Camping in the Tonto National Forest
The thunder roared and you could see the lightning through the tent as we lay there at night. The baby cried and our other two children lay scared and cuddling close, needless to say our first family camping experience was quite the adventure.
We discovered our campsite by accident actually, meant to drive to the Mogollon Rim, it got late so we camped at another campground along a creek about 20 minutes outside Payson, Arizona. Our camp hosts were great and campsite neighbors kind enough to entertain our 4 year old with a little Bocci ball (on our drive home, he asked to join the next “Bocci Ball” league!) and understand our crying 15 month old was hardly consolable during the first night.
Our Saturday hike turned into a 200 yard trek and we turned around because someone had a potty disaster. Not easy to clean up with no running water or toilets. Later, the visit to the Tonto Fish Hatchery was fun, the kids loved seeing all the fish, the kids also caught a few of their own at a pond down the way and cooked them up right on our camping stove for lunch (you can see the fish on the cook top in the picture!). Not long after, the dark clouds could be seen once again coming around the mountain, so we hid all the supplies and covered what we could, the rain, thunder and lightning coupled with the (semi) scary stories I told helped us survive the couple hours in the family sized tent (the pack and play fit perfectly!).
It finally dried up which made way for the campfire and the s’mores (its really all the kids cared for anyway). Saturday night fared much better, everyone slept soundly and the pancakes and bacon tasted better than ever first thing Sunday morning. Then we packed up and headed home…to eat Sunday dinner out.
We’ve since booked our next camping trip..
Back home on Sunday afternoon from a weekend camping trip with 4 pieces of precious cargo (3 kids and a loving hubby), we had no desire to put together a homemade meal. Instead, we ventured out to our favorite local Sushi place (our kids love it too!) and ordered some amazing sashimi and rolls. Hana’s fish is always fresh, flown in from Japan, Hawaii, different places around the world. So when they said their fish was fresh, it was no big surprise…until…you realize, it doesn’t get any more fresh than this…
As a young girl I remember camping with my family, grandparents and all in the White Mountains. I can still see the McDonald’s at the corner in Payson where we turned right and headed farther up the hill towards Heber and camped in Woods Canyon. It was sleepy, quiet, my Tata taught me to fish here, the ride out on the boat was the best of all, I remember the gorgeous canyon and the beauty of the lake and playing with the craw dads lakeside. Now, it’s one of the busiest campgrounds in Arizona.
The search is on for the next sleepy quiet beautiful place to enjoy Arizona’s summer beauty. This time, my husband and I will start this new tradition with our little ones and teach them the importance of nature and how to care for it, preserving it for future generations. Arizona Highways has two great resources, another Babes in the Woods by Jennifer Aist, a mother herself, gave me some comfort knowing how to care for a toddler while camping.
There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes. Most of it a whole lot of nonsense normally not worth sharing, but this time Fox 10 is going through a news set remodel and its been clanging and clashing and all for good reason. Our viewers have been awesome dealing with the changes very well seen on camera in some cases.
Last week, we had a Fox 10 sign fall from the wall on to the floor live on television, it clashed, didn’t break but made a loud bang and it was all on-air! Our amazing weather guy Cory McCloskey just worked right through it and we laughed about it on-air as it happened joking there were ferrets in the studio. Our production team has been working tirelessly with our engineers to move all the wires and computers and equipment to a temporary set somewhere else in the building.
So to get this well underway, we had to clean up all our MESS! Cleaned out corners, nooks and crannies, closets and that is where I scored! Cory dug out this new cowboy hat
and Tina Fey‘s Bossypants book, offered them up, and I took ‘em!
Thanks Cory! I was looking for a new read!
It was a gut wrenching Monday morning.
I walked into the Fox 10 Studios in Phoenix and joined our crew to share the tragic news we had lost 19 firefighters in a disasterous blaze. It was tear jerking, heartbreaking and hurt to share such brave men were lost in a sudden turn of events. We learned the weather took a sudden turn for the worst, winds radically changed in an Arizona summer thunderstorm and the men were suddenly in trouble and were forced to use their fire shelters (the foiled material you see in my fire bag) but did not survive.
Of the 19, we discovered many were fathers, husbands and one the son of a fire captain out of the Los Angeles, California area. Also among those killed, Eric Marsh, he supervised the Granite Mountain Hotshots and founded the group. As I pulled my fire bag out and dug through my dusty fire boots, and opened my fire folder, I discovered Marsh’s signature on my certificate of completion. His email and contact information just in case I needed it in the future. He was one of three team leaders and teachers during my week long wild experience at the Firefighting Academy in Prescott, Arizona several years ago. He was one of the elite, best of the best, and so were the other 18 killed.
They will all be missed. Thank you all, for you service, protection and willingness to put yourself in harms way and put your life in jeopardy. Now, we must support their families, the families evacuated and pray for those crews who are still fighting the Yarnell Fire on the front lines.
Superintendent, Granite Mountain Hotshots
Certificate of completion
Fire bag pulled from my garage