The last month has been an absolute blur. I really needed to get out on the road and clear my head. I have been researching some hiking trails near Payson, AZ, for the last 2 weeks, and settled on one. Fossil Springs Trail in Strawberry, AZ. Left Phoenix about 8AM, drove up the B-Line (Bush Highway) to Payson. It was a lovely drive, lots of beautiful clouds. This trip just happened to coincide with a cold weather front, which meant cooler temps, rain and snow up north. Got to Strawberry around 10AM. It is such a darling little town! Followed the directions to Fossil Springs, but once the pavement ended, the mud began. I was very optimistic I could make it the 2 MILES!! to the trail head, but it was not to be had. The mud had me slipping and sliding all over the place. It was like thick pancake batter. I am usually much more stubborn, and would have kept going, but after watching a dune buggy with huge treaded tires creep by me, having just as hard a time navigating the mud, I decided to call it, Fossil Springs Trail was not accessible. The mud was so thick in my wheel wells, it was touching the tires. I pulled over down the road and got a stick to aid in removing some of the mud. When I pulled out of the parking spot, it looked like a herd of elephants had gone #2 there.
I ended up at Tonto Natural Bridge. It was beautiful, as usual. It’s a trustworthy trail in any weather condition, and for those women out there who like to hike alone, they have a Ranger posted at the bottom. There were only 4 people total at the bottom, under the Bridge. I sat there for a while and enjoyed the view, watching big snow clouds float over. It was a dream. (To see pictures of my previous hike at the Tonto Natural Bridge, check out my “Things to do: AZ” category, there are three blog posts on the Tonto Natural Bridge.)
After the Tonto Natural Bridge I drove to Flagstaff for some snow flurries and PIZZA!! Fratelli’s Pizza, enough said, wait…it was an out of body experience, one of the better pizzas I have had in my life! Did I mention that it has been the BEST of Flagstaff for 10 years in a row?! http://fratellipizza.net/ <—pizza mecca
After gorging myself on pizza, I walked around the downtown Flagstaff area, to survey for cool restaurants and shops. It was pretty cold, about 28 degrees if I remember correctly. So I packed it in, and started the drive home, right before sunset. I had to pull over numerous times to photograph clouds and the pink sunset. It was an awesome day!
Head clearing mission: Accomplished
Strawberry, Arizona, near Fossil Springs Trail
Camp Verde, Arizona
These photographs were taken along the I-17 from Flagstaff to Camp Verde