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A Family Vacation

Editor's Note: What a better front page story than the photos taken by Alaina Dunivan, who sometimes photographs for the Beat, on a family vacation camping into the Gila Wilderness along the Middle Fork of the Gila River.

Article and Photos by Alaina Dunivan

"Having the Gila National Forrest and Gila Wilderness in our backyards is a blessing," Alaina Dunivan said. "Every year my husband and I have taken pack trips into the Gila Wilderness, this is our idea of a family vacation. We still go every year and take our two boys along, ages 6 and 2 1/2. They both enjoy it, playing with all the toads, frogs, caterpillars, and pretty much anything that moves that interests little boys. Getting down and dirty in the dirt and mud and then taking a quick dip in the river or streams to wash off. I enjoyed the critters as well, but taking pictures of all the wild flowers was my highlight. What my husband and I enjoy most is telling our sons about the people that used to live in the Wilderness, from the Native Americans to the ranchers and mountain men that called the Gila home at one time. You know they enjoy it when all they talk about is Geronimo, Ben Lilly, and other figures like Mr. Trotter who was a rancher and farmer on the Middle Fork. Wyatt, my oldest, was 3 years old when we first packed into Trotter's old cabin site. His biggest excitement was to see the old truck that is parked above the Middle Fork and old Trotter place. He talked about it most of the ride in. Wyatt and his little Shetland pony Trigger are now experts at crossing the middle fork while Garrett still rides on the saddle with his dad. We cannot ask for a better camping adventure and just have to stop and thank God for such beautiful mountains and scenery and most of all a safe and exciting trip and many more ahead of us!"

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