Monday, March 28 (continued)
In the previous post, RVSue and the crew leave Las Cienegas National Conservation Area in search of a green camp that is less prone to wind.
We pull into Roper Lake State Park and stop at the pay booth.
Since we don’t need to run our air conditioner on this cool, windy day, we don’t need hookups.
I pay $18 for one night.
A sign says that campsites are “available night by night if not reserved.” I take this to mean you can set up in a campsite, pay $18 (or $28 if a hookup site), and, if someone reserves your site for the next night, you have to move out. I don’t confirm this because we’re only going to stay one night anyway.
The loop is close to the lake, which is nice. However, there are cabins along the edge of the lake and they are presently occupied. (Cabins are $65-$70 a night. That’s what the website says. However, it also says the non-hookup sites are $15 when they are $18 in reality.) You can see photos of the interior of cabins by following this link.
The campsites are pretty basic, not much more than paved, parking pads around a gazebo for group events. Thank God Almighty, no event, family reunion, whatever, is going on!
I choose a site with no neighbors.
Once we’re settled — I don’t unhitch — it’s walk time!
Bridget and Reggie, cooped up in the Perfect Tow Vehicle for most of the day so far, are excited to explore. Reggie runs ahead and then waits for us to catch up.
Actually the little trail is the way to the shower house.
(Yippee.) Anyway . . . . This reedy end of Roper Lake is full of birds! There must be a hundred birds singing and chirping, completely hidden in those reeds and tamarisk trees!
She turns around and heads back toward whence we came.
“Okay, Reggie. Her Royal Poombah says it’s time to go home.”
Inside the Best Little Trailer, I go online to see how the blog is doing.
Bridget and Reggie eat some kibble and relax on the bed. I have the curtain on the rear window pulled open. A flash of red catches my eye.
Was that a bird?
I shut down the laptop and the crew and I hurry outside. It’s a bird! A little, red bird flies back and forth from the mesquite tree to the picnic table at the next campsite.
I set up a chair to watch, camera at the ready.
He seems very interested in us. Apparently we are in his territory. At one point he flies over our heads and swoops past the BLT. This is the same kind of bird I saw at Buenos Aires Wildlife Refuge — a flock of them flitting among the mesquite trees. Follow this link to see another photo and to hear the Vermilion Flycatcher.
In addition to our brightly feathered friend . . . .
The more sedately dressed doves and quail roam around the campground, quite at ease with the presence of campers. Typical of a dove, one claims the top of the cupola on the group shelter for a place to rest and survey the activities below.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot . . . American Coots (the avian kind) swim along the edge of the lake.
Tuesday, March 29
Upon waking I peer out the window above our bed. Dawn is breaking! The sun is rising from across the lake!
My immediate impulse is to grab the camera and run out to take a photo. To do so would require I stand in the front “yard” of one of the cabins. Shucks. (A vehicle is parked in the spot that is empty in the photo below, taken the previous day.)
While packing up and preparing to leave, a chorus of birdsong emanates from the reeds. All at once the birds rise up and noisily fly over the campground. I can’t tell what they are. They make small, dark silhouettes against the sky.
Our stay was short and we didn’t see much of the lake. We pull out of Roper Lake State Park, drive through Safford, and take Route 70 to Globe and Tonto National Forest.
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