I couldn’t believe my eyes the other day. My folks had the camper out. I mean, it is February after all, and that means winter for lots of folks. Not here in Arizona apparently, and I was totally game for an adventure of the camping kind! Woof.
We drove to South Phoenix on the 101 freeway and connected to the 202 toward Apache Junction. I thought we might be going to the Superstition Mountains again to look for that lost treasure, but we kept on going, hooking up with the 88, also known as the Apache Trail. I’ve heard my dad mention Apache Indians, so I was on alert!
We didn’t see any Apache, but we did have to cross one-lane bridges twice. Humans have to take turns crossing Canyon Lake, which is a very long body of water where boats were out enjoying the great weather. We didn’t tow our boat this time, but we might be back another day for that. Today, we were on a mission to end up at Tortilla Flats, population 6.
After Canyon Lake, the paved road ended and turned to dirt. It is well maintained, and all sorts of vehicles, including motorcycles, were traveling on it. Crews were out working on the road, so I bet the dirt section will be paved before long. Expect some delays as lots of people visit Tortilla Flats on the weekend.
Tortilla Flats is an authentic old-time western town located in the Tonto National Forest. It has a restaurant, ice-cream shop, and gift store along with a small museum. The town folk are very friendly…all six of them! They are open all year round, so stop by and sit for a spell.
We took a left there at town toward the Tortilla Flat campground and found a dandy of a site with great views of the Tonto National Forest. Apparently, this campground is pretty new, so it wasn’t full. I’m sure as people discover this gem, it will get busier. They close for the summer because of the heat, and it is a first come, first serve. We had to drive back to town to buy our Tonto National Park pass, which is $8. That’s it, though. No other fees, and the $8 includes all hook ups for campers as well as dumping. To be honest, I’m not sure what all that means, but it made my daddy happy, so I was good with it.
We set up camp, and by “we,” I mean my humans. I scope out the area and sniff all the fabulous scents of the wild outdoors! We were surround by mountains and cactus. The cliffs were green, but it wasn’t grass or trees. It was lichen, my mom said. Interesting. On to the next thing…
Since the drive was only two hours, we had the rest of the day to explore, so back in the car we went. We continued on the Apache Trail past Tortilla Flats. The road is dirt and rougher, so some cars may not want to embark on the journey. We wound our way down into the canyon and enjoyed a nice hike out to several over looks. We could see a bit of Canyon Lake way down below. The clouds started rolling in, so we turned around near the Apache caves—big holes in the rocks where Indians once hid. If we kept going, we would have arrived at the Apache Resort and Lake, and past it is another lake called Roosevelt. Driving on rough dirt roads go slow, so allow plenty of time should you venture out. We were surprised at how many people were there, so that slowed things down. Many places only have room enough for one vehicle, and the drop offs are steep. Eeeeee. Don’t look down!
We made it back in time to cook dinner before dark. The sky got dark fast, and we admired all the stars. What a day! I was definitely ready to snooze. In the middle of the night, the winds kicked up something fierce. I wasn’t scared or anything, but I figured my mom might need my body heat to stay warm, so I jumped up on the human bed to sleep. I’m such a thought dog!
One of my favorite things about camping is breakfast! My dad cooks up bacon, and I just love bacon! The wind settled down mostly, and we had a leisure morning before heading back to Phoenix. The drive seemed to go quickly, and we were home sitting by our pool in no time. Gotta love Arizona where you can camp in February and enjoy your pool all in one day.
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!