Camping in the Forest: Wild and exciting
Coconino National Forest Travel Blog› entry 35 of 71 › view all entries
It has been a few years since I went camping: camping is one of the activities I enjoy beside hiking, mountain climbing, travel, dancing, photography to mention but a few. Of recent years, I have let life take a hold of me and some of the very things that uplift my spirit I let fade away. My friend and I had talked about hot springs a while and I had mentioned my trip to Banff coming month. Curt and I hash, hike, camp, travel and enjoy many more activities than many friends I have, so he suggested we go camp and hike the Coconino National Forest while promising a magical time at the hot springs. I did not know what to expect bu tin my mind, I could only relate to the hot springs in Lake Bogoria (Kenya) where I went many years ago.
We left Gilbert later than we had planned because I arrived late: Curt had intended to have us on the road by 9:30 a.m. but we did not hit the road until a little aftter 11:00 a.m. The freeways and interstatres were a little busier than usual (I guess the summer ahead and the bad economy had limited people's vacations to more basic things like camping?), besides the construction there were no traffic delays and we rode on smoothly to Capm Verde.
It was a little after one in the afternoon when we began the off road journey down to Coconino National Forest and the Verde River hot springs: a 26 mile trip took us a littl over an hour and a half because of the road. The road is a safari of it's own but the landscape is breathtaking indeed. The dirt road was busy with many families who had packed their cars and were heading to their favorite camp site down the forest while others wer eheaded for the trek and hiking trails deep within the forest.
The Forest is as beautiful as it is breathtaking, the view from above as one decends downward towards the river is amazing. I noticed huge power lines originating from the bottom of the forest - originally a power station that was turned off a little over four years ago as a result of complaints from the environmentalists.
The forest offers many activities including camping (one of the most popular), hiking, trekking, trailling on horse back or bicycle (I only saw one guy - I thought it was daring because it was very hot), the campers go picnicing and fishing along the Verde river and when the mountain tops cap with snow, there is skiing as well.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain.