Memorial Day Camping – Northern Arizona Style

The dirt washboard road leading to the cabin was as ripped as a body builder’s abs. One and a half miles of chassis-wrenching, 2-miles per hour crawling brought me to Kendrick Cabin – one of about a dozen rustic structures throughout Arizona listed on the National Register of Historic Places and made available to the public.

A steak dinner, cooked cowboy style over a picture-perfect fire ring rounded out the day. The nippy air begged to accompany a nice selection of single malt Scotches, and was accommodated nicely. Four friends, six whiskies: the math worked out perfectly! Smoky Laphroaig and Bowmore felt like we had swallowed the campfire, while lighter spirits soothed our vocal cords for better-forgotten solos. Bodies were strewn all over the cabin as we bunked down for the night. Following the can’t-be-beat bacon and eggs breakfast over the campfire, I left my friends and continued eastward, past Mormon Lake to my secret Eden. Only the dog knows where it is, and he’s not talking.

 “Diamonds on black velvet” is a way of describing the Arizona night sky at 7000 feet above sea level. Overhead, satellites, planets, and infinite stars mesmerized. I remembered the night I saw the International Space Station arc across the sky from this spot. Nearby, coyotes were discussing the interloper … and his dog. I can’t think of a better way in which to enjoy The Balvenie 21 PortWood single malt that here, as the flames died and the embers changed colors in the breeze. My personal “Travels with Charley” would continue tomorrow, as I head for home.

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