Sunday, April 28, 2019

More wandering

About noon yesterday I told Lou, “I’m gonna go wander around for a couple of hours.” I had no plan other than to drive and explore. I headed to Silver City and… oh… kept going on US180, north, toward, oh, some of the stuff that’s up that way. Through rolling grasslands, past cottonwood-lined creeks, up into coniferous forests. The west side of the Gila Mountains.

I turned east on highway 12 to Reserve, got some gasoline. The free Apache Creek campground was twelve miles down the highway. I called Lou to tell him I was staying the night, that I’d be back the next day.

I was at Apache Creek in April of 2014, but I didn’t stay. Rain and fear of flooding chased me away. But this time the sky was clear and the forecast was good. No problem.

In the morning I contemplated my route options. I could go back the way I came, but that would be less interesting.

I could continue clockwise around the Gila Mountains, but that would be twice as far, and I had been that way before, too.

I could do the semi-crazy thing and go northwest to Alpine AZ, then south through the highest, twistiest, slowest section of US191, then connect back to US180. I’d get to mark off another section of 191—a part I missed when I abandoned my Border-to-Border-On-191 quest last summer in order to go to a friend’s retirement party in California. Hey, I’m semi-crazy, so…

The road gets serious

I don’t know about other times of the year, but on this particular early Sunday morning at the end of April the highway was practically deserted. And beautiful. I saw a herd of elk, a flock of turkeys, and about a dozen clusters of deer. Taking that route wasn’t the crazy thing after all. What’s crazy is not having gone that way several times before. And stayed a while. I’ll be back.