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APRIL 8 MONDAY
was a big day so didn't post when we got back to camp at Winlsow.
We came down FR 34 same as HW
99 from Winslow.
We started out early sunday morning making the gourmet lunch of summer sausage and cheddar cheese on rye, with grapes, a can of four bean salad, tea and diet pepsi. We set off on hwy 99, expecting a black topped hwy the entire way. When we got to the road to Heber we were in for our first surprise. Surprise, the road is not paved, and not only not paved is not much more then a track through the desert. We were not too disturbed, we could always come back on the road we were on, which we "knew" was going to be paved to the rim. Our next suprise came about ten miles down the road when the pavement ended and the forest service road began. It was not a bad road, well graded and packed, we still were making good time.
We got to the rim about 10:30
am and found that the rim road was for a very short stretch that lead into
HW 260 was again paved and very nice. We stopped and visited a number
of campgrounds in the area. Most of the campgrounds in the area were
very cramped, and had lots of trees. It was not the kind of area
where you wanted to be with a large fifth wheel looking for solar power
and a satellite connection. The going rate for camping was $12.00.
When we finally got to the rim we were overlooking HW 260 as it climbed
to the rim. We sat on the rim and admired the view which stretched
far to the south, and south west. The rim was a vertical drop
of a hundred or so feet, then a steep slope to the valley floor.
From here we were going to go to Heber, but decided on going to Payson, then back up HW 87 to the rim for further exploring. The rim road on this section was not paved, and there were few places where it overlooked the rim, but there were numerous turnouts that went to the rim.
We drove the rim road for about ten miles, and then found out that we could go no further, a fire some years back had left a number of standing dead trees which were now falling accross the road, and with the danger of falling trees the forest service had closed a portion of the rim road and detoured us to the north. We could have gone further on the rim road, but decided to drive out.
There is a great deal to explore
in the area of the Mogollon Rim. Many forest service roads going
out to the viewing areas of the Rim. and on the lower side of the rim many
campgrounds and small streams to explore. It is an area that we want
to return to for further exploration.
We hooked up Monday AM and headed east on I-40 as it was to be a cloudy day with a cold front moving in but we lucked out with strong tail winds. We like that....
was to go to Thoreau and stay overnight in one of the many $10 full hookup
RV sites I remembered the last time we heading up State Route 371 to Farmington
on the way to Navajo Dam. But when we got to Thoreau we realized this was
not right... We had stayed in Grants a couple of years back and found
the cheap RV parks when we were heading west not now when we are going
east. So I screwed up so we got fuel and took off for Farmington. 112 miles
to the north. NM went on daylight savings time so we also lost an hour.
Well we got to Farmington headed to Bloomfield and stopped for supplies and decided to just head to Cottonwood campground at the state park at Navajo dam. Got there about 5 PM found a great site with electric for $14 a day. It is cloudy and may rain so we think $14 for a great site with power is a bargain.
After 6 months on solar power I can indulge in unlimited POWER. And the price is good. This is one of the great trout fishing locations in the country so we may just stay here for several days if not a week or more. Go to the NM State site for all about this San Juan River fishing experience. The weather forecast is for warm and sunny so looking forward to a great time. There will be trout pictures in the days to come. Terry only does catch and release so the stories could get bigger. So may not get pics of the fish. I'll get somthing to show.
Lands Info Center is where I get the above graphics.
The link is also listed in our
Travel Resources section on our main web site. HitchItch.com
APRIL 9 TUESDAY
After getting my licensee it was off to fish. This morning I started out in the "Texas" hole, which is the first deep water below the dam. As always it was crowded. The guides put their boats in here and then row to the top of the pool, then drift down. This is easy "fly fishing" for their clients, no casting, put a San Juan Worm, a couple of split shots and a bobber on the line and let it float. The guide controls the drift and then when a fish is hooked coaches the client into getting the fish to where it can be netted. The trick comes when there are several boats in the hole each waiting their turn to drift down and then row back up as there were this morning.
I was wade fishing and found a good spot at the top of the run where the river enters the hole. Fished the foam lines with a nymph, and later switched to a dry fly, but did not catch anything in the morning. Went home for lunch, and read the paper and then went to the Simon Canyon area. Was fishing a dry fly and caught two very nice trout in the 16' to 18" range. The first fish I hooked broke me off, and I rehooked him a few minutes later and was able to reclaim my first fly. Several other fish also broke off, one of the hazards of using a 6x tippet (for the none fishermen this a very thin line)
About three in the afternoon the drift boats that were up in the Texas Hole all morning started drifting by me on their way to the take out point. A number of them must have decided that running the river was not worth the effort as only three of the boats came down stream. The others must have taken out where they put in, kinda of defeats the purpose of drifting the stream?
Had a minor accident this afternoon,
one of the little hand held radios that we use to keep in touch decided
to go for a swim. While I was fussing about tying on a new fly it
got unclipped and fell into the river. Had to get my shirt sleeve
wet all the way up to my arm pit to retrieve it. Ron has it disassembled
and drying it out. Will see if it comes back to life or I'm on the
hook for news one. Ron sez I did it on purpose see I didn't have to communicate
back to the campsite.
Ran out of tiny flies, so after getting home and starting a chicken soup with home made noodles I had time to tie a few of the size twenty dry flies that were working this afternoon. Will tie a couple of twenty two's later. Hate such tiny flies, I can barely see the hook eye when I am trying to tie on a new fly. May have to start carrying a magnifier.
The rest of the week is supposed
to be great weather, and I am going to get the most out of it.
The river runs right through
the state park, I (Ron) took a walk today and garbed these pics.
APRIL 14 FRIDAY
all messed up today as we thought it was Saturday. We paid for the campsite
through next Wednesday. Put the card on the post and off to town went.
We have not had cell service in the campground so when we got a signal
it said it was the 14th. FRIDAY. We decided that it was ok that it was
only Friday. The campground is full with over 50 sites. We filled
up with diesel $50 bucks and the tank was over half full. $2.87 a
gal. It has gone up. But we just don't pay attention anymore. Or even talk
about it. Just fill up and move on. Went looking for a new digital camera
in Farmington, NM. Saw a Fiji 35200 on Best Buys web site but the local
store didn't sell them. Looked in the phone book for other stores and couldn't
find one in town, so passed on buying a new camera. I have had two Fuji
cameras and this new model looks like just what I want. Link to a Review:
Fujifilm FinePix S5200 Digital Camera
Terry took off for Simon Canyon
access to try his luck as it is later in the day about 5 pm here.
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