Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Mill Lake...Fossil Ridge Wilderness

Tucson/Lazydays KOA
Tucson, AZ
July 25, 2016

As I begin this post,  we are in the middle of another awesome thunderstorm.  We have grown accustomed to the  flash flood warnings as these storms seem to roll through the area with some regularity.  And the lightening displays are nothing short of amazing !  In southern Arizona, the monsoon season begins the middle of June and doesn't end until the end of September.  What a treat it is to experience the rain in the desert...a nice reprieve from the blazing heat we experience on other days.  

Our hike began at the Fossil Ridge/Gold Creek trailhead located  at Gold Creek Campground (about 20 miles northeast of Gunnison).  We followed this trail for about 1/2 mile.  A fork in the path with signage points left for Mill Lake.

This was the last "big" hike for us in Gunnison.  This trek through the Fossil Ridge Wilderness packed a big punch as we gained 1,700 feet in 2 miles.  

Fossil Ridge was designated a wilderness area in 1993.  The  valleys and shallow lakes were formed by ancient glaciers.  The limestone ridge rises between 13,000 and 14,000 feet.  Fossilized remains of prehistoric sea creatures have been found in these ridges.

Our path took us through a forest filled with pine, spruce, fir and aspen trees, wildflowers, birds, mossy water crossings and ferns Mother Nature planted in dead tree stumps.   



  









 






 The destination was Mill Lake.  And the best part is that we had the lake all to ourselves...an advantage of getting an early start.  This beautiful alpine lake is nestled in a glacial cirque cut out of the Fossil Ridge.  It sits at 11,700 feet elevation.  





I tried really hard to get a picture of the fish jumping out of the water.  Very entertaining to watch. 




The white granite mountain is a splendid backdrop for all the green.  

 I could sit for hours !

On the way home, a marmot ran across the dirt road. A squeal from me and Joe's quick reaction saved the day.  It quickly disappeared in a hole behind a rock.  It slowly reappeared and we discovered it was a she...a sweet mama protecting her baby.  She kept her eyes, ears and nose busy as the baby slowly made it's way out of the hole.  






All the while, Daddy never moved...







 Joe's appointments are almost over.  When he visited the dermatologist they froze 12 to 18 spots and did 4 biopsies.  Of the 4, 3 came back positive...all on his face. 
Yesterday and today he had MOHs surgery and tomorrow he will have the last one done along with a skin graft on his nose.  Stitches will come out in about two weeks.   

 The visit to the oncologist turned out much better.  PET/blood work results show no signs of cancer.  We will return to Tucson in February (6 months) for another check.





It's always such a relief to have this behind us.  


   
 So until next time,  happy trails !

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Gunnison KOA

Tucson/Lazydays KOA
Tucson, AZ
July, 2016

Joe and I spent the month of July at Gunnison KOA and my how the time flew.  Traveling with three pups often presents issues and not one time has any KOA ever denied us our fence (for the pups to sit out with us at the MH) or limited the number of canine dependents we can have.  We found this KOA to be clean, friendly, and a great location for all the places we wanted to explore.  

Jack enjoyed the fenced in doggie park.  Playing ball is the highlight of his day...well, except for eating, cuddling, sleeping, laying in the sun, and aggravating his sisters.












 Dover and Sally, on the other hand, were perfectly content to lay in the cool, green grass at our site enjoying the breeze, the birds and the sunshine.




 Gunnison KOA reminds me of our camping days with our children and grandchildren.  I can't deny there were lots of families enjoying the cool weather just like we were.  

Camp fire smoke filled the evening air, with lots of laughs as families gathered around fire pits roasting hot dogs and marshmallows...all sweet memories for me ! 

RV sites are arranged so that you and your neighbor are facing each other.  Not my favorite, but it turned out that most people set up their seating area in front/back of their RVs.  Joe and I were surprised at how we didn't feel cramped or like we had to "visit" with the neighbors.  Everyone was polite and respectful.  Lots of open space and shade.     



There is a large tent area in the center of the campground.  It was full the entire time we were there.  




 The grounds are well maintained. KOA Dave, owner, is visible and either on the mower or helping someone all day long.  The roads in the park are not paved, but they are sprayed with water several times during the day to keep dust from becoming a problem. 






 Now might be a good time to mention that the KOA is also home to several farm animals.  The animals are old, and well kept.  I shutter to think where they would be if not here.  Not to worry, we did not have to hold our nose while we enjoyed sitting out...not one time did we get a stinky smell.  
Norman's barn is next to the doggie park.  I laughed so hard at Sally the first time she heard him moo.  She stopped dead in her tracks and tilted her head this way and that way trying to figure it out.   In addition to Norman there is Bossie,  a donkey, a mule, shetland ponies, a hog and a billy goat...  all pets of KOA Dave and his family.  A totally great experience for all the kids visiting !

There are also other summer residents here. 

















All in all, the pros out weighed the cons for Joe and I.  We were happy and our pups were happy.  Would we stay here again ? You betcha !  

Until next time, let the good times roll !
Our excitement builds as we head into Gunnison on July 1, 2016


HAPPY TRAILS !