The weather has warmed up very nicely after a number of days at extremely low temps here. My ex husband Ray, who is my friend now after many years, had been hinting for a few days he would like to take a ride up into the forest area. He doesn't drive anymore and doesn't have a vehicle. He's older than me, and just turned 71 in December. I usually pick him and and we go to breakfast on Saturday mornings then I take him to the store so he can pick up some things. He lives about a mile from the store. He used to walk all the time, and he still does walk down through town every day (about half a mile each way) but he's not able to do things he used to do. It's harder for him to walk to the store and even harder to carry things home like he used to. When we go to breakfast, we often take a couple of the grandkids with us. Yesterday we took Kathy's daughter Bethany (age 8) and Steph's daughter Keyana (age 10). They wanted to go up to Lake Roberts, which is about an hour's drive one way. So we decided to head there. We asked the other grandkids (Elijah 12 and Kaya 14) but they didn't want to go. Ray has a little dog named Lady that he always takes. She's a sweetheart and I love her to pieces. Not quite as much as my lab Abigail, of course, but Lady is a very special dog. the funny thing is, that until the last few years Ray was against inside dogs. He hadn't had one for years. He lives alone, and a couple of years ago decided to adopt a dog. Lady was about 2 1/2 or 3 years old when he adopted her and she has been so good for him and he is so devoted to her. She even sleeps on his bed which for him was highly unusual LOL!
Anyway, we headed into the mountains and the drive to Lake Roberts. It was such a beautiful day, and when we left town about 11:30 it was in the mid 50's. Such a great day to be outdoors.
There are 3 camp areas at Lake Roberts. It's a small fishing lake located in the Gila National Forest. Usually there is one area we go to, which is where the boat ramp is for small rowboats for fishing. That area is free. But this weekend the Gila National Forest was have a free weekend for all their campgrounds, so we decided to drive into the Upper End campground, which we came to first, and park there for a little bit since it was free. I wouldn't mind paying to camp there, but if we are going to just park there for about an hour I hate to pay which is why we usually go to the free side.
This side of the lake has a path that runs more along the southern side, but has cliffs that kept it shaded on that side so there was still some snow. Even though it was a free day no one was really there except the campground host.
Keyana, the taller one, and Bethany, the smaller granddaughter. Of course they have to pose!
Ray took off walking with his little dog through the campground while the girls were in the bathroom, and when they came out they put on their jackets and we started to follow the snowy trail to see the lake and the ducks
I just a short distance we get to where we can see the lake and are suprised to find a lot of it frozen! I've never seen it frozen, and I've been coming up here for years and years and years. We see rocks on top of the ice where people tried to see if the ice would break. The girls through some of their own too.
We followed the trail for a little ways, until we came to a place where it went downhill a little bit and was very icy looking. Probably half a mile or a little more. Then we turned around and worked our way back to the parking lot again.
We could see areas that weren't frozen, and the ducks were congregating in those areas. I zoomed in with my camera because they were pretty far away from us.
It had been cool in the shady area we were in and the snow, but back in the parking lot where the sun was shining it was much warmer and we followed another little path that went through the sunny area. We had met back up with Ray and Lady at the parking lot.
We saw some ducks pretty close to us in that area in some shallow little area at the very edge of the lake.
This was more frozen area
Then we drove to the other side of the lake where the boats are loaded. It was warm over there and the girls had to shed their jackets. There were some frozen edges along here and some water that wasnt frozen. I could look out on the lake and see where some ducks were congregated in the water right at the edge of where the ice began.
Looking toward the dam in some water there are a lot of ducks congregated. I've seen ducks at this lake many times, but always when there isn't ice and they are more spread out. I've never seen them congregated in groups this large together before.
Ray found someone fishing that he knew from years ago and me and the girls took off hiking the path on this side of the lake. There were a few people fishing on this side.
We see one loan boater out on the lake and also a duck walking on some ice near him.
The girls found stick they made hiking sticks out of. As we saw more ice along the edge they tried to break it with the poles but it was too hard and thick.
When we left that parking area, we drove up to another paid campground up above the lake and took a couple of pictures looking down from up there.
Looking down at the parking area we had just left.
Then we drove down the mountain toward home. The road to the lake has two ways to get there, and so you can make a big loop. Each way from the lake is about an hour's drive. The girls and Lady were all very tired on the way home but everyone had a great day! And it was just so amazing to me to see the frozen lake. We don't see that in southern New Mexico. I spoke to a couple of older men fishing and they said they had never ever seen it like that either and had lived in our area all their lives. Another one did say he had seen it like that but back in the mid 1950's. Maybe its happened more than that but it was just so awesome to see such a rare event.
Hope you enjoyed seeing it too! Have a great day!