Yesterday we took a ride to see if we could get some views of Sycamore Canyon from the east side.
We drove the twenty-five miles to the outskirts of Flagstaff.
Along the way Patti got some pictures of the fresh snow on the mountains just north of Flagstaff.
She also got some shots of the rain and hail falling from the cloudy sky.
When we got to Flagstaff we stopped to fuel up.
From there we headed south on Woody Mountain Road
(fr 231). At the beginning the road is paved for about a mile then it becomes a wide and somewhat washboardy gravel road.
As we drove down the road we encountered heavy rain and some hail but it only lasted for a couple of miles.
The hail was kind of soft, it was almost like hard snow or “Snail”. You can see some of it in the above picture.
We followed this road for about ten miles when we came to an intersection with fr 538 and turned west onto this road.
We continued on 538 for most of the rest of day.
One thing we have noticed in all the running around that we have done in this area is, how park like the woods are here.
It looks like the forest has been cleared of most of the under growth and lots of trees have been selectively removed. It really is a pleasure to drive through these forests.
We took a road “538A” that looped to the east and back to 538 after a couple of miles.
It was on this loop that we encountered most of the wildlife that Patti photographed on the trip.
We saw single deer,
And deer in large groups.
Patti also got a few pictures of Kaibab Squirrels.
This is the best one. Check out the ears on that sucker.
There were more deer and squirrels on this ride than we have seen so far.
While we were on this loop we came to a large “Blow Down” area. It looked like a tornado had come through this spot and left a swath about a hundred yards wide and we couldn’t tell how long it was.
It up rooted some trees and broke off others about 15 feet above the ground.
Mother natures clear cut?
Some spots on this road were a little rough but eventually we rejoined 538 and continued our search for a view of Sycamore Canyon.
After a while we found ourselves driving along a ridge top and could see empty space not far to our right. We turned off the road and drove a short distance toward the edge of the canyon and were finally rewarded with a nice view.
We decided to have lunch here.
After lunch we continued south on 538 in hopes that we would find another view point. About a mile down the road we came to the end, at the wilderness boundary.
We walked a little ways into the wilderness and found a view point.
This is what Patti was pointing at.
After taking a couple of pictures we headed back north on 538.
A short ways down the road we stopped to check out this neat little cabin.
Although it looks like a nice cabin
I don’t think I would want to spend much time in there.
There was a sign on the front of the cabin warning about the presence of Hanta Virus.
We left the cabin and continued down the road.
We took a branch road 538K to the west in hopes that we would get another view but were disappointed. The road ended in the middle of the forest. We did however, see our first Sycamore Tree.
We were beginning to wonder how the canyon got its name.
We drove back to 538 and continued north until we came to 538A again.
Earlier when we had turned onto this road, after about a mile down the road we came to an intersection with 231A that went to the north. At that time
instead of following it to the north we turned south on 538A and continued around the afore mentioned loop.
This time we turned onto 231A and followed it north.
At one spot we came across a large amount of hail on the ground.
At another spot we came to a smaller blow down area.
Eventually after some rough traveling we came to road 231 the main dirt road through this area.
“Ah-ha” I thought we should have easy going for the rest of the trip.
Boy was I wrong. This road was the worst washboard road that I have been on since I was in Mexico almost 30 years ago. After about 15 miles of this torture we finally got to where 538 joins 231 and the road improved a little.
We made it back to I-40 without the jeep rattling to pieces and headed for home.
Patti got some more pictures of the clouds and weather.
It was a good ride despite the washboard road.
Today I have to dump the black tank in the RV.
Then I have to tighten up the exhaust pipe that got rattled loose yesterday and top off the transfer case in the jeep.
Patti is going into town and check out all the tourist shops. She is also going to go to Safeway to get some stuff for tonight's dinner. Therefore you already know what we are doing today so I won’t have to do a blog tomorrow.
Tomorrow is Patti’s birthday so we are going to Sedona for the day.