After considerable thought regarding my options, I decided to head south again, to southern Arizona and revisit Chiricahua National Monument. I had some unfinished business there involving several trails and I (perhaps somewhat foolishly) thought that it would be warmer there. The days were nice at the Grand Canyon and in northern Arizona but the nights were still a little cool for comfort.
Returning to Holbrook, I turned south onto Arizona 77, which takes you through the towns of Snowflake and Show Low. Noticing that there was a scenic highway “sort of” on my way I continued east on Arizona 260 then picked up U.S. 180/191 south through the White Mountains. It was an absolutely beautiful drive, and I highly recommend it, but only if you aren't in a hurry, aren't easily excited and you have a great deal of patience. Whew! I'll just say that I was very happy when I got through those mountains!
The weather had taken a turn – from a beautiful day with blue skies and sunshine to just plain weird looking. It was a hazy-foggy mix with a little sunshine penetrating the gloom. I decided to stop at Roper Lake State Park, a few miles south of Safford on U.S. 191. As I pulled into the registration booth it started to rain, poured down, but just for a minute.
About an hour later this appeared to the west (click on image to view a larger version):
With the dark clouds came strong winds, rain and snow.
A close-up view of the mountains beneath those big gray clouds. This particular storm passed by quickly. But other storms and more wind came again during the night. It was a very restless night!
In the morning we were greeted with sunshine, blue skies, and somewhat cooler temperatures. As I headed a few miles south toward Willcox and Chiricahua, I wondered what more Mother Nature could bring my way.