A visit and an adventure in mid-state Arizona – Visiting My Dad, Step-mom, and Grandma in Alpine!

A visit and an adventure in mid-state Arizona – Visiting My Dad, Step-mom, and Grandma in Alpine!

Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 05-Jun, 06-Jun & 07-Jun-2015



Friday, 05-Jun-2015

  • Well, this is a nice change… I make it to Alpine earlier than I expected… it’s still nice and light and lovely! Yay the joy of traversing time zones!
  • First order of business – hugs and greetings with Dad and Denise! We hang out for a bit, sitting and relaxing and having snacks. I take a few minutes to unpack a bit of the car; not much, but any chance that I get to decompress… I’ve learned to take them and be thankful!
  • Dinner? Dinner time? Dinner time! We jump in the truck and head into town, grabbing some worms along the way for fishing the next day. There’re a few nice restaurants in town, so we just semi-randomly pick a good cafe that we haven’t been to before. Denise and I split a cheeseburger and club sandwich, Dad has Fish and Chips.
  • Food consumed (mostly, we did keep some as doggie bags) we hack to the camp, set up the chairs and relax outside some more. When it gets too late, we move inside; I share some of the celebration-whiskey that Daniel gave me, spend some time spinning the staff, and end up crashing super early. Like… 9:30. Seriously early.


Saturday, 06-Jun-2015

  • Aha! Today is a good day! I wake up on time for once! And with puppies snuggled up to me!  It’s nice and early, though of course everyone else is already up and moving. So I haul myself up, and we chow down on some bacon and eggs and biscuits!
  • After cleaning up the dishes, we quickly grab the fishing gear and pack everything up into the truck, and head down into town. Then we’re outbound toward a spot called Big Lake (surprise, it’s actually a mountain! Not really. It’s a lake. It’s big) where we’ll meet my Grandma Marlon!
  • We cast some lines, do some fishing… but nothings biting. The problem is that there’s too many people… literally half a dozen boats in the same cove at the same time. Like… I don’t have to rotate my head/body at all to see them all. So we roll out. No point in staying, right?
  • For the next stop, we hit up the East Fork of the Black River – the same place that we camped last time I was up in Alpine. The area was actually part of the huge burn that tore through the area a few years back, so it’s scattered with charred trunks. Kind of scary, but really awesome to see all the regrowth that’s happening.
  • Starting in… No luck at the good spot… well, except for crawdads. We get tons of those. Little mini-lobsters who love trying to steal the bait. They’re an invasive species, so we either toss them to the puppies (they do actually eat them, if you’ll believe it) or throw them far enough out into the woods that they can’t get back in.
  • Dad gets one fish, but it’s a tiny one… so it gets thrown back in. Man.
  • Well, nothing to do here… so we keep moving upriver, ’till we run out of river and it starts raining. Dad breaks his pole too… boo! But we fix it… yay! Mechanical and Electrical engineering powers, combine!
  • After making a quick stop into town, we head back to home-base and relax for a bit. Just a mid-day chill, good for the bones.
  • Let’s see… we’ve tried Big Lake, and the Black River… so that leaves Luna Lake left; We drive down and start off on a rocky little peninsula, but we’ve got no luck there either… so keep edging closer and closer to the dock, until the people on it leave and we get dibs.
  • Lures are cool – I’ve never fished with lures instead of bait (for the uninitiated, bait is something like synthetic salmon eggs that attracts fish. Lures are shiny bobbins that look like smaller fish, or flies, or something interesting. The fish gobble them up, and regret it later). So this is the first time I’ve tried a lure, and they’re a hell of a lot more interesting than bait. You have to reel them in constantly, but managing the speed is key. So it’s more motion, less waiting. My kinda thing.
  • Dad catches something, woo!
  • Sunset / dusk is the best time to be out – fish are constantly jumping up out of the water, trying to catch the flies and gnats hovering above the water. It’s beautiful to watch, and the sunset is nothing to shirk at either. But the light fades fast, and the bugs get pretty thick pretty quick…
  • So back home it is, then to the Bear Wallow diner for dinner – it’s the place that we’d always go the last time, and it’s pretty awesome… but they’re closed by the time we get there. But we’re cool kids, and they remember my Dad and Denise. So they stay open for us, even pull some steak specials out for us.
  • We eat, make merry, and then head back home. Relaxing around the camp and having a little more whiskey, then sleep.


Sunday, 07-Jun-2015

  • I wake up early again…. but this time it’s not up to the smells of delicious breakfast. It’s up early to the sounds of consternation and trouble
  • During the night, a water pipe broke. Nothing major, just a drain from the sink… but it’s still a situation and so Denise is cleaning it up and fixing the pipe. She’s basically got it set, but it’s triggered another problem where the water filter line quick-release was triggered. I try to help by rotating the quick release away from the door…, and my fix ends up breaking another part – the rotation cuff. And that’s a part that we can’t fix. And it’s a critical leak; kind of huge. Worse than the initial problem. Damnation.
  • Well, screw that thing – I’ve got gorilla glue in the car! So we glue it up. While it’s curing, we hang out and do breakfast. Then we test it… and it doesn’t hold. Damnation.
  • Well, there’s nothing to be gained by me staying, and unfortunately I have a long drive into Utah still ahead of me. So once I know that they’ve got a plumber on the way (the campsite owner) I make my goodbyes, and head back onto the road.

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