Being labeled by many as a world traveling man, I always get asked if I’ve been to places others are thinking about going to….

One place in particular is the small, remote Arizona mountain town of Greer up in the White Mountain Apache Reservation area. Somewhere I hadn’t made it to for many reasons, but the 4th of July holiday this year seemed like the prime opportunity to change all of that.

Getting a place up here takes advanced planning, especially over a Holiday weekend. My initial plans started over a year ago, and with a week to go before I left, my dreams of exploring and hiking this place were all coming to fruition.

Then the news came over the radio, and slaps me hard in the face.

“Due to the danger of spreading wildfires across the State, the government has closed ALL National/State forests over the 4th of July weekend.”

Just like that, my year long planning went down the shitter. No hiking. I wasn’t even sure if I’d be able to make it to my cabin. I drive up anyways, and find after my long, five and a half hour journey, that the town is open and safe from wildfire danger.

But all mountain trails are closed.

I settle into the cabin nestled in the Ponderosa Pines, and within minutes an afternoon thunderstorm rolls in. Rain is such a precious commodity around here.

I shift priorities for the few days that I’m here. I take long morning walks along the only road through the mountains instead of hiking.

I study the oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings in the cabin, and fancy trying this type painting in my own future.

I spend countless hours watching the rain come down while comic book movies play on the TV in the background.

It may not have been what I initially was planning for my first time to Greer, but I most certainly can’t control the government, or Mother Nature. I just roll along with the punches thrown my way.

As soon as I returned home, I found another cabin in Greer for the 4th of July holiday in 2022. Wish me well for better luck next time around.

Wench, bring my ale, what say you?

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