Steak, mountains and big critters!!

My first night of camping definitely didn’t result in much sleep.  It always seems to be that way for me when I’m camping alone, I always hear way too many noises that keep me awake!!

As I was walking to the bathroom, Francis called me over to a campsite where she was chatting with a nice couple from Texas.  We talked a while about my trip and traveling around road tripping (turns out Francis drove around the country at my age with kids and a truck camper – tough lady).

After Francis and I talked with one of the National Forest Service ladies, I decided it was time to break down camp and pack up the Ninja.  It took a bit longer than usual it turns out at 7500 ft, I feel like my lungs are going to explode – lots of breaks were required!!

My campsite

Francis stopped by with a bottle of lotion because I mentioned being dry from riding in the wind for so many days…really nice to have a “mom” on the road.

Once I was all packed up, it was time to head to Arizona!!  I dropped off Francis’ lotion, waived goodbye and was on my down the mountain.

View from the top of the hill

I made a quick stop a mile down the road at Snuffy’s General Store, Restaurant and Bait Shop to rustle up some breakfast.  What could be more healthy than water, Pepsi, beef jerky, and a Snickers bar?!?!

Heading west on US-60 toward Springerville, AZ, the winds were as bad as ever.  It was definitely slow moving trying not to get blown off the road.  Police were escorting huge trucks that were two lanes wide carrying concrete tubes for road construction on SR 260.

When I reached Show Low, AZ, I decided I deserved a hearty steak for lunch.  I punched in “Find Food – American” in the GPS and it took me right to The Branding Iron how could this place not have good steak!?!?

After a quick call to Andy (who confirmed the deliciousness of BI steaks) and a check in with Mom, I sat down and ordered a wonderful rare, flame-broiled 8 oz New York Strip Steak with rice and Texas toast.  I’ll admit, I inhaled the entire meal…it was perfect!!

Winding across from Show Low to Payson started out as thick pine forests (I wish I had smell-o-camera) and in several locations the NFS were doing what looked like controlled burns.

This quickly opened to breathtaking tree covered mountains that went on for what seemed to be miles.  I noticed a sign for Christopher Creek, Andy said that was where he used to go when he lived in Phoenix and missed Michigan.

The campground was nestled down between the mountains with large pine trees and well, Christopher Creek running through it.

Christopher Creek

Yep, still waterproof!!

A few miles west of Christopher Creek, the road construction began and for about 10 miles we were all stuck behind one of those huge trucks with the cement tubes.

Once the road opened back up I was merging into the left lane, as I was merging I saw a huge snake in the middle of the road.  I didn’t want to run over it on two wheels so delayed my merging for a split second.  Some idiot decided this was a prime opportunity to pass me at 75 mph in the same lane feet from me.  I guess there are moronic drivers in every state!!

The ride north from Payson through Pine and Strawberry was some of the most beautiful riding I had done.  My original plan was to ride up to Flagstaff and get a room for the night but the sun was getting low and alot of very large critters were roaming around (elk and pronghorns in abundance).  I ended up at a Super 8 in Camp Verde with a great view of the mountains!!

Elk in the distance (sorry for the quality – digital zoom)

Road pics between Payson and Camp Verde


2 Responses to “Steak, mountains and big critters!!”

  1. 1 Jessie
    May 25, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    Hey there! I’m really enjoying your blog about your trip. I hope to go on a similar trip in the next year or so. You haven’t updated in a while… I hope you come back to it and blog the rest of your trip.

    Good luck!


    • June 9, 2010 at 8:47 am

      Wow…sorry to take so long to get to your comment, glad you are enjoying the blog so far!! I’ve been back for about a week and a half and I’m just now getting past being exhausted 🙂 I’ll be catching up on the blog in the next few days!! Good luck with your trip!!

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