Friday, October 28, 2011

We're in Arizona! (Ft. Huachuca, AZ)

We moved from Alamogordo, NM to Fort Huachuca, AZ on Monday.  The longer then average (for us) drive went very well.  We didn't do much on Monday and Tuesday.  Checked out the military facility, met our 5 mile daily goal and chilled. The campground is very nice.  The sites are a good size, paved, VERY quiet with a nice view of the mountains. We're paying $130 for 8 nights. Occasionally you hear troops early in the morning and maybe an aircraft or two but generally speaking it's a very peaceful setting.

Wednesday we made our way  to Tombstone, AZ.

The little town is doing all it can do to retain the old outlaw charm.  They have "townsfolk" roaming the street in period dress.

Periodically they stage scenes that relate to the infamous "shoot out at the OK Corral."  Eventually the characters guide the outdoor, casually assembled crowd into the Corral for the final shoot out. That requires a ticket and we chose to not to participate. We did go to the locally acclaimed Big Nose Kate Saloon.  You could easily be stepping back into the 1880's.  They had very nice live music and we chowed on their over stuffed Reuben sandwich.

Love it!  It's very easy to just mosey around town and enjoy the old western experience.

After Tombstone we drove about 20 miles to Bisbee, AZ. All we did there was walk around town. It originally was a mining town driven primarily by copper. Now it's a modest, artsy, quirky town built into the side of a mountain.... or maybe it's a canyon. 

One of the "quirks" is numerous sets of STEEP steps going from one level to the next. Any way, we just had a great time walking around town. 

From there we drove home and capped our walking goal.

Thursday was a great hiking day at the Coronado National Memorial. 

This was the area of a massive wildfire this past summer.  It began June 12 and burned until the end of the month.  I may have been a bit skeptical about what we would experience there but I was pleasantly surprised.  Certainly the entire area revealed remnants of the fire.  But because of the arid desert terrain it didn't appear to be so gross.  Plus, it was impressive how quickly the plants were bouncing back.  The grasses had already returned. Even the completely charred trees and cactus had significant new growth at their base.  Ultimately, Mother Nature takes care of herself!

We started our day at the Coronado Cave.  The cave is 600 feet long and up to 20 feet tall.  It was created like millions of years ago by seas covering the desert washing through the limestone rock.  That's my best geological description!  Anyway we hiked the half mile to the cave entrance. 

Trail to cave entrance
It was quickly apparent that Debbie was not going to enter the cave.  You must climb down into the cave with some uncertain  footing and rapidly vanishing light.

So I entered the cave while Debbie fretted!

The cave was darn interesting.  I slowly worked my way back into the cave but I really don't know how much of it I saw.  I carried two flashlights but even the combination didn't provide the light needed to explore the cave.  The substandard light left me with minimal depth perception and I lacked the confidence to venture all the way to the back of the cave.  Additionally, I could hear Debbie calling out to me for reassurance that I hadn't plummeted to my death! Regardless, it was a unique little adventure.  I'd do it again with better lighting. 

We hiked the half mile back out and then got started on the Joe's Canyon Trail.  It turned out to be 3.5 miles each way with 1650 feet of elevation gain, 1000 feet of which was in the first mile!    We love the desert, mountain terrain!!!  The hike included tremendous views,

sometimes tricky footing,


and provided a terrific workout. 

Our day included about 8.4 miles of hiking.

Sometime during the day we (that means Debbie) got to thinking that maybe we had entered a new time zone. After getting home we checked the map and concluded that the problem is that AZ doesn't participate in DST.  Consequently, our clocks, watches etc have been off by an hour for the past four days.  We're mighty amused that we've been out of step by an hour with the rest of the world  and it didn't matter.  Oh we do love this lifestyle!!!!



  1. Great pictures again!! You two have too much energy. You make me tired with all that hiking!!

    Seriously, you both are looking good. I can tell from the pictures that the weight continues to come off so those overstuffed reubens are okay!!

    Be safe!! And tell Bo and Laska we all said hello.