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Here's some shots of our campsite. It's the same spot we camped in last year. A very secluded spot near Forest Lakes, AZ.
You can see how we removed the roof rack from the truck and used it as a camping table for cooking and washing.
The area is populated by many hummingbirds that are accustomed to being fed by campers and people living in the area. They kept trying to drink from anything and everything in the campsite, including our heads... We ended up buying 3 different feeders and hanging them around the campsite.
Individual birds would fight for dominance over each feeder. By the end of the camping trip we had 1 bird at each feeder that would attempt to run off any other birds that would visit. It made for some interesting chases through the tree's by up to 6 birds at once. Somehow reddish colored hummingbirds ended up being dominant at each of the 3 feeders. Here are pictures of two of them guarding their feeders. When the birds would fight you could actually hear them hit their wings on the invading bird to chase it away.
One bird managed to fly under our canopy and get stuck. It kept trying to fly up and away into the blue (maybe it thought it was the sky??). We snapped a flash picture and captured it's wings mid-flap before I helped it find its way out.
Amber and I spotted a group of 5 deer (2 bucks and 3 doe) near our camp when we ran to the store for ice. Other than a lone Antelope we saw running through the woods on FR154 all we saw were squirrels, birds, lizards, snakes and fish.
We spent 3 days of our trip fishing at Black Canyon Lake. We caught quite a few fish but only kept one Bass to eat. Amber managed to catch a 2-3 pound Bass, by far the largest fish of the ~100 Bass and Bluegill we pulled from the lake.
We also did quite a bit of target shooting around camp. Justin requested a "redneck" picture with our guns and muddy truck.
Two of the days were spent doing sightseeing and trail running. We'd pick a spot to go to and used our topographical maps and GPS to find a way there without touching asphalt. We went to numerous overlooks on the Rim.
At one of the overlooks someone "buried" their pet python, Snowball, which was conveniently born on 4-1-2001 and died on 4-1-2004 (April Fools day)
We all climbed the 110 foot lookout tower at Promontory Butte (the tallest tower on the Rim, second tallest in the state). The top of the tower sits at 8000 feet.
We went through Chevelon Canyon to some lookouts over the lake and drove down as close to the lake as they'll let you drive.
We found FR154 near camp. There were quite a few muddy trails off of this road. You could easily spend a day cruising around here.
I found a dry creek bed to play in off of one of the 4x4 only roads. I didn't have a spotter or anyone else with us so I didn't wander too far from the road.
Now for the mandatory truck pictures. The truck ran flawlessly for the whole trip, even when loaded down with 1000+ lbs of people and gear climbing the hills to Payson.
Here's some nice posed shots with the front tire on a 40 inch tall rock right next to one of the Rim lookout points.
My personal favorite shot of the trip, overlooking Chevelon Lake. It also shows how "The Beast" got it's name.
Here is a shot of 'Cede shortly before she crashed the truck into a tree. I think the tree took more damage than the truck.
The final shots are of the truck packed for the return trip.