Jon, Pat, and Strider Drive to Show Low Arizona

(Posted 5/29/2003) - Pat, Strider, and I decided we needed some adventure in our lives, so we packed up my mom's Ford Focus and lit out for a little cabin in the White Mountains of Arizona on May 21st.

Why, you ask, did we take my mom's car? Well it only had 5600 miles on it even though she bought it 18 months ago and it needed a good drive! Actually, our choice had more to do with the fact that the Focus has air-conditioning, cruise-control, 3-way adjustable seats, and a nifty moon-roof (none of which our Escort has). My mom graciously offered her car up for the trip.

Since we booked the cabin for 5-nights, and it is a 23 hour trip each way including stops for gas and meals, we figured to drive straight through in four hour shifts. The Focus also has an extra 20-horsepower over our Escort for easier cruising (we averaged over 70MPH by driving at 75 most of the way, 'cause that's the interstate speed limit through New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona).

We drove 1460 miles (on I 70, 44, and 40) to the cabin in PineTop Arizona, which was at an altitude of about 6500 feet. It was a great place to stay; we built fires in the evening and early mornings and enjoyed sitting on the couch with our feet up listening to the pines sighing in the wind (or to the rumble of thunder as it rolled down the mountains).

We were out and about every day. We visited the Petrified Forest National Park, and followed a 22-mile serpentine road through the Painted Desert. There were lots of places to pull off and sight-see. Here are pictures of Pat overlooking the Painted-Desert, and myself by a petrified tree stump.

We both enjoyed strolling among the petrified tree trunks (where it's a federal offense to even pick up a shard of quartz from among the thousands of pieces on the ground). When we left the park we were asked if we'd done any 'collecting.'

I find it interesting that the park stores sell petrified wood. We came away with a couple of chunks of petrified wood which are over 100-million years old! The quartz-like beauty of these old tree trunks can be seen in this close up I snapped while we walked about.

We also spent a lot of time walking around the 100+ acre Show Low Lake. We saw lots of hawks, elk, a gray fox, and a few fishermen as we walked the 4+ miles of surrounding trails.

The pines and mesquite surrounding the lake made following the meandering and rocky path very scenic and private. Stridey loved the water, venturing out for a splash and swim about every 15 minutes.

We even packed a lunch and ate while seated on fallen logs at the edge of the lake one afternoon, while our dog tried to scare all the fish away by diving into the lake after the tennis ball that we had thoughtfully brought along for his entertainment.