Take a walk with me through the largest Ponderosa pine forest in the world.

Warning-this post has links to some scary Arizona campfire tales of aliens, haunted mountains and monsters. Although not one of my tamer Arizona walks I normally share with you all, I thought it would be fun to share some of the scary things from our state. It is camp fire season after all.Hope you all enjoy taking this walk with me.

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So what do people do who are stuck here in Phoenix during the summer months?.

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We get in our vehicles and drive up to the cool pines and wooded areas in our state to cool down and explore in.

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This walk with me includes some photos from the past as well as some recent ones from this year.

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I love the smell of fresh pine.

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I am no stranger to all that Arizona has to explore. As a little girl, my father took me everywhere camping, fishing, hiking and exploring creeks and lakes here in my home state.

There is only one area my father made me promise ever since I was a kid to never hike “ Even when I am no longer on this planet and you are an adult, promise you will never hike the Superstition Mountains” he would remind me when we were out exploring around Arizona.

I remember looking up at him as a little girl, as curious as could be, wondering what was so scary about those beautiful mountains. Why would my father say such a thing.

Eventually when I was older he would tell me that story. But I will have to save that story for another time, remember I tend to post long posts. If you want to watch another hikers experiences at those big beautiful mountains watch this YouTube videohttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btDeWxLD14E. It’s the stuff of scary campfire tales.

But this post isn’t about the Superstition mountains, instead it’s about our forest here. We are home to the largest ponderosa pine forest in the whole world…crazy huh?.

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The area I am sharing with you today is home to black bears, mountain lions, elk, deer, foxes, raccoon’s, skunks, etc…lets just say a lot of critters out there. There are even stories from as far back as 1913 of reports of a big foot creature that they call the Mogollon Monster https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drLTEe-YCUo . Even Native Americans have stories about this hairy creature. Way up, deeper in the forest, on the reservation, there are stories of the Apache white mountain reservation being visited by a hairy man like creature.

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At night when we would drive home really late after a long day of fixing up Our Little Red House we would drive down that dirt road surrounded by all those trees in the woods, no street lights, just the moon and the stars to light our way and it was spooky.

My son would get so scared when he was little at night up there. There were many long days and evenings of fixing up Our Little Red House, then driving 3 hours back to the city late at night on those old country dirt roads in the middle of dark woods. Even now, my son being all grown up, I will catch him once in awhile staring out in the woods, like he is deciding whether or not he wants to go any farther. He prefers the city life.

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It wasn’t always like that. He used to love exploring out there.

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These woods are part of the area where a man went missing for several days many years ago.https://www.wmicentral.com/news/arizona_news/years-later-most-documented-ufo-sighting-abduction-still-draw-interest/article_f10689c2-8982-11e5-82e2-d3306821f49b.html They even made a movie about it.

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Our friends and neighbors up there are always telling us they know where the abduction took place and “Would you like us to take you there to see it?”and I always answer…

“What are you crazy? NO!…no, no, no. Not on your life, no way.” I mean how many times can a person say no. Bet I can beat that record. Just ask me to go for a picnic in the woods where aliens apparently kidnapped a local man and basically tortured him.

I love exploring up there in the woods, collecting little bits of nature to create art with. No cars, no people, it is like we are the only ones on earth. So different from the city environment with all it’s noises and chaos.

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This is why it is so important to tell others what area you are headed up to and when to expect you back. Arizona is number 2 in the most missing people in our nation with Alaska being number 1. There are a lot of places to go missing in the wilderness…lots of canyons and open spaces in this state.

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Walking around, knowing the history here where I stood, I was getting a little spooked myself. When I took these shots my husband was off in another area close to the kids. I had left them and went in another direction to get a better view of the creek down below.

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I just want to warn any visitors coming here to know they should always take an Arizona native with you as a guide when you are out exploring some of our more rugged and secluded areas.

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There weren’t a lot of people out this day, maybe the rain was the reason.

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Flash floods are common here in our state. Even if you think it’s safe, a storm miles away can still cause a flash flood to happen where you are exploring. Do not get stuck down in the canyon creeks during Monsoon season.

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This area has a history of flooding.

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I ended up leaving the secluded area I was in to go find my family. I am not a big fan of exploring the woods alone. Guess I got a little distracted there by all this beauty.

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My family had a lot of fun on this walking adventure because it came with a ton of water.

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The water runs year round up there and there are waterfalls and huge swimming holes to jump into and cool down in during the summer months when it gets hot.

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When my kids were younger they loved exploring the woods.

After a long summer day of fixing up that little red house, and it was a wreck.We would all jump into our truck for a break down at the creek, packing a lunch and some coloring books for the kids and magazines for me to read. My son would take his toy soldiers and set them up along the creek.

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And my daughter would look for critters everywhere.

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The creeks up there are full of life. Our kids learned a lot when we stayed up north. We had home school lessons out in nature. Most of the critters out there will not harm you as long as you leave them alone.

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It was a nice break from rebuilding all day up at Our Little Red House. The water was always cold even in the summer months.

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Now they are all grown up but still out there exploring with mom and dad.

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Everything is so green up north. It is a nice break from the city life.

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Hope you all enjoyed this little Arizona adventure with me. Happy adventures where ever you are. Stay safe out there.

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This post is dedicated to the Garcia family who lost their lives July 15 2017 up around this beautiful area https://www.apnews.com/1a2f27e304b04d9ab000b4ea011ceb61.

May they rest in peace. If you are ever a visitor to our state, please research any area you go into to explore and always be careful.Try to hire a guide or explore in groups. Tell someone where you are going, when you should be back and pay attention to your surroundings at all times. It is wild and rugged out here in some areas, just stay safe everyone.

Main photo above is of my daughter walking along a creek.

I am offline until September. Thank you for visiting my site. God bless you all and have a great summer from all of us at Our Little Red House.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Back Pikir says:

    Nice

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ekurie says:

    I follow another blogger who hiked through those mountains you promised your father you’d never hike in. I look forward to hearing your father’s story.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the Mogollon Rim, very familiar with it. I hiked the Highline National Recreation Trail up there and have family just north of Payson. Beautiful country up there! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. John says:

    Beautiful picture of the nature!😊 I also think it is so fun and interesting to explore forests. You find so much both beautiful and something you have never seen.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. mel says:

    Wonderful family adventure! It’s very relaxing to be able to breathe a fresh natural outdoor. See you in September!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. kat says:

    Oh my, what a gorgeous place! My husband has a strange fascination with UFOs, so I’d be tempted to take him.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Michelle says:

    Beautiful place to walk! I used to love walking through the woods next to where I lived growing up. There was always something new to find. The creek was the best part and every now and then you’d see a few cows drinking the water. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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