BACK IN THE SPRING OF 1972 three high school buddies-- Gary, Greg and Jon decided they needed to escape the late May heat of Phoenix and head up into the cool Arizona mountains for a couple days of camping and fishing. They crammed sleeping bags, some folding camp stools, an old Coleman lantern and a few supplies into Greg's '62 VW bug. The VW chugged its way way up the Beeline Hwy. toward the Mogollon Rim in northern Arizona. A couple of hours later, right around dusk, they rolled into a campground near Willow Springs Lake. When they stepped out of the car, they were a little surprised at how cold it was. They had only brought light sweatshirts to wear, the temperature was rapidly falling and the wind was howling about 30 mph. They figured they'd better get a fire going to warm up and cook some food but just about then a Forest Ranger stopped at their campsite and told them there was Extreme Fire Danger so no campfires were allowed.
The shivering boys spent the evening sitting on old wood & canvas folding camp stools, eating cold Pop Tarts, huddled around a single Coleman lantern for warmth. Gary suggested they play poker and whoever won the hand would get to have the lantern in front of him. This worked for a little while until their fingers started to get numb so they finally retired to their sleeping bags and spent a sleepless night shivering. In the morning they packed up their gear and headed down the mountain back to warmth.