June 2012 - To escape the oppressive June heat, we drove up to Mt. Lemmon for the day. Traveling with Ms. Karen & me were her brother & our sister-in-law, Cliff & Lynne, visiting from Florida for the first time.
Another reason I wanted to go was that I had heard there is a new restaurant in Summerhaven named Sawmill Run. With four of us, I would be able to get a fairly well-rounded dining review if we all ordered something different.
On the way to the top of the mountain, we stopped at a few Forest Service campgrounds and picnic areas. To my surprise, there was hardly anyone using them. Not surprising was the many signs warning of “High Fire Danger” and “No Campfires Permitted”. All of the wood-burning stoves at the campsites had been securely wrapped to prevent their use.
In several campgrounds, many large piles of wood and other flammable forest debris had been accumulated and made ready for removal. All the live trees and brush were very dry, a clear sign that we are experiencing a drought. Had you been a camper here, you’d be pitching your tent on fine dirt, not pine needles.
Summerhaven is making a slow comeback from the devastating Aspen Fire of ’03 that destroyed 340 homes & business in the village along with 84,000 surrounding acres. The scars are clearly visible on the hillsides that form the canyon where Summerhaven is located. Not a pretty sight. Continue reading