Thursday, March 16, 2006
Sunday we went to the Sonoran Desert Museum. It was the most fantastic museum I have ever seen. It started by taking us thru a cave, then a mine, a display of minerals and gems. Then opened up into a zoo like setting where the displays were very natural. Containing all the creatures that inhabit the southwest. On to cactus gardens and different foliage of the area. We then watch a bird of prey demonstration. On to an aviary and hummingbird house. Bob was suffering from the desert allergy we all had gotten so we opted to not go into the bees and butterflies area. They are adding a night creatures area so will go back in a couple of years and see more then.
Monday with his sneezing etc. getting worse we decided to relocate to Sierra Veista and arrived at the parking area we had planned to stay at only to be told it was closed. Heading out of town I remembered to check on the Elk’s lodge and sure enough we found a place to camp. They made us very welcome by introducing us when we went into register to the whole room of people.
We woke to rain which certainly has helped clear the air of the dust. Bob’s is feeling much better. After installing the internet on the roof we headed out toward Willcox and the Armirand Foundation museum. We stopped at the SKP park at Benson and looked up Myra a lady Win we both know. At the museum we looked at years of archeology re: native Americans from Alaska to South America. On the way home we programmed “Sweet Sue”, Bob’s nickname for his GPS system for the shortest route to Tombstone. We stopped for our main meal of the day at a roadside diner and had a fantastic stirfry for $5.95. Enough left over for another meal each. Back on the road we went cross country on dirt roads. Saw several ghost towns, mines, a herd of deer (6) and a bird of prey that may have been a golden eagle but neither of us are great birders.
We stopped at Tombstone and it was closing time but we had a drink at Big Nose Kate’s saloon. She was Doc Holiday’s gal friend. A great singer was there and we requested him to sing Pretty Woman but he sang Leah by Roy Orbison instead. We then walked both sides of the streets. Good way to see the town and save money since all but a few shops had closed up.
Wednesday we headed to Bisbee, a mining community. We went first to the mining museum and ran into Jerry and Roberta, Wins friends. They were going on a mine tour so we joined them at the Queen Mine for an hour and half tour deep into a copper mine. Nearly froze at the 51 degree temp with NO sunshine. Back on the surface we promptly headed to a bar where we had a hot toddy then back to the museum. Headed west from there and toured Coronado National Monument and a wonderful switchback drive to the ridge overlooking 2 valleys, one back toward Bisbee and the other toward Nogales. Jerry and Roberta followed us there. We then stopped briefly at Ramsey Canyon Preserve. Got there just 45 minutes before it was to close and it was snowing so we opted to return on another day. Back at the Elks we had a great spaghetti dinner. Any meal we don’t have to cook is great.
Thursday morning we dressed real warm. Me in long johns and we went hiking at Ramsey Canyon. Saw many birds, squirrels and deer. Only one hummingbird which is what that canyon is famous for. Back at the Elks we had a fantastic Chimi (Mexican) lunch then headed for Kartchner Caverns and took the big room tour. On arrival back in town Bob had to go to the dentist and I went grocery shopping. We both got our mail today and there was a lot…
Got a late start this morning and headed for Patagonia. There is a state park on a lake we wanted to check out for some kayaking. It was way to cold to do it (55) so headed onto Nogales. We really only wanted to get some of our special sipping tequila but they wanted $10 more a bottle than what we get in Algodones. Back across the border we headed east via another dirt road which took us thru a national forest. This is desert so the forest was just a bunch of short mesquite type trees which afforded us great view of the mountains and valleys. The road was steep and winding over the mountain range then opened up into vast grasslands. Many cattle ranches and deserted or semi deserted towns. Came upon a huge cross monument commorating the passage of the first European friar in 1539. We then stopped at Parker Lake, a National Forest campground before taking the shortcut over the mountain to Sierra Vista. The shortcut crossed thru Ft. Hauchuca the military base. Got a temporary pass and directions and got lost. Sweet Sue helped us out but we were afraid we would get shot for getting off the designated route. Back at the lodge we had a great fishfry dinner. Met some people from Ketchikan Alaska who have invited us to a salmon bake when we are back in Yuma next winter.
The first picture of me holding up the tree limb is at Ramsey Canyon Preserve, the second with us in yellow jackets as we are about to enter Queen Mine @ Bisbee and the third picture of us on a bench is at Chirachua National Monument.
Donna and Bob