Expect the Unexpected Should Be the Golden Rule of Camping
This is the first leg of a long trip. We planned on going up to Payson which is at an elevation of 5,300 feet so it’s about 15 degrees cooler than Phoenix. It’s about a 3 hour drive. Before leaving we checked the reservations for Houston Mesa campground. There were a few spaces left and since there are about 30 walk up sites which you can’t reserve — it’s first come first served, we thought we were fine.
Arrived around noon and 105 degrees. Drove to the campsite and it’s closed. It seems the fire department was using the campsite as their base for training and fire prevention. Did we panic? Did we nash our teeth? Did we yell obscenities? No, no, and no. We looked at our maps and found Ponderosa campsite which was about 15 miles past Payson. If that was full or closed, we’d keep on driving up to Canyon point on the Mogollon Rim. Luck was with us and we found a lovely spot to camp. No showers or flush toilets like Houston Mesa, but that’s okay.
Note to self: Okay we would have panicked if we hadn’t been up here before.