We decided rather on a whim a few weeks ago, to head to the mountains and try our hand at some camping again. We have gone a few times, and have all the gear, but this was the first time we'd be heading up our own trip and the first time we were brave enough to bring the dogs.
The last time we were camping, I was sniffed by a bear. But that was in a different state, with many more bears. So we decided to give it another shot, loaded up the beasts, and invited Mr. Ladd's brother and fellow Jeeper, to come with us.
We just made it a one-nighter this time since we weren't sure how the dogs would do, and if we'd forget some essential piece of equipment. But, we could have easily done two nights and the dogs were so good, I think we will next time.
We found a spot just down the road from Crown King, an old mining town that you can only get to on a dirt trail up the mountain. The town itself is literally a saloon, one gas pump, and a general store for the most part. We headed past the town a bit, set up camp and proceeded to chill...
all of us...
It was lovely.
There was exploring, lizard hunting, and dirty paws.
There was cast iron over an open fire, s'mores, and a chilly evening under a crisp night sky.
At this point in the summer there are burn restrictions, because it's so dry, which means you have to camp in a designated campground with a metal fire ring. But, at the time we went, there were no restrictions yet, and one of the really cool things about Arizona is you can just camp pretty much anywhere. So there are these great little secluded spots that have obviously been used by others because rocks are formed into a fire ring, but otherwise it truly is being one with nature. I never thought I'd want to be quite so familiar with nature, but the nature here is oh so worth it. There is nothing like escaping up into the cooler mountains when the summer heat starts to creep into the valley.