Wheres Ray/Wendy yr 2

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Roper Lake State Park

Hi all,
 We're finally here, Roper Lake State Park 6 miles south of Safford AZ. our home until March.
While it is nice to see new places there is something about returning to a place where you spent a time that brings a smile.
 We actually drove in a bit of a different route this time driving up Hwy 70 from Lordsburg. It was quite scenic reaffirming why we need to spend more time here.

 Pulling in we got a nice welcome from Michelle, who two years ago was the assistant park manager and volunteer coordinator. She has interviewed for the now open manager position and hopefully will receive good news soon.
 We got a different site this year and it looks pretty good. It does have a nice shade tree that blocks our mountain view some but not to bad. We have had plenty of the cool quail visit already, they are Gambel Quail and so fun to watch. Bob told us that they are trapping and relocating some believing we are overpopulated in the park.

Yellow headed Blackbirds
 We are also next to Bob and Rose who were here last time. Glenna and Milton are also back in our Hacienda Loop and Pat who was our neighbor last time also returned. The staff is down a bit as they wait for some seasonal rangers to come on board. We look to have a pretty full staff of volunteers with three more couples to arrive in the next month or so.
 Sounds like our duties will be pretty much as last time. We will work two days doing light maintenance projects and two days in the visitor/gift/ entry station. We volunteer 4 days a week 4-1/2 hours on those days. And whoo hoo we are scheduled for Fri, Sat, and Sunday off.
 While most things look the same around here some are a bit different. They added some nice concrete surface around the hot tub, previous was dirt and tricky exiting while wet. The water level in the lake is also way up, two years ago the level was pretty low so now up to a good level.

It also might not last but there was fresh snow on nearby Mt Graham. Mt Graham is a 10,000 ft mountain about 3 miles from the park.
 We made a drive up the mountain as soon as we could. They close some of the road Nov. 15- Mar. 15 and they had a light snow up there already. Wendy got some of her first pine needles up there for baskets and is starting to run low.
 The drive is 35 miles with the last 12 unpaved making for some slow going. We had a beautiful sunny day but a pretty stiff wind made the 45 degree temp on top feel cold.

 The drive up ends at Riggs Lake and campground. This is national forest so no hook ups or amenities. As we drove about the campground we saw about 8 wild turkeys and 5 deer and one brave camper in a pop up. That's pretty rough trying to keep a canvas sided rv warm at the 30 degree nights on the mountain.