Rain at Spillway? Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That!

The weekend on the Rim looked daunting, with forecasts of rain more than 50% every hour all three days, but the scouts had planned accordingly for activities and food. Cactus Road was flooded over the curbs, and 65th Street was a flowing river making it difficult to get to church to load up, but we caught a break in the weather to load the trailer. The rain started again, cutting short any parental hopes of hugs or long goodbyes, and off we headed into the dark clouds covering the Tonto.

Despite a long traffic backup due to a very soggy rodeo in progress on the south side of Payson, we made good time in arriving at our camping spot just as the all-afternoon rain stopped. Assessing the lakes existing in the sites usually best suited for pitched tents, there was some wishing we had brought our canoes and PFDs after all. Mr. Benyi waded to a spot to erect his tent-within-a-tent creation, but the rest of us decided the best bet for the rainy weekend would be to setup on the pavement. After a quiet night with no rain, we were awakened to our Saturday by an enthusiastic but confused crow who thought he was a rooster. Upon further review, it was a whole family of ravens happily making mincemeat of a neighbor’s garbage left out overnight. As we assessed the many vacant spots around us while greeting the glorious cool morning, we agreed that the Kerr, Muller, and appropriately named Flood families who didn’t show up for their reservations were going to miss out on a great adventure. Any day that Mr. Benyi is the last one to awaken is going to be an awesomely productive day!

After meeting the camp hosts’ beagle Bagel, the scouts collaborated on creating the best Dutch oven ‘mountain man’ breakfast ever – crunchy on the edges, done in the middle, and cheesy on top! Yum! After learning sterilized cleanup and Dutch oven seasoning, scouts’ thoughts turned to getting fishing in before the forecasted afternoon deluge. A short walk to the south side of Woods Canyon Lake resulted in awesome shoreline rocks from which to fish.  Casting with spinner bait and garlic-laden hooks, bobbers bobbing led to a couple of nibbles, and a bunch of caught rocks, resulting in no fresh trout for supper. Our camp host, Nick, had told us the storm would be pounding us by noon, but there was so much sun, we moved our lunch location to an adjacent vacant site in the shade, and the 6 of us now consumed four sites and about 35 acres of campground space. All those cancellations were missing a spectacular weekend!

The afternoon was spent variously in hammocks, walking the trail around the lake, 3-man football, and advancement. The scouts of course advanced by working on scout skills. The adults, however, were now the proud owners of the valuable knowledge of how much a super dark monkey in the game Bloons Tower Defense 6 is worth.  This advancement by the adults was certainly every bit as key to functioning in today’s life as cooking, first aid or knot tying! A dinner of stew and cobbler under blue skies was a beautiful capper to a gorgeous day. Never trust a weatherman (thank goodness!). The rain didn’t resume until 2AM Saturday night, and when we were awakened on Sunday by a band of happy coyotes and a brilliant orange sunrise, we had wet tents, but held grateful memories of the rainy weekend that wasn’t.

The few, the brave, the ‘We ain’t afraid of no storms!’
Mr. Benyi’s 7 layer burrito tent, designed to counter the forecasted soupy weekend
T648 mountain men creating breakfast of Mountain Man scramble
Magazine covers collide – Gentlemen’s Quarterly meets Fisherman Today
Whatdya know! Not a drop of rain all day.
Hey! He keeps hitting me with a football!