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Coronado Trail Southbound, AZ
mini location map2012-08-04
38 by photographer avatarrwstorm
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Coronado Trail Southbound, AZ 
Coronado Trail Southbound, AZ
Scenic Drive avatar Aug 04 2012
Scenic Drive
Scenic Drive
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1st trip
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On the drive back from my Socorro/Magdalena Mountains trip, I decided to take a long scenic route. Drove west on US60 to Springerville, then south on US191 (still HWY666 to us old timers ;) ). I don't drive this road too often, but it is a true classic, especially the part between Alpine and Clifton known as the Coronado Trail.

This was the first time I had been there since last year's Bear Wallow Fire, and the extent of burn along the highway surprised me a little. It burned extensively around KP Cienega Campground, one of my favorite places up that way. I still have yet to camp there. The one time I was going to with a hiking group, we had set up our tents and went hiking. The skies opened up as we headed back to camp and it got very chilly and some folks had water soaked bags, etc. We decided to head up to Tal-Wi-Wi Lodge near Alpine and get some rooms instead.

This campground was involved in another adventure of mine back in the fall of 2008. I was returning from a trip over to the El Morro area and decided to drive back this way because it is so scenic. I stopped in at the campground just to take a few pictures before heading down the road. Anyway, I must have placed my camera on the car while doing something else, forgot it, and drove off. It's a long sort of tedious drive and when I finally got back home late in the evening and unloaded the car, I went into panic camera! :o This was one I really liked (Canon A590) and it had my trip pictures. Oh no! What to do? Since it was fall and I didn't see anyone else at the campground, I decided to drive back up there the next day, and probably find the camera laying on the ground. Let me tell you that as much as I like it, when you drive that road two days in a row, the charm is gone! :lol:

So, up through Globe, Springerville, and Alpine I went. When I got the the campground, nobody there, but no camera either. Hmm, maybe I lost it at Granville, where I also briefly stopped the day before. Nope, not there either. So back home I went dejected and tired. :(

There was only one other option at this point. Next morning I called the Alpine Ranger Station. After a brief pause, I was given the phone number of person who had information on my camera. Are you kidding me?! Wow! It turns out a Scottsdale physician who works at Mayo Clinic had pulled into the campground sometime after I departed Sunday afternoon, and found my camera laying on the ground. He was up in the area gathering firewood, and had also stopped in there before heading home. He called the Alpine RS Monday to give them his number in case someone asked about a lost camera. So, after calling him and providing identifying information and thanking him, he shipped it to me. I mean priority mail and insured. :)

So, I had my beloved Canon A590 back and was very happy indeed! But my luck ran out with it in early March 2009. While up in the Superstitions to drive the scenic Apache Trail with a friend, we decided to head in on First Water Road, then the side road to the parking area for the Massacre Falls hike (this is before they blocked it off). There were a lot of folks out hiking that morning, taking flower pictures, etc. After we got back from the hike to the falls, I must have done the same thing again, while talking and not paying attention. Anyway, we stopped for lunch at Tortilla Flat, and that's when I noticed my camera was missing. Following the meal, we backtracked to the Massacre parking area and looked in vain for the camera. This time I lost it for good. :( I sure did like that camera at the time.

The rest of the drive to Clifton is very beautiful. I especially liked the summer green up on Four Bar Mesa (the one place you can get your speed up on the straightaway). Always a delight to drive through the Granville area and drop down through the unbelievably huge mining complex to Morenci and Clifton. :o

Some people do not like this drive, but I find it to be an Arizona treasure! :D
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