Day 24 – Pima to Clifton
After a good breakfast at the Zen Cafe, we said goodbye to Phyllis and Mike and headed out for the Tasty Freez in Pima so Dave could resume riding. I headed to the Thatcher Safeway for groceries and scored another instore Starbucks – always a treat. If it sounds like I grocery shop all the time, that is because I do. We have a small refrigerator in the truck that means no cooler with ice and that’s great. However, it’s space is limited so I try to buy food for two or three days at a time. It seems like we always need something. Wish I owned stock in Post Raisin Bran and bananas.
My workout for the day was washing the truck camper in a car wash. It’s a big truck when you are trying to clean it!
We are in high, dry desert now and my wildflowers have disappeared. It’s progressively more rocky and rugged terrain as we climb toward the New Mexico border.
We headed to another copper mining town called Clifton to camp in their town RV park. It was 7 miles off the route, but worth the drive through an area that turned into a canyon with trees when we got to the town. The San Francisco River runs through it & the camp was right on the banks. It’s one of the few rivers we’ve seen recently with water in it. It reminded us a little of the Middle Fork River in Idaho. When we checked in with Tony, he told us that there are lots of animals and big horn sheep often wander down into camp. He also mentioned cougar and scorpions, which I was less than thrilled about. We got another great camp deal for $10.
DAY 25 – Clifton to over the mountain
We got any early start because this was going to be a challenging climb up to the pass. I leapfrogged Dave, staying nearby. It’s not like there was anywhere to go. There are no towns or services in this area once you pass a crossroads called Three Way, where there is a Forest Service Headquarters, one little store & 2 gas stations.
I enjoyed doing some walking along the road and taking lots of photos. The scenery was spectacular if you like rocky outcroppings, buttes, deep canyons and desert.
Tonight we are camped at Coal Creek Forest Service Campground 5 miles beyond the pass. No cost to camp here, but no water either. It does have a decent pit toilet. We are the only ones here. It also reminds me of the Middle Fork – same terrain as the Boundary Creek put-in. Lots of pines and alpine hills. Before cooking dinner, I pretended that I was Greg Beach and climbed the steep hill behind the campsite. It was an animal trail & lead to a great view.
We are just a few miles from New Mexico state line. Almost 2 states down. I started putting glow-in-the-dark star stickers on the rear window of the truck cap. One for each the hundred miles that Dave rides. Now there are SIX!!!