When you think of Arizona

You usually don’t think of mountain streams and going on picnics on the sand bar, swimming in deep water.

…and East Clear Creek is about a mile from the house.

Life isn’t all riots, arson, strife and calls for racial justice. Sometimes it’s just a swim and a picnic, and some catch-and-release crawdad fishing. The granddaughters are up for a couple days. And they like to go to the creek with grandpa.

There are rainbow trout, German brown trout, brook trout and Gila Native trout in the creek, that runs all year.

People still tease me about having abandoned the California city scene for Rural Arizona  but they don’t laugh so hard these days. Yeah, I’m nuts to have given up fast food, living in a melting pot of humanity and a gas station on every corner. When they built a mosque just down the street from where I was living and all the Mohammedans showed up, it was the last straw. No mosques here.



  1. Okay, now you did it…might have to head a mile back and sit in the deep part of the stream. Not as stunning at your Summer oasis (truly very nice), but it’ll do. A cure for the spirit.

      • Sage advice…twice a day, early morning with coffee, and twilight, I step outside and breath it in — feeding on God’s goodness. Does wonders. Ever wake up in the middle of the night and step outside? That’ll do it too.

  2. When a man has grandchildren who look at him like that it’s proof he’s lived his life right.

    “All true wealth is biological.”
    – Aral Vorkosigan

    • Most of the work I do these days for profit (I do charity as well) it to drop money into an account to advance the lives of the grandchildren, to help them with education or other goals that they may have. I think that the key is that you don’t give them enough money to harm them, just to help them. It can be a fine line.

  3. Reminds me a bit of places I went to when I was their age. Didn’t have any mountains, but we had cool streams and small rivers with lots of trees to explore. Mostly bass, blue gills and crappies, with legions of catfish lurking in the mud on the bottom.

    Are the first two pictures sisters? Something about their eyes makes me think they are.

    I’d prefer to be as rural as you are, but SLW, ever the City Gal, just couldn’t abide it. One of the areas we looked at she called “desolate”. Yes, honey, Magnificent Desolation as a personal hero and occasional acquaintance called it a long time ago.

    • All three are sisters. They live near me in Prescott, AZ. (“near” in Arizona is a two hour drive away).

      MRSLL is not a country girl in the least, but she’s a good sport about living in the ‘south forty’, and she knew that the SoCal environment was toxic for me, as it was for you. We both talked about it on the BB, and at other times to a lesser extent. Today the isolation from the insanity is delicious. You went to CO, I went to AZ, same reason. And we look for equilibrium.

      My children are all looking for a way to escape SoCal but they’re tied by employment.

  4. I have repeatedly visited AZ , Roosevelt Lake, Payson, Jerome, Sedona (Oak Creek Canyon on my BMW R100 was a favorite ride) and recalled Zane Grey’s descriptions of the Mogollon Rim country.
    All respect for what you have done and are doing now. Carry on, sir!

    • I live “on the Rim” not under the Rim…and there is some snobbery involved. At least as close to the rim as is humanly possible to live. Oak Creek Canyon is great on a bike except on weekends…crazy amount of traffic.

  5. Brings back memories for me too, at about the same age, or a bit older, in the California gold rush country. We had river that ran across one end of our ranch (river in the winter, creek during summer, a trickle by August). In late summer, we would have accumulated a stash of burlap feed bags, and used them to make sand bags and a shallow dam for a swimming hole. The resident beavers would make their contribution, plugging small leaks in the dam in our absence.

    • That’s neat. There aren’t any beavers that I’ve seen in Clear Creek. The trees are almost exclusively pine. Not many oaks in that particular spot. The holes in the creek (where the larger fish dwell) are more a product of the rock walls and occasionally rock falls that create small dams. As you say, the spring flow as the snow melts is much more swift than it is as summer approaches.

      California Gold Rush Country is very beautiful and is a lot like this place, but Arizona is much more dry. We don’t get the snow packs like the Western Sierras that feed the creeks and lakes. For us it’s snow, but in July and August, Monsoons bring as much water as the snow did, and the creeks are refreshed.

      • Someone might think about returning beavers to the area. What they do for local environments as they keep water from just running off and away makes a dramatic difference. Unless it’s your land they want to flood. Of course, so long as it’s not my house, I have no problem on my land. Not that I have any, it would take a substantial lottery ticket winning to make our dreams come true. And we almost never buy lottery tickets.

  6. Looks like a place I went camping back in 1975 when I was in pilot training. Don’t remember much other than it was a n enjoyable weekend.

  7. They walk amongst us? I didn’t know you have grandkids in Preskitt. Good for you. The few people in know that grew up here (as opposed to relocated here) are some of the most decent level headed people I’ve met. I’m simply in shock how crazy this country has gotten in the last few months and I’m very happy to be in this wonderful town.

  8. I hunt around the Payson area, great town.
    Looking for rural land there and north and praying there’s still time.

    • There is still land, but it’s somewhat limited. Pine and Strawberry offer a trade off between a compound in the mountains and a house in the city.

  9. Have a friend who had a decent spread up by Springerville near Big Lake. Sadly he sold out and bought a bigger one in Idaho.
    Still hunt elk up that way sometimes.

    • Good land south of Eagar, and also to the west and southwest of town. I’ve always liked the White Mountains.

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