Monday, April 02, 2007

Sky Islands Revisited

Finally, the weather has warmed and the mountain and back roads are dry enough to get out and explore. We loaded up the Tribute and headed north from Wilcox on dirt roads for 56 miles of dirt road to the ghost town of Klondyke. The trip took us through rolling ranchland and a followed a dry river bed with a few trees, but otherwise was pretty drab. The "town" has a few small ranches and a combination general store and post office - and it's For Sale! If you ever wanted to own your own town, be the mayor/sheriff/fire chief.....now's your chance. Just make sure you bring your own water.
One of our favorite places that we were anxious to get back to is the Chiricuahua Mountains. We packed a picnic lunch, and with our friends Bob and Trixie, spent the day showing them the sights. We first toured the monument area, with it's views of the fantastic rock formations and our favorite, Cochise Head. It never fails to amaze us how much the rock formation looks like an Indian chief, complete with headset. Look close and you'll see that a tree forms an eyelash! The towering rock formations seem like they'll topple in the slightest breeze; one slender spike is over 135 feet tall but only 3 feet in diameter at the bottom! Others balance on small bases; everywhere you look the scenery is breathtaking.

Later, we stopped to visit Faraway Ranch, a restored ranch built in 1887 and operated by the same family until 1978 when it became the property of the Park Service. Visiting it is a fascinating look into life on a working ranch in the REAL west, miles from the nearest town and in an area where Cochise and Geronimo roamed. It's a beautiful setting and well worth the side trip. We finished the day with a trip over the mountains to Pinery Canyon for a picnic lunch. Although a bit cool, the wind in the trees and the smell of Ponderosa pine made for a fitting end to a great day. To add to the end of a great trip, on the way out of the mountains we came across a coatimundi meandering across the road and spied another watching us from behind a rock fall. We leave this great area tomorrow and start heading west for California and our daughter's wedding, but will take with us the memories of another stay in southern Arizona. Thanks for tuning in!

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