Thursday, April 3, 2014

Cave Creek Canyon

We managed to score a campsite at Sunny Flat yesterday in Cave Creek Canyon on the Eastern side of the Chiracahua Mountains between SW New Mexico and and SE Arizona. You might remember we were here last year for almost 2 weeks and this National Forest Campground is one of our favorites anywhere.
Cave Creek Canyon in Chiracahua Mountains
Cave Creek Canyon in Chiracahua Mountains

We had tried to get in here the previous day but found it full. The camp host said they have been full everynight for past 3 weeks. A popular spot with only 13 sites, that we are not supposed to tell anyone about, at least that is what everyone tells us and judging by the full campground it seems true. So keep this just between you and me. OK?

Driving up the canyon road in the forest
Driving up the canyon road in the forest

The drive into Cave Creek Canyon is really beautiful as you can see by the photos. From the wide open spaces of Rodeo, New Mexico you drive about 8 miles across the valley to Portal, Arizona. It's the only paved road in. You can drive over dirt roads across the Chiricahua mountains from Wilcox and the National Monument area but its 30 miles and not for RV's over 25 feet. Not sure even 20 feet. Anyway it's 75 miles drive south to Douglas (Walmart, etc) and 60 miles NE to the interstate at Lordsburg (fuel).

Our campsite in Sunny Flat
Our campsite in Sunny Flat

Being a National Forest Campground there is fresh water from a tap near the Pit Toilets which provides good drinking water. Nestled amongst ancient Juniper Pines and Giant Syacmore trees, this place speaks to us. Quiet, off the beaten path, secluded, scenic. It doesn't have great vistas but the canyon is sort of a mashup of Yosemite meets Painted desert on a smaller scale.

Sunset reflections
Sunset Reflections

We will be here at least 7-10 days, dependent on how long our waste tanks hold out. It is a long drive to dump wastes. We will move to our favorite site tomorrow. We can replenish fresh water and our waste strategy is now aided this year by the addition of a small plastic tub fitting in the kitchen sink. We use it to catch the dishwater, then throw it out on ground just like we would if tent camping. Also we catch the first 1/2 gallon of water in the shower as the hot water gets warm. All this normally would go into the grey water tank which seems to be the "rate limiting step" so we think we can get at least 2-3 or 4 days more out of it which means 9-10 or even 11 days if we are careful. Is that enought detail for you?

This morning in front of our Campsite
This morning in front of our Campsite

One downside is no internet or cell so don't try to call us. Email is fine as we can drive or bike (as I have done today) down to the Portal Cafe for internet connection.

 

 

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