Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Westward Ho to The Gallery In Williams...Arizona, that is.

I was on the east side of The Rez when my intuition grabbed me by the shirt-front, slammed me against the wall, and whispered, "Get thee hence to the The Gallery in Williams."...Williams, Arizona that is. It's a two-day trek from Albuquerque and I often camp on Buffalo Range Rd.

As many times as I've been here (30 miles east of Flagstaff) this was the first I was in the mood to pilgrimage the 14 miles to the famed Yeager Canyon Trail. Supposedly accessible from this side, the information at the Raymond Ranch sign-in kiosk about a mile before "headquarters" touts it as easy. There's also a varied and interesting (interesting what might be in places if they hadn't been removed in the name of cattle-ranching) list of animals that can be seen on the reserve; I saw an (one!!) antelope. 

My one (and only) principal is: dawdle. So by the time I arrived at headquarters it was past 6:00 pm. The roads beyond headquarters were rougher than anticipated; top speed maaaaybe, 5mph. If it'd been earlier I'd have continued the last four miles, but there's a notice at the aforementioned kiosk that stipulates: Camping only allowed in the designated spot...300 ft N of headquarters. The "campspot" is a weed-emshrouded area recognizable only by the standard amenities...a picnic table & barbecue grill. There are no "facilities." 

I do all I can to avoid formal campsites and with still four miles to the trailhead at an estimated four-miles-per hour, I couldn't make it before sunset. And I've reached the age where I don't like to drive after dark.

I returned north of the kiosk and spent a peaceful night on the campable lands (photo above).

No comments: