Friday, October 1, 2010

Day 16 (531km): Campers beware

Since we had camped in Heron State Park we were already on a nice backroad that would take us in a South-West direction. Perfect, we set out on the backroad when we got going in the morning. There were lots of different campgrounds in the park, we just happened to stay at the first decent one we saw.
Heron Lake

The road we had planned to take looked a lot more straight forward on the map than in real life. We had only gone 10 kms or so and there was a fork in the road. Hmmm.... left? Then our road ended and we were at a pavement junction. Where did this main road come from? TomTom to the rescue. We followed him but he wanted to take us on a road that went through Apache land. No through traffic. Hmmm... Back to the HWY I guess? We eventually made it to 537 and there went our plans for the morning. I did see a porcupine and a very large spider (probably the size of a squash ball). So I got my wildlife content from our morning adventures.  
The first strange intersection

So we were on 537 and giving up on taking backroads to try and stem the boredom of New Mexico highways. We ended up on 191 which turned into 9. It was pretty boring. Luckily there was some interesting scenery, but not many safe places to stop and take pictures. So that was it, we flew through New Mexico and into Arizona. We made tracks towards St. John because our map showed they had camping. 
The tragedy of straight roads
Cool scenery
Moving towards Arizona

They did in fact have camping but it was the worst camping experience of the trip so far. It seemed harmless at first, but things went downhill. At first we were having trouble finding it due to a road washout so we stopped at a gas station for directions. Sorted. We made it to the RV park and set-up camp. I had noticed a large amount of tiny ants on the ground, but no worries. Turns out there were ants everywhere. If you took a cross-section of the town I imagine you'd see little ant tunnels going everywhere underneath the town. After we had the tents up Dad and I walked back towards the main drag in search of supplies. On the way, we were practically chased down by mosquitoes and my Dad probably ended up with 50 bites. When we came back to the campground it was pretty much dark and we both drank our beers in our respective tents (safe from the mosquitoes). Not very sociable. By this time I found out that my sleeping pad had been punctured by these plant spikes that were all over the ground. Alberto's pad was also punctured. He's such a sweetheart though because throughout the night he kept giving my pad an air boost. Also when my Dad went to have a shower he found out that he was sharing the bathroom with toads. So I guess he got his wildlife content as well. In conclusion St. John is not a place for campers, based on our experience.

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