Monday, March 05, 2007

Staying Busy in Benson

Wow! Where does the time go? We're busier now than we ever were before we retired; seems like we're always on the go doing something. We tend to drive back and forth to Sierra Vista a lot, since Fort Huachuca (wa-choo-ka) has a nice commissary and it's the nearest location for banking and any variety of shopping. Benson is growing though, and this year we were pleased to see that it even has it's own (small) Wal-Mart! It's interesting to shop there; I'll bet that over half of the people are snowbirds that are staying in the area. All it takes is a look in the parking lot - license plates from Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, etc., and many Canadian, mostly Alberta and Calgary. In the RV park, more and more RV spaces become emply each day as the spring migration back to the North begins. The park has sites for sale as well as the rentals, and while many of them are empty now, there's one with a storage shed that sums up the price:
I imagine that this whole area gets pretty quiet during the summer. The weather has been cool, some days it's been downright cold, but we're on a warming trend now and the forecast is for high 70's daily for a while. The weather has limited our explorations, but we've still been busy traveling the backroads. We visited the Muleshoe Ranch , a large Nature Conservancy area at the end 0f 60 miles of dirt road. With our friends Bob and Trixie, we hiked the nature trail along the creek and learned the history of the ranch. As you can see by the picture, it's still cool and the trees are still pretty bare. Another of our favorites for a quick visit is the riparian areas along the San Pedro river which runs from the Mexican border through Benson. There are some huge cottonwoods along the river, and birds are starting to show up as they migrate North. I took this picture of a large Redtail hawk that was staking out an open area from a large cottonwood. We haven't been here this late in the year before, so it will be interesting to see how many diferent birds we'll see before we leave in early April. We're hoping to get back into the Chiricaua mountains and explore some of the back roads and visit Cave Creek Canyon, which we briefly visited last year. Well, gotta go, it's too beautiful outside to be sitting here on a computer; thanks for visiting!