Last weekend, as I mentioned in an earlier post, we gathered together with my son and his family, and my sister up in the White Mountains.
When my son was growing up and we were home schooling, we used to take an annual trip up to the White Mountains to a place called Big Lake where we camped for about three days, enjoying the changing of the aspen. My mother always went with us and my sister drove in from New Mexico to join us.
We have all sorts of good memories associated with these trips, and my mother especially enjoyed them, so we decided to have a trip in memorium for her.
Originally we were going to do it last fall, but after the Wallow Fire blazed through there last summer, we decided to wait a year.
We had never camped in an official campground, but in our “own” special spot off the road to Big Lake. There was a pipe spring there, an old cabin, and a glorious stand of aspen — in addition to expansive views of the open range, which my husband glassed morning and evening for antelope and elk. (Click to enlarge all photos)
It was a place far enough away from the roads we could let our dogs roam free, and they loved it, too. We camped, roasted marshmallows, took hikes, sketched, painted, and took lots of photos. Sometimes in the wee hours of the morning, we even heard the elk bugle as they came out in the fields below us to challenge one another.
Though I had prayed the Lord would spare it, we had no way of knowing if the place was even still standing, for the fires had raged right through that area…
Given my son and his wife had Lily, only a little over a year old and would be coming from California, we opted for staying in a condo in Pinetop and driving out to spend the day at our spot rather than camping as in the past. I think it was the right decision. We had a wonderful time.
Here are a few more pictures:
View from our cabin in Pinetop. I love the way the aspen leaves flutter to the ground in the wind which you can almost see in this picture.
Lily walking like a pro. She and Quigley became friends and cohorts in making trouble. She opened the drawers and doors and he took full advantage!
En route to our “spot”: the fire had raged through much of the forest, leaving skeletons of burned out trees
Thankfully we found our spot mostly untouched, complete with the cabin my mother, sister and I had sketched many times
The trees nearby were also still standing unharmed, and the aspen were midway through their autumn display
Lily was fascinated by the gold aspen leaves quivering in the wind
We saw this guy at the end of the day as we were driving out. Great finish to a wonderful day.