Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Long Drive

It was vacation week for us.  We had been planning it for months.  We were going to escape the heat in Phoenix and head to the cool pines in Payson.  We had our camp site reserved, we spent all Monday cleaning out the van and packing it up.  Tuesday we headed out with a very ominous forecast.  Its about a 90 minute drive to the camp ground so I figured it wouldn't be long before we knew whether or not we could camp.

We arrived in Payson at lunch time.  So we stopped at the park for a picnic.  The weather was still fine.  We did get sprinkled on a little the way up but nothing to worry us.  We ate quickly because we wanted to see the Tonto Natural Bridge.  I guess I should have checked that website before we left.  As you can clearly see, it is closed on Tuesdays.  By the time we turned around from there to head to the campground it started sprinkling again. 

There was one thing I wanted on this trip, I wanted to see wild life.  There was all these Watch out for Deer signs, and I wanted to see one.   On our way to the campsite the Dh pointed one out for me.  It was dead.  Hit by a car.  So I guess I had to be really specific with my requests, "God I want to see a LIVE deer."  Thanks. 

We arrived at our campsite at about 2pm.  It was sprinkling a little, but barely noticeable.  We walked around trying to determine where to put our tent.  We wanted to make sure it was well trenched.  As we walked the rain got harder and harder.  Eventually we had to seek refuge in our van.  What started out as a sprinkle quickly turned into a down pour.  Our campsite became a river.  This picture was taken 10 minutes into the rain.

We decided to come back later, maybe the rain would stop.  We drove to the rangers station, and by the time we got there it was thundering and lightening so much my 6 yr old described it as the sky exploding.  We hung out at the ranger station for a while, tried to look out over the rim.  All you could see was fog so thick you could scoop it up with your hand.

Ok, we decided to drive further.  We headed to the lake.  Just as we pulled up a bolt of lightening struck the other side of the lake.  There was a mass exodus of swimmers running out and to their cars.  We drove right on through and didn't even bother trying to get out.  It was like the storm was following us.  From there we decided to go even further, maybe the fish hatchery was ok. 

The fish hatchery is really far back in the mountain, its a beautiful scenic drive.  The van was pretty quiet as everyone watched out the window.  I am sure my screaming, "A DEER!  A DEER!  I saw a LIVE DEER!"  gave everyone a heart attack.  The Dh slammed on his breaks, sure that a deer was about to come crashing through the window the way I was screaming.  I explained that it was ok, it was back there in the woods, just staring at me.  So my 12 yr old says, "Yea it was probably thinking, 'A HUMAN! A HUMAN!  Its a LIVE HUMAN!'"

We finally get to the fish hatchery only to see a sign that says they close at 3:30.  The time?  3:35.  This day was not turning out well at all.  We headed back into town, the storm followed us all the way there.  We were gonna stop at the park again only to have lightening streak down in front of us.  By the time we had to stop to use the restroom the entire sky was black, lightening was all around us.  We knew there was no way we were gonna go camping.  We headed back to phoenix. 

Wouldn't you know it, but that storm followed us all the way back to Phoenix.  But I got some great shots of the mountains, the lighting was perfect.

Our camping trip was ruined but our vacation was not.  I even told the dh on the way home, not to worry, that when our plans don't go the way we want often times what does happen is better than what we could have planned.  In total that day we were in the van for 10 hours.  Our children were Angels.  No one complained.  I couldn't have been more proud.  They even cracked jokes and made the best of the situation.  And hey, I got to see my deer. 

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh! That sounds like quite the trip - I can totally feel the frustration but that's going to be SO FUNNY one day (if not already, LOL). I'm glad you got to see your LIVE deer and it sounds like the fam shared a truly unforgettable experience. I literally laughed out loud at your story!