Saturday, October 20, 2007

"Turn yonder by the big ol' Black Walnut Tree"

The rancher who has land adjoining our property told us about a cave up in the mountains but the directions he gave us were rather vague. "Turn at the big ol' Black Walnut Tree about seven miles in from the main highway"....those directions just didn't have enough details. So, Larry & Jean and Ralph & I set out to search for the cave. We found what we think is the correct road, (FR 609) clocked ourselves going in about seven miles, but there wasn't a Black Walnut tree to be found, nor a road, path or trail leading to a cave. Since we were already in, off the main highway so far, we decided to take the road all the way through. It runs from SR 288 (Desert to Tall Pines Scenic Highway) through to Greenback Valley, coming out in Punkin Center and Tonto Basin...quaint names huh. The road passes through vast areas of burned pine trees and the fallen pines littered the road in front of us. Fortunately, someone, probably the Forest Service, had moved and cut the trees that were blocking the trail. The trail was extremely rocky and bumpy almost the entire way. Like the Pope, I almost got out to kiss the pavement once we landed on the blacktop highway. The air was cool, fresh and pine scented in the mountains and the trip, as always, was super....even though we didn't find the cave this time.