Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Running the Trails in Black Canyon,AZ

Our planning for February this year included the FMCA 4wheelers rally in Black Canyon City, AZ. There was a little hesitation, not knowing exactly what the weather might be in the foothills of the Bradshaw Mountains north of Phoenix. But the trails were calling. And as it turned out the week began with formidable storms and progressed to fantastic sunshine. We joined the group of 70 motorhomes, assembled in the parking lot behind the Rock Springs Café on the third day of the rally, just in time for the improving weather.

There was no lack of challenges and beautiful scenes provided by Mother Nature for this gathering. On our first trail, Peck Canyon, our group entered Prescott National Forest, climbing into the crisp white beauty of the snow in the pines.

At about 5000 feet we soaked in the impressive array of plateaus and snow-tipped mountains to the west and a voluminous Lake Pleasant to the south.

Later in the week we decided it would be fun to join the group making an exploratory run on Shamrock trail. Early on we encountered a high stream that flooded one of our trail participants. With some help from good wheelin friends he was pulled out and made it over successfully. These tested trail runners weren't about to give up. They walked through the water to find a good route across the swiftly flowing stream and we all continued on the day-long adventure.
This 4wheel rally gave us a slightly different view on our hobby since we had mostly been keeping to the dry desert runs. The trails began with saguaro cactus and mesquite bushes at low elevations and progressed to the agaves and pine trees at the top. Along the way there was a fair share of old mining towns and current day gold panners. We explored hills, valleys, creeks, maneuvered boulders and steep hills. The views were super and we even had some fun in the mud.

Also on the Shamrock trail we were lucky enough to view this fascinating crested Saguaro cactus. They are very rare - something like 1 in 65,000. It takes 75-100 years for an arm to grow on a Saguaro, so how old do you think this one might be?

We all know, people are a key ingredient in any of our experiences. This group of folks definitely add the seasonings that complete the recipe for a good time. There were lots of laughs and good reminiscing as we explored the countryside as well as back at camp at the trail's end. Take a look at our trail leaders Sherm and Jean as they relax at lunch in their fine millinery. After their super leadership for the day we renamed the trail "The Sherminator."
It was good to be with those who have shared 4wheeling times over the past year or so. Among them are good friends Rick and Jane. Here's Jerry and Rick sharing a few thoughts on the day's run next to a nice babbling stream.
So then we move on down the road and store another week of good times in the memories vault until we have another opportunity to add to the treasure chest.


  1. Great photos, guys! But Jack and I will enjoy those 4+ adventures vicariously - and stick to the sissy 3 trails.

    We enjoyed seeing you again. Meet ya later down the road!

  2. how deep was that water? miss you too the pictures aregreat


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