Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A Little Paddling on the Saguaro Lake

Thursday we wanted to check out Saguaro Lake. It is only about 15 minutes from the campground. Cool!

We drove around looking for a good spot to put in our boats. We drove to the Marina and then continued north a little until we saw a sign for Butcher Jones Recreation Area. We started driving and continued driving, almost turned around but glad we didn't. We came to a nice park and a lovely beach not far from the parking area. Perfect. We will come back on Friday with our boats. We will need a tonto pass, which is a 24 hour day pass. These passes are needed at recreation and camping spots in the Tonto National Forest. You can't buy them at the sites themselves but can buy them ahead of time at district offices and some stores, such as Circle K's and gas stations. As we needed to get gas anyway, we stopped and I went into the store at the gas station and got 11 passes. We needed one for Saguaro and got the rest for our stay at Roosevelt Lake. You need one for each vehicle and so we got enough for 5 days. We can get more if we stay longer. They are 6 dollars each but only 3 for us old folks who have our national passes. You can use them any time as you just scratch out the date and time you get there and put it on the rear view mirror.

Friday we packed some food and waters and all our boat gear into the Jeep and took off for Saguaro Lake, for our first paddle in about six months. Yikes, how fast did the time go. Saguaro Lake is another of the four lakes in the area created by the Salt River project. Another lovely lake with 22 miles of shoreline and a depth of up to 118 feet when full. Butcher Jones Rec Area has swimming and a picnic area and is great for all water sports. There is also a nice hiking trail there.



We parked at the busier than yesterday parking area and got our boat set up and onto the water. It is another warm and sunny day and lots of people out having fun. There was a group of kids sitting out on some rocks and some jumping off the rocks into the water. I tried to get a picture of them jumping but with the rocking of the boat and unsteadiness of the camera with long lens out I couldn't seem to get one.


Savannah loves her spot on this boat. Little queen on her barge.



Hey, there is another dog, Savannah, standing on a paddle board. I think he is having fun too.


We didn't have a real long paddle as it was our first in awhile but it was enjoyable as always. We will not go six months before our next paddle as we plan to get out on the water at Lake Roosevelt soon. When not out and about, I enjoyed time just sitting outside with the great views and sounds of the different birds in the area. Didn't have the camera out when three little squirrels were running around chasing each other and playing. Cute. We also had coyotes out at night and they sounded like they were having a party. Then of course, many lizards around.




I am glad we got out on Friday as the weekend brought wind, lots of wind. The skies were dust colored and there was dust everywhere inside our motorhome as we had windows open. Then the clouds came followed by rain on Sunday night. What a quick change in weather. That is the desert for you. We were going to leave Monday but decided to stay one more day due to the wind and possibly of wet sand and dirt at Roosevelt Lake where we planned to stay. And another grocery stop. Walmart for Joe's drugs and then stopped at AJ Fine Foods as I had read they have the brand of horseradish we got at the Farmer's Market last week which we loved. We got another of the citrus horseradish and also a beet horseradish. At the Market, they had recipes and I made one for turkey meatloaf with the citrus horseradish. So good that we made another, this time with the beet version. Yummy :) . AJ's was like a Whole Foods, product and price wise. Expensive. They had fresh fish but even the mahi mahi was high at $19 a pound with halibut at $28. We skipped it this time.

Tuesday came and we decided to stay one more day. Unfortunately the other day some people came by and we eyeing our spot, checking our check date and would't you know it, they signed up for our spot and so we moved the next site over for one day. It was nice also though we didn't have the mountain view that we had in our original spot. Wednesday we leave Usery, a spot we would definitely return to in the future, and onto further adventures.






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