Pam and I just returned from a 600 mile, 5-day adventure down to southeast Arizona. We traveled with friends who knew the area well so we were just followers for most of the trip.
We first stopped in a old ghost mining town of Pearce, Arizona. With my jeep project nearly complete I spied a possible next project in the town.
Not sure Pam agrees with the choice, but you never know.
We then headed down to the Whitewater Draw to see the sandhill cranes. There were thousands of them in the marsh enjoying the Arizona winter.
It was hard to get close to them but they were flying all around us.
Cranes were not the only birds there. It was a bird watcher paradise. We saw great-horned owls, red-tailed hawks and an assortment of ducks.
We camped right at the Draw for a night and enjoyed the cranes and coyotes with the full moon.
The area is also historically significant as the place Cochise, Geronimo and a few hundred held off over 500,000 US and Mexican soldiers for many years. We went to the east stronghold, their winter place.
The campground there may be a good place to revisit.
We then traveled to their summer haven across the valley high in the Chiricahua mountains.
We’ll be going back there to do more hikes and exploring in the rocks.
We then traveled the old stagecoach route that was the main route from El Paso to Tucson in the 1860s.
To the old stagecoach stop and Ft Bowie.
It’s now a 1.5 mile hike from a dirt road to get the fort. It was the howitzer that changed the tide in the Apache wars.
We then headed north to the Colossal Cave near Vail, AZ.
The caves were made into a public place by the hard work of the CCC back in the 1930s. The buildings at the entrance are still standing and looking like they could last another century.
The caves were carved mostly by sulfuric acid so they made the rock like swisscheese on the inside.
The largest room in the caves was used for poker games when outside was blistering hot.
We visited the ranch nearby for a nice lunch break.
We then continued on to Saguaro National Park to view the cactus and update our US Parks annual pass. We hit 35 parks last year so it will probably be a good investment again this year.
We camped at Picacho Peak for the night.
Not a bad view from our campsite.
Hit another park on the way home as Casa Grande. The Indian settlement that dates back to the 1300s.
Home again for the weekend – maybe… but another great trip in the Roamer.