I headed to higher ground in Flagstaff. The first area where I went to camp northeast of town (Hwy 89) was closed due to a recent fire so I had to drive 30 minutes northwest of town on Hwy 180. The area is called “Fort Valley”. The forest road in was very rough but I found a nice spot. I’m still learning to maneuver the trailer in tight spots so it took me a while to get situated, but it was good practice. I had planned to stay only a day or two but the weather was so nice, I decided to stay longer – 13 days, it turned out. The first couple days there, I had a pretty good headache, due to – I assumed – the altitude change (Lake Havasu: ~700ft -> Flagstaff: ~7000ft). After I got over that, however, my stay was nice. I enjoyed the seventy degree temperatures and seeing trees and grass again after several months in the desert.
One day I heard someone calling my by name from outside. To my pleasant surprise, it was Bobbi Stice. We had recently communicated and she spotted my rig while driving through the area. Walt & Jan were with her, too. We enjoyed a short visit–longer with Bobbi as Walt & Jan left earlier. It was nice to cross paths with friends and to get the opportunity to get to know Bobbi better.
I also was able to work on my solar issues with the help of my “solar mentor/guru” Joe on the other side of the country. It was good that I had to deal with a few issues by myself because it forced me to learn things that I needed to know how to do. Joe is a great teacher and is very patient with me!
Fort Valley has a trail by the same name and I hiked it one day until it intersected the Arizona Trail. Very nice trail but also open to mountain and trail bikes. Had no problems, though. I always yielded to them even though the rules say it is the other way around. Every time–to my surprise–the riders thanked me. Nice. (Video from part of the hike at the bottom of the photo gallery).
I celebrated my birthday while in Flagstaff and treated myself to a filet at Texas Roadhouse. The whole meal was delicious. I rarely eat out so it was a nice treat.
Overall, a nice stay in Flagstaff. Next time, however, I would like to try to camp in the area off of 89 where the Humphreys Peak trail is accessed. This is the highest point in Arizona. I would like to hike all or part of this trail someday. I was going to try a portion of it on this visit, but, as I mentioned before, that area was closed.