Our wildlife sighting adventure in the Apache Blue Range Primitive Area

IMG_7264I saw a black bear cub today. I caught a brown Trout. I went to New Mexico and back into Arizona on a fire road through a spot on the map called Blue, Arizona.  I saw the white Blue Cowbells in the meadows next to the stream that is the Blue river. I saw bull and doe Elk and several of their young.  I walked the bed of the windy Blue and parked a chair along it’s banks to watch my boys roll up their pants and stick their bottoms in the air searching for crawdads. They say they caught a grand-daddy!  I walked over a set of stairs put in place by citizen conservationist from the 1930’s to lead the way to a hidden area of petroglyphs along the rocky formations next to the Blue.  And I ended the day watching my sons catch and release Apache Trout from a hidden lake tucked away in a hole surrounded by Pine, Spruce and Aspen trees.

Tonight’s our last night at Hannagan Meadow Lodge. We haven’t taken a family vacation in 6 years and this is only our second family vacation, so I don’t have a lot to compare it to. But it’s the best so far!

Every year I usually take the boys to Oregon and Redding, California to visit family. They usually stay for a month with my sister, but this year we broke tradition and the boys went to ZONA camp at Biola University for a week and we all (husband included) went on a much needed family vacation to the beautiful high country in Eastern Arizona. And I am so glad we did.  I wrote 4 poems here. Took up watercolors (I won’t quit my day job) and wrote a list of observations at several places we visited. The time out here has been inspiring, refreshing, quiet and adventurous at the same time.

Hannagan Meadow Lodge, where we rented a cabin, is at 9000 feet elevation along the historic Coronado Trail (a.k.a. Devil’s Highway- it used to be labeled Hwy 666) in Arizona’s Blue Range Primitive Area. About a five minute car ride from Hannagan Meadow is hidden Aker Lake.  I painted two of my water colors there and wrote two poems there. You drive down a forest service road into a valley were at the bottom is a natural, small lake, tucked all around with green grass, Pine, Spruce and Aspen trees. There’s a simple wooden sign at the lake instructing fishermen: Single barbed hook and artificial lures, catch and release only. Aker is full of Apache and Brown Trout as well Greylings. My boys took a fly fishing lesson the first day we were there from Wendy, a pro-angler and sweet, intelligent, strong, active woman. So glad she taught my boys.  Now their hooked!  They want to get their own fly fish gear.

There is so much more I could tell you about this trip. I told my husband I want to write a memoir about it. But I’ll leave you with a list of wildlife (I don’t know all their scientific names, so some of this list is just a description) I personally observed in the past 72 hours. As well as some pictures from our wildlife siting adventure in the Apache-Sitegraves Blue Range Primitive Area.

Black and white butterflies

Monarch butterflies

Bright orange butterflies

Black/white swallows?

Finches with yellow breast

Bull elk (4 of them)

Cow elk (I lost count… more than 20)

Baby elk

Mule deer

Big-horned sheep

Swallows (and their babies in a nest on our cabin’s porch)

Hummingbirds

Brown Trout

Apache Trout

Chipmunks

Grey squirrels

Dragon flies

Red breasted Robin

Bald eagle

Vulture

Wild turkey

Black bear cub

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