Jagger and I have been traveling full time for over three years now all over the USA. During that time I’ve learned to slow down, appreciating my mornings while Jagger has learned, uhh. Sorry Jagger, I guess he has learned to tolerate our travels doing great in the Workhorse for long periods of time. He is a wonderful companion, just a little too protective, especially when other dogs come around our camp and what about the various hikes on trails? Most of the time he does good, but if too many people or dogs are on the trail, I might as well go back to camp. 🙁
I try to make my mornings stretch into the day. During this time I enjoy journaling my travel experiences with a hot cup of coffee, sitting at the Coach’s small table, watching the day begin. The number of views I’ve experienced from this perspective is an unknown at this point. Each day I’m surprised by creation waking around me, then after a few days and further down the road the view changes once again. A fellow blogger Becky at Interstellar Orchard has a great idea that I read about recently. I wish I had done the same from the beginning of my travel, taking a picture of every camp from my “Morning Window”.
When family is close by or camping with me, I go into a different mode putting my journaling on hold to experience a busy life and loving every minute of it. This is true especially when the grandchildren are around. They don’t stand still for a minute and the time flies by fast for me.
Jagger and I are up early just to get our chores completed before the fun begins. Later today Aiden and his Mom, Janessa, will arrive and join the fun for the weekend. She is planning on picking up Aiden and Jax (their dog) right after leaving work and heading up the mountain. Jagger is excited to show Jax around. He’s been sharing the family campfires with Phoebe (my Son’s family dog) the past few nights.
After Seth wakes, he immediately goes for the TV and Jagger scolds him fiercely as he want’s him to get ready for playing with him. The day turns into children laughing and playing around camp. Seth loves to play with his cousins and new friends. When we first arrive at their camp Seth jumps right into the activities. Being the parent that I am, I take a head count. “One, two…four, five si…?” Wait? One, two, three…five? Are we missing one? I think so, the little one has wandered off. With all activity going on at the adjoining campsites no one has noticed the youngest has wandered off.
Not too panicked yet, but concern is on the adults faces as we split up, going in different directions. Shortly after concern turns into panic, we find the little one visiting a couple of young adults a few campsite down. “Gather around kiddos!” my older Son says in his daddy voice. Boundaries are reset and reminded to each one. Whew, we once again relax and the fun continues.
As the Sun once again lowers in the Arizona sky, excitement starts to build. I get a call from Janessa letting me know that she, Aiden and Jax have just left and are headed this way. When they arrive we are well into our campfire time, along with the stories and sharing the experiences of the day, careful to follow the rules of not walking to close to the fire. This is something the children are reminded constantly by all the adults present.
Many Trail Hikes
Saturday morning we went for a walk down the short nature trail that was located on the grounds. It was a beautiful day and the trail was perfectly shaded with trees. Aiden and Seth rode up ahead on their bikes which gave Janessa and I a small window of time to have a nice visit as we strolled.
Jagger always has a hard time when the kids get too far away. He ends up doing circles around me as I walk as if trying to push me along in a slightly patient kind of way, that is if you count tangling me up in his leash patient. Jagger and I seem to have better luck on hikes by ourselves. He behaves so much better.
Over the next few days we hiked the trail frontward, backward and finally in the dark! Late in the week, after many campfires and wearing our trail out we ventured up the mountain to find a trail called Waterwheel Trail. Now why would they name it that? We found out, see the pictures here in the blog or the link Family Camp Payson, Arizona for even more photos.
On our last outing we dug for dinosaur bones and found another gravel road leading to a trailhead that invited exploration. On our hike out the trail Jagger had several aggression issues with other dogs. So we once again bailed after a mile or so, turning around and returning to the Workhorse. We didn’t miss much of the trail hike, shortly after we got back, everyone else showed up and we had a picnic lunch that the young ladies had prepared.
Wednesday is a lonesome day with all of the excitement over. Jagger and I will be heading to our winter hideout tomorrow. There we will hook up the Coach to the utility pedestal for a two and a half month stay. It’s been over a month since we were connected to utilities. It’ll feel funny having all the conveniences at my fingertips once again.
Safe travels…Gary and Jagger
More Photos: Family Camp – Payson Arizona