Wednesday, November 12 (continued)
Bridget and I leave the east entrance of the Apache Trail and take Route 188 southeast. It parallels the shoreline of Theodore Roosevelt Lake, east of Phoenix.
This campground looks as large or larger than Cholla Campground.
Like at Cholla, a few of the loops are closed for the season.
Several campsites are just as attractive as the best ones at Cholla.
The word I’ve heard, secondhand from a camp host, is this . . . . . Reservations will be taken for campsites at Cholla and Windy Hill. This isn’t campground scuttlebutt. Already the reservation posts have been installed. It’s apparent that the best sites are on the by-reservation-only list. Those of us who abhor making reservations will have the less attractive sites.
I doubt very much that the campsite fee will remain $6 regular/$3 with senior pass. My guess is double-digit fees starting January 2015. I hope I’m wrong.
I’ve learned my lesson! Before pulling out onto Route 188, I stop and let her out.
“Well, that didn’t look very urgent,” I remark as I heft her into the PTV. “How about we go to that picnic area now.”
Cottonwood Picnic Area is deserted.
Such a pretty little park and no one is here. People don’t picnic the way they used to . . . .
My attention is drawn to a brittle bush in bloom, its yellow flowers hanging on as if in denial that summer is long gone. The other brittle bushes have no blooms.
I attempt a few photos of Bridget. She ducks behind stumps and bushes.
“Okay, forget it. I give up.”
Well, not really. I do manage a sneaky shot when she’s not looking.
To hell with cholesterol. This tastes good. It’s very quiet here. Only that raven and a few bees. I should’ve brought a chair and my Paperwhite. We could relax in the shade of those cottonwood trees.
You know what? I’m not sure I have these days right. I’m typing this on Saturday and the previous days are running together in my memory. Oh well, it doesn’t really matter.
With them are their two dogs, Callie and Orrie (named for California and Oregon).
“We’ve had other dogs named for states,” Teresa says. “Tex and Dakota.”
“What? No Wisconsin or Nebraska?” I respond in a lame attempt at humor.
Bridget shows more interest in these guys than she usually does toward canine visitors.
“Maybe it’s because they’re similar to her,” I speculate. “What breed are they?”
“Jack Russell-chihuahua mixes. They’re brothers.”
I’m beginning to think there isn’t a mixed-breed dog in the Southwest that doesn’t have a chihuahua somewhere in its family history. These guys are cute as can be. I watch them wistfully, wondering what the next member of the canine crew will be like.
“I’d steal one of your dogs, given half a chance,” I remark.
Teresa, Bruce and I gather at the picnic table and chat. Somehow the conversation goes to dumping tanks — a common topic among RVers — and Bruce tells me they don’t go to dump stations.
“Huh? You don’t?”
“We don’t have to. We have a composting toilet.”
This revelation leads to an invitation for me to visit their campsite tomorrow in order to take a look at their toilet.
Of course, I accept. How could I turn down an invitation like that?
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