We had to stop several times just to keep the old Blue Goose from overheating during the long uphill ascent after passing the great copper mines of Morenci! As a precautionary FYI, those attempting this steep drive should be stocked up on supplies and extra gas, as there are no stations along the isolated stretch of mountain road for 89 miles from Morenci to Alpine!
So thankful Don agreed to stop for lunch so that I could take some pictures of the rugged rock formations along the Coronado Trail. When we spotted the arch, Don looked at me and said "I know what you're thinking! Its too steep for you to climb! No Way!" Even though I hadn't said anything, he could tell I was trying to figure out a route to the top! We absolutely live for exploring those scenic areas that take your breath away! Amazed by the sight of the large round boulders and the tree wedged along the deep crevices of these cliffs. Life will find a way!
View of the "Devil's Highway" from Blue Vista Lookout which sets at a little over 9100 feet! At this elevation, you can really feel the temperature drop!
I can't even imagine how difficult it must have been for Coronado and his men to cut a trail through such a rugged wilderness!
View of the thick grove of trees where we set up camp. This stand of pines provided us with a nice wind break, and great shade! The thing we really like about this area is that it is so isolated, with not a soul in sight! Temps would turn a little nippy at night, but loved waking up to the fresh pine scent of the forest in the mornings! Life is Good!
Not too far from our campsite, we came across the weathered skull of a horse which is why we nicknamed this area "Dead Horse" camp.
Little Breezy checking out the horse skull. She was fascinated with it so we had to shorten her cable so she couldn't get to it during our stay.
Such an awesome place to explore, and we didn't even see so much as a single hiker during our campout in the wilderness!! On a couple of evenings while sitting around camp, we did hear the extended howl of a single wolf, which was pretty exciting. We are pretty sure it was a wolf, as the howl did not have the high timber or sharp cacophony of the sounds that coyote troops make - just a single lower base howl.
He/she sounded so lonely, and we were hoping to hear a distant response, but none was forthcoming. We weren't too far from an area where Mexican Wolves were reintroduced. Earlier this year, the US Fish and Wildlife released data of the yearly census/survey taken around Alpine, AZ which showed an increase in the population of this Endangered Species of wolf in the area! We did catch a glimpse of one near a water hole mid-morning a couple of years ago while camping at Bear Patch! So exciting!
Little gifts of the monsoon rains - it always amazes me how the White Mountains experience a 2nd green spring in the late summer! Will post more in near future of the flora and fauna to be found in the White Mountains of Arizona!