We are currently staying in a vacant lot near our friends Jim and Connie who live inArizona City. It’s really tough here. We use their backyard, their washer and dryer, their bathroom for showers and baths and their new hot tub. On top of that, Connie makes dinner for us most nights. How lucky are we?
Well we decided the other to take our UTVs up to Queen Valley to do the 30 mile loop. We packed a lunch, loaded up the UTVs along with another couple. We headed up to the drop-off point in the Valley.
A little aside here. If you read my blog you probably remember my scathing letter about the way the shooters were destroying this beautiful valley. They were leaving their shooting sites littered with every target imaginable, from paper to TV’s, washing machines and countless bottles shot to pieces. It was a disgrace.
I sent the letter to everyone I could think of, the police, the forestry, the BLM even the NRA. Of course almost no one responded but I did get a call from the NRA saying that they were aware of the problem and notified their members. He assured that none of those members were the culprits. I felt I had done all I could so was resigned to give up camping in that area. That was a couple of years ago so yesterday I steeled myself to turn a blind eye while we were going through the area where the damage had been done.
We drove in and unloaded our units and headed up the valley, stopping to show our friends some of our favorite places. I did notice that at the entrance new signs had been posted cautioning shooters that they couldn’t continue to abuse the valley. Then we saw that a few of the old areas had been cleaned up and in one area a portable toilet had been left along side a huge garbage bin. I was thrilled!! Also along the roads the garbage had been cleared out and more signs posted. All through the first 10 miles we saw evidence of the clean-up. There were still lots of people up there, many of them target practicing and I hoped they wereheeding the signs.
We continued our trek up the valley through some of the most beautiful area in Arizona and it was with a light heart I told Dale I’d like to come up here again and stay for a couple of weeks.
Our trip was fun and exciting. We travelled through canyons, washes filled with water, up mountains until we topped off over 5000 feet on the snow line. We drove through snow, slush, mud, water, rocks and dusty roads. Yahoo!!! It was great, if a bit too long. We stopped by a stream to have our lunch and soldiered on down the mountain to finish up about 6 hours later. Everyone agreed it was a great trip, even Connie who was a bit anxious in the snow.
I was tired but happy to hope maybe my letter was one of many that actually made a difference.
More to come……
Photos by Connie Gale.