Labor Day on the Rim Road Westbound; Mogollon Rim, September 7, 2015

What better way for Jacque and me to spend Labor Day than by driving Forest Road 300, the General Crook Trail across part of the Mogollon Rim? We got to Payson at lunch time and saw a miles-long traffic jam coming in from the east, with lots of campers and motor homes. “Where are they all coming from?” Eastbound traffic on AZ 260 was light. We continued to the ranger station where the highway gets all the way up on the Mogollon Rim.

Then we started west on FR 300. Westbound traffic was light, but we passed another miles-long traffic jam going the other way, as thousands of people returned from their weekend camping and tried, unsuccessfully, to beat rush hour. My plan was to stop at the scenic overlooks and take pictures with my fancy camera, but the overlooks were crowded and soon the weather had something to say.

The road is paved until you get past the turn for Woods Canyon Lake. Then it’s dirt the rest of the way, in some places not recently graded. We drove through tons of swirling, choking dust as heavy traffic went speeding the other way. Then the first raindrops fell. Rain settled the dust [good] but turned the road to mud [not good]. I managed to take a few pictures at overlooks.

There were things to see. I pointed out trails and trailheads to Jacque. Along the west end of the road, yellow chevrons tacked to trees mark the original route of General George Crook’s military trail. Finally, FR 300 ends at the Beeline Highway. Pavement! And more rain.

Jacque and I stopped in Pine for an icy drink before facing the traffic jam through Payson. Rainbow over the Mazatzals. We got home at 5 in the afternoon.

There’s the cave. But I think the bear is somewhere else.
Summer wildflowers cheer us on a gray day.
Something tells me there’s a storm brewing.
Another storm, east of the Mazatzals, heading our way.
The sun makes a valiant effort to peek through.
12 miles to go. Can we get past Milk Ranch Point before it starts pouring again? Well, not this time.

  Arizona Hike Pictures updated September 24, 2017