After my night on the top of a mesa on Service Road 80, I decided to drive a bit further to see where the road led, since there was basically no traffic on it.
It wound through a nice little canyon
with saguaro cactus all around.
And ended abruptly at a secure gate with serious warnings!
(Click on the photo and you may be able to read the message)
Past the gate, the road wound steeply into an apparently bottomless canyon! And with the road went not one, but two large power lines.
I figured either a secret rocket launch site - or maybe a hydro dam!
I hiked up the ridge for a better look down into the restricted area.
The road disappeared out of sight. I checked it later on Google Earth and found that the road actually leads down to Horse Mesa Dam.
From there is was down down down the Fish Lake hill on the Apache Trail.
Lots of areas are one-lane, and meeting vehicles have to figure out how to pass.
Not too bad, unless both are big vehicles or towing trailers (which is not recommended).
Some places you have to watch the overhead rock as well.
All the bridges are one lane.
Till you are finally down in the Cottonwood trees in the valley bottom.
Climbing again, Apache lake enters the picture, at about 'camping' time.
The road had no traffic after dark, so a roadside, view camp was in order.
Next day, was Burnt Corral recreation area, courtesy of Tonto National Forest.
A beautiful lake-front campground was immaculately groomed and cared for (all the Tonto campgrounds were) with about 70 sites. Water was available, as were flush toilets, all for (hold your hats) SIX dollars a day!
I took a photograph of every camper in the campground - excluding the host.
Here is the only camper, no doubt enjoying the peace and quiet.
You need a Tonto Recreation Pass, which is like a 'scratch and win' ticket that you can purchase at stores and park facilities in the area, then validate it yourself when you arrive!
I didn't have one, so i didn't stay long! And I didn't move a muscle.
Speaking of spelling; there must be confusion on the name of this rec site. Check out the different spelling on the top and bottom of this sign board!
You can only stay for 14 days, because you would likely be broke anyway at $6.00 each and every day!
On to Roosevelt Lake ...