Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Chasing the Chiricahua

The wind died down so we were able to leave the City of Rocks State Park in New Mexico. When we picked our site we knew the winds were going to blow the following day. So we tried to find a site that the rocks would protect us some. Boy were we glad we did.

This is an interesting place to camp. They have two parts to their campground. You can camp amongst the rocks for $10 a night with no hookups. Just a fire ring and picnic table. Or they have a campground with water and electric for $14 a night. We like to camp amongst the rocks to get the whole experience. The nights are so dark there that stargazing is phenomenal.
These rock formations were formed by a volcanic eruption. Over the years, wind and rain have formed the rocks into the City of Rocks. We left after the winds died down and headed to our next destination which is undisclosed somewhere in the southwest. Watching the weather, we wanted to get there before more wind and rain arrived. We found our campground and got settled in just before the deluge started. We are going to be here for a week, so we unloaded the trailer and the camper. It was the day before Thanksgiving so we got cozy and comfortable and waited for the weather to pass and enjoy our turkey dinner.
Lisa does an amazing job cooking in that little RV oven. This was the first time in the pickup camper and with such a smaller space, she really had to juggle pots and pans around. She did it though and I was stuffed after such a good meal.

The next day was Black Friday. The weather ws still nasty so we waited until the afternoon to run some errands. We were brave enough to go to Walmart and the crowds weren't that bad. I think it is due to the fact that this undisclosed location is only a town of less than 5,000 people. For a town this small though, they have 17 very large campgrounds. Since we were going to be here a few days, we had a list of things to see and do.

Saturday. We drove south to the small town of Bisbee Arizona. It is a small mining town built in the mountains. We took the Queen mine tour. You get to wear hard hats and safety vests and ride a small mine train into the mountain. Deep inside they tell you how the mining was done. This mine is huge. There is over 2000 miles of tunnel in there.

We have a new respect for miners and how they were able to work in those mines like that.

After our mine tour we walked the town and ate lunch. The town is old and small and not very easy to get around in when you are driving a 1 ton truck with duallys. There was another mine just outside of town we wanted to check out. It was called the Lavender pit mine. This is a huge open pit mine. It is closed down now so it is just a open hole in the ground.

It is enormous. 850 feet deep. On our way back to where we were camping we just had to stop in Tombstone. We walked the town and shopped the shops.
My how things have changed since the wild west days and the gunfight at the OK Corral. Many of the shops we went into had signs at the door saying "No firearms allowed". I thought it ironic. Next day we wanted learn some history before it changes. The following places are best explored with a car or truck. Do not bring your campers to check these sites out.

First stop on the itinerary was going to be Ft. Bowie. A National Historic site. Ft. Bowie is built in the mountains and the road to get there is a narrow two lane road that goes through many washouts. The last 2 miles are on a winding dirt road. Once you get to the parking area it is a 1.5 mile hike into the fort. We did not know that and weren't prepared for hiking. We had no water or hiking shoes. I was reading the signs and the info about this area and came across a small sign that explained how handicapped people can get to the fort. Those that know me already think that I am handicapped. So we drove back down the road and found the turn off to the fort. Again it is on dirt roads.
I can never refuse a picture with a cannon. This is an artillery piece from 1861.
I remember watching westerns as a kid. My heroes John Wayne and Clint Eastwood battling the Apache Indians. Even as a kid I understood what fierce fighters the Apache were. That is what the purpose of Ft. Bowie was for. Right in the middle of Apache territory to fight in the Indian wars. Some notable Indians that were captured here were Cochise and Geronimo. This fort was pretty lavish for the day. It had a steam engine for electricity. Hot and cold running water. They were even able to make ice. It was an Oasis.

Next stop was the Chiricahua National Monument.Again, explore in a car or truck. They have a length restriction of 29  feet. There is a campground but it is for tents and small rigs. It is a beautiful area of the desert.

Being part Native American I can appreciate such amazing views of nature. While we were up there we ran into some of that white stuff that we always try to avoid at all costs.
We didn't get everything done on our list due to the holiday and bad weather so there will always be stuff to explore the next time we are in the area.

"Well Mrs. Butterpump, lets get this clown car rolling."


  1. Love that area. We haven’t made it to. Chiruchawa yet. We thought the queens Zmine tour was fun. Did you see the old abandoned tins right next to the big pit? Pretty cool.

    1. The abandoned tins? I think we missed them. I know we missed them because I don't know what that means. The Queens mine was fun.

    2. Dammit! Town! There was an abandoned town near the pit. Very eerie. Lots of cool old vehicles. Like life stopped in the 50s. Right out of an old horror movie.

    3. LOL! We will have to check it out next time.

  2. When we did that mine tour we had a passenger get off the train saying they could not handle it. I could not imagine working in an environment like that!

    1. Were they sitting near you as you were mumbling "My Precious" to yourself?