King. I knew that meant a bumpy ride, so I hunkered down. This road turns to dirt quickly, and we would recommend a high-clearance vehicle, although cars do drive on it. The challenge is when rocks get kicked up or fall down, they can destroy the undercarriage of your vehicle. Adventurers beware!
My dad has a truck with a lift kit; rocks are not a concern. He, however, always comes prepared with tire repair kits. Once you get to Bumblebee, you won’t have any cell service: zip, zero. That means no help if you need it. Granted, other folks are on the road, but you could wait a while. We also bring plenty of water just in case.
When we left Phoenix, it was hot and getting hotter. As we looked over toward Crown King, we saw a dark cloud. We were heading right for it. The forecast did not call for rain, and we pressed on. We saw several dirt buggy types of cars as well as other trucks.
The drive to Crown King is only 1 hour from the turn off. We stopped only for human potty breaks (no restrooms available…just porta-potties, FYI) and kept going. I vaguely remembered a lake and that was where we were headed. I got more excited! Crown King is pretty with all the pine trees, but it doesn’t have much to offer me. My folks love The Mill and have eaten lunch numerous times there, but we had our own food today. We continued on another 30 minutes to Horsethief Lake.
The road right out of town gets pretty rugged. I am not sure a car would make it, but we saw one so apparently it did. Just expect slow going! You’ll pass all the cabins and homes as well as the old fire that took out most of the trees. Then you will turn a corner and be back into the forest. At this point, the black cloud was right over us.
We didn’t complain because it brought the temperature down and offered wonderful shade. We set up our picnic right by the lake and had it to ourselves. Oh boy…fresh, cool water. I had to take a dip! Note: Make sure you don’t swim in lakes with algae as it can make doggies sick.
Within minutes, the storm broke, and we got rained on. Our picnic was inside the truck. Thankfully, it didn’t last long, and back outside we went. Now it was downright chilly at only 63 degrees! Wooowho. How awesome is that? My folks didn’t have the right clothing, but we didn’t mind. Nature’s air conditioning was a welcome change from the oppressive heat down in the valley.
After we finished eating, we hiked around the entire lake. It is probably only a mile, but it sure is pretty. You circle around and then come to the dam. The trail is very narrow going across the dam so be careful. It’s a long drop down! I wasn’t nervous or anything…just looking out for you. Yeah, that’s it.
Some other humans showed up, and that was our cue to head out. Besides, the black cloud was bigger. We heard the thunder now and saw some lightening in the distance. We packed up to drive back through Crown King, the most direct route home. You do have some other options that bring you out through Prescott or Mayer, which my folks have done before but it takes longer. Check your maps.
The closer to Crown King we got, the bigger the raindrops got. Then the heavens opened up, and it just poured. I mean water was flowing down the rocks into the road. At one point, we couldn’t see the road anymore because it became a river. We hoped we wouldn’t encounter any washed-out roads and pressed on.
Some vehicles were coming from Phoenix, so we assumed the roads were open…just extremely wet! It was kinda cool driving in the storm. I swear, the desert was greener going home than it was on the way up. Desert rain is amazing that way and clears the air out. Just love it!
As we came back to Bumble Bee, the rain stopped. We could see the big storm system behind us now. In front of us was nothing but blue sky. As we reached I-17, it was back to 106 and sunny. I guess the weather people were partly right. It’s a reminder that we always need to be prepared because Mother Nature may surprise us.
Hi! I am Kumaito (Kuma for short), a multi-tan Shiba Inu. My breed is one of the oldest and purest from Japan. I personally was born in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, moved to Friendswood, Texas, and now call Phoenix, Arizona home. I enjoy running or hiking almost every day with my mom, chasing rabbits out of my neighborhood, playing with toys, pestering my brother Edmond, eating, napping … well, I love just about everything and everyone!
My mom, Lorraine Bossé-Smith (Founder of the FIT Leader Formula™) is kind enough to help me share my Great Adventures, big and small. My mom is a motivational speaker, corporate trainer, business consultant, executive coach, behavioral-wellness expert, and author of eight published books. More importantly, she’s the best doggy mom ever!
Enjoy my blog at https://www.lorrainebosse-smith.com/category/kuma/ and be sure to follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Kumathedog?ref=hl
Get outside! You never know what you’ll discover, and our paths just might cross. Happy tails!