Whitehorse Lake Trail, Williams, Arizona

Late in May, I found myself in Williams, with my car pointed down the “south road” (aka 4th Street) out of town. The warm sun, the brilliant blue sky and the seductive scent of pine lured me on to where 4th Street becomes Perkinsville Rd. past the back side of Bill Williams Mountain. At the signpost for Overland Trails and Whitehorse Lake, I made a left. Another left into Whitehorse Lake campground, passed through to the day use area and parked. 

Sycamore Rim Trail Access Map

After changing into my trusty hiking boots, I grabbed walking stick, hat, camera, water and snacks. Okay, so it’s only 1 mile from the parking area to the end of the trail and 1 mile back. My out of shape self was taking no chances. Part of my strategy in choosing this trail was that it is easy. The terrain is fairly level, no boulders to climb or streams to cross. It meanders through Ponderosa pine and oaks, so is mostly shady, and stays near the lake. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of elk or deer, but be cautious of other wildlife. Puma have also been spotted, along with the occasional bear. I didn’t even spot a fish on the day I went, but then, I didn’t spot many people, either.

Don’t plan on cooling off in the lake after your hike, as it is not aerated for swimming. Fish and Game does keep Whitehorse Lake stocked with trout, so bring your pole and license. Barbeques and tables are available for day use, for a fee, and the campground is right there. You might want to plan a few days at this spot, fishing, exploring the trails and relaxing and enjoying the tall pines, gazillion stars and spectacular sunrises and sunsets. Best time to go is May-October.

This trail is great for families, children, adults getting in shape/back in shape, older adults and experienced walkers. It also joins up with the Sycamore Canyon Overlook Trail which joins several other trails, for a change of scenery and more of a challenge. More info and maps are available at the Williams Ranger District office, right off Interstate 40 at exit 161 map.


Tic Tac Toe

In an effort to beat the heat this week, we’ve been escaping another 1000 feet in elevation to Williams, Arizona.  Relaxing at one of our favorite fishing holes, my son sets up an impromptu game of “tic tac toe”.  After a couple of dozen rounds, his interest wanes and he gazes off to the side of our picnic table.  A tiny robin is collecting – something.  Foraging through pine needles and gravel for tasty morsels, perhaps.

The earlier cool breeze now fights with a hot wind, both struggling to dominate our respite.  We move to a shadier spot.  My son has been suffering heat exhaustion for the past few days and the fresh, cool breezes are much better for him than sitting in front of the air conditioner.  He dozes off.  The lake is so quiet today.  It usually doesn’t get too crowded anyway, but today is heavenly, even for midweek.  In July and August, I just expect crowds no matter where we go.  

Clouds build and tease around the edges of the hills.  Will our “monsoons” deliver this year?  The lake is way down and we have a lot of water to make up for.  Boy wakes up and we take a short walk. Spending the days up here, pumping him with gatorade and water have helped keep his temperatures down.  He is just about back to normal now, but his body needs a few more days to recover from the shock he’s had.  He is already chattering nonstop and I expect him to start bouncing around again, soon.


The Homekeeper’s Journal 3/1/11

This week the Homekeeper’s Journal is about Spring Time Changes.

In My Kitchen This Week … spinach salad with red onions, pork roast and baked potatoes, ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery (a treat!).  Eating more meals outside in the nice weather.

Changes I Make To My Home In Spring … repotting the houseplants, cleaning out the corners, washing and putting away the extra blankets.

Changes In My Schedule … feeding the animals earlier, before the people; staying in the workshop later; having more homeschool lessons outdoors.

Changes In My Yard/Homestead … putting in a gate to get into the chicken yard; replacing gate to goat pen; mixing up the compost pile.
What I Look Forward to This Spring … sunshine and warm days; opening the windows; lighter layers of clothing.

Spring Brings with It … pollen and sinus activity; new grass for the critters; bugs.

A Sure Sign Of Spring … juniper berries popping and making noses run and eyes itch; ruffly, lacy Easter dresses; pansies at the nursery.

A Favorite Spring Activity … taking a morning walk; dozing in the lawn chair; putting a line in the water at the lake and claiming that I’m fishing.


Go Fish!

We got a late start on our fishing this year, but now we’re making up for lost time.  We’re not really big fish eaters, and we don’t particularly care if we catch anything, it’s more an excuse to just get up to the lake for a few hours.  It also saves hundreds of dollars on massage therapy, as gazing out across the water, casting and reeling in, or just going for a walk relieves all the pent up tensions of the week.

It is nice to catch something once in a while, even if it’s just a crawdad.  There’s a feeling of accomplishment.  Fishing played a big part in Jesus’ life.  Many of the apostles were fishermen.  Jesus told Peter and Andrew He would make them “fishers of men”.  What does it mean for me to be a “fisher of men”?

Surely not to just sit passively and gaze across the lake.  After the wonders of God’s creation have filled me up and pushed out all the garbage of the material world, what next?  Eventually it is time to drive back home and take up the daily tasks again.  Fishers of men…to be Jesus to everyone around me.  To extend kindness…to smile…to cheerfully lend a hand.  To suffer interruptions joyfully, because it may be in that moment that the “fish” God has sent me takes the “bait”.