Lake Bartlett is a reservoir that sits at about 2000’ elevation surrounded by beautiful “high chaparral” hills dotted with the occasional “saguaro” cactus. The hills and the cacti overlooking water reminded me of the geography of Baja Sur but instead of the Gulf of California for a backdrop, we only had a small lake.
After an one hour detour due to watching the scenery and not the signs, I pulled into the campground just after sunset to find Christen waiting for me with a great campfire and a huge smile. Campfire chat and a couple of cocktails ended the day perfectly; a day that started out “not so good”.
The morning brought a beautiful blue sky and temperatures in the high 70s. I was glad it was a great day because my plan was to stay only one day and get back on the road to Mexico. I think plans are overrated, especially mine, as they are so tentative! What would you do? I found myself in the perfect campsite, a beautiful view and strictly “Chamber of Commerce” weather with a person whose company I truly enjoy. I stayed!
One day turned into two and then three and so on until a week had disappeared. I have had a very eventful and enjoyable life but right in the middle of the week I found myself trying to decide on a day that I had enjoyed more but I couldn’t think of one.
Another nice thing about Lake Bartlett is that it is practically deserted. During the week there were no overnight campers just the fishermen who launch their boats right from the beach, fish for awhile, then haul out their boats and head home. On the weekend there were only a handful of campers and the nearest one to our campsite was at least 50 yards away.
I forgot to mention that this camp is absolutely free but limited to 14 days in a row. In the week I spent there I never saw a ranger checking license plates to enforce the 14 day rue. It has great facilities including flush toilets and running water in the basin. There are cabana like structures with picnic tables and bar-b-ques under their shade. There are dumpsters everywhere and the state of Arizona does such a good job of maintaining the facilities, the people who use the facility seem to care more and left each campsite in good condition when they left (much different that my experience at Kern River in California).
Sorry this post is out of order but so am I sometimes!