Wednesday, January 13, 2010

One of the more friendly signs along the San Pedro road near San Manuel!

The road up to my camp spot on the Copper Ck road was up a wash for a ways - as most roads are around here.

It is a hazardous areas for wildlife, and anything else that is not careful. I thought these thorns would fall off as soon as I began to drive, but I put on quite a few miles on a boulder-strewn trail, and at least 60-80 miles at highway speed and most of the clump was still in place. No flats (yet!)
One of the more impressive saguaro cactus along Copper Creek. Apparently, they don't start to grow 'arms' till they are about 70 years old, so you can imagine how old this one must be?
Up the highway into Winkleman, AZ. I decided on a slightly longer route back towards Globe, via Superior. It was well worthwhile.
It is a very scenic route, however there are vast areas of open-pit copper (?) mines along the route.
Either pits of tailings piles are just huge.
The town of Superior, where I turned back towards Miami and Globe.
The highway goes up an incredibly scenic canyon.
So my camera was kept busy, but not many places to pull off to the side.

What can I say!

Finally, the road climbs out of the canyon, and there was Oak Flat Campground (Tonto National Forest). I pulled off to check it out. It appeared to be a free campsite, with pit toilets and a 'pack in - pack out' policy. But some of the occupants seemed like long term residents, and some rigs looked abandoned. Instead I followed the road a bit further out back and found a nice ridge-top spot with a view - that included at least one mine.

The spot proved to be quiet and filled the bill well for a one night stop. Quite unlike recent camp spots I have been in, this one had very few if any cactus and thorn bushes. Perhaps it was a higher elevation that caused the difference? And also unlike some of my recent camps, the overnight temperatures stayed well above freezing, and of course my new heater kept everything very cozy.

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