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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Tucson AZ Day 1

We rolled into Tucson around noon today and got setup in Miracle RV Park. This park is one of the half price parks available to us in the city of Tucson. We would not be staying here otherwise. We will only be here tonight and then we are moving to a resort that looks very nice for the next three days.

 In keeping with the spirit of Easter we visited two separate churches here in Tucson, St Augustine Cathedral and San Xavier Mission. Both theses churches are beautiful as the pictures shows. St. Augustine was built in1896. It is fashioned after the Cathedral of Queretaro in Mexico. The Mission of San Xavier Mission Is much older.  It is called the White Dove of The Desert, Father Kino first visited the site in 1692 and built the chapel in 1700, it is one of the finest pieces of Spanish colonial architecture in the United States.

We ended up on the University of Arizona campus for our lunch, a wonderful meal of Easter Pizza, it was 85 degrees and sunny and we were able to sit outdoors and enjoy our meal.  

St Augustine Cathedral

St Augustine Cathedral

St Augustine Cathedral

St Augustine Cathedral

St Augustine Cathedral

St Augustine Cathedral

St Augustine Cathedral

San Xavier Mission
 San Xavier Mission

San Xavier Mission

 San Xavier Mission
 San Xavier Mission
 San Xavier Mission
 San Xavier Mission

San Xavier Mission

San Xavier Mission Chapel

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Benson AZ Day 2

This morning we woke up to warmer weather but cloudy skies. We decided to visit the town of Bisbee Arizona, about 58 miles from Benson. We had just passed the little town of St. David when we spotted a very large and ornate cross and we just had to investigate so we turned the car around and discovered the Holy Trinity Monastery and RV Park. It is a Benedictine Monastery founded on Sept 3, 1974. We found a small grave yard, a book store, the Bishops quarters, and the beautiful Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, and of course the RV park.  We did meet a gentleman who was kind enough to take a picture of us in front of the church and in talking to him we found out it was also a retreat center.  As we were leaving we found a flock of peacocks that live on the grounds and they posed for some photos for us.

Bisbee is an old mining town copper, silver, gold, zinc, lead, and manganese were all mined in this area but in 1974 the mines were depleted and the town started to shut down.  Everyone involved in the mining industry was moving out leaving a very affordable housing market so smart retirees and hippies started to move into town and eventually started turning the town around. Now it is home to many interesting artists and a lot of very interesting characters. We had lunch at a little Brewery in town and had some very good beer and brats.

Our next stop was Tombstone, we had stopped here last year but the weather was so cold and windy that we really didn’t get to enjoy the town as much as we would have liked. We shopped and people watched for the rest of the afternoon.

 On our way back to Benson we found a car wash and scrubbed and vacuumed the layers of desert dust off my poor little car, what a difference, it even drives better now that it is clean.

Main Street of Bisbee

More main street

Bisbee is in a small valley and a lot of homes on build in the hills
Bisbee theater

Old jail

One of the many stairs going to the homes above main street
Local brewing company

Looking out from the brewery patio where we had lunch
Excellent stout

Local art work
One of many antique stores

We shopped many of the stores, like a large swap meet
Upstairs and downstairs a lot of junk

Annies Place, main street Tombstone Arizona

 Big Nose Kate's

Main Street
 The Longhorn
 A very nice Taxi

Going through a border patrol check point

Back home at the Pato Blanco campground, Benson Arizona

Friday, March 29, 2013

Benson AZ

We are in Arizona alright

We are in Benson AZ just east of Tucson. As you can see it is very warm not hot. Actually the thermostat was in the sun. We arrived around 1:00 this afternoon did the laundry and hung out at the pool the rest of the day. Tomorrow we are visiting Bisbee and perhaps Tombstone.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Deming Day 3

9:00 AM sharp Larry pulled up in front of our RV in his 95 Geo Tracker that he had rebuilt to handle the desert even better than a Jeep or ATV. Off we went. Our first stop was the grave of a Buffalo Soldier who was killed in an Apache ambush. Next stop was to check out the RV Park owner’s herd of cattle, its calving season and he has had five calves born so far this spring. We noticed that a burro was hanging out with the herd and the reason is that a burro will protect the calves against any predator even a mountain lion.  This ranch raises cattle for rodeo roping not for beef. Our next stop was the Lucky Fluoride Mine we walked up to the ruins of the mine and found another grave site, our thoughts were that it was one of the miners buried there. Larry also showed us a buried Geo-cache that he found on one of his first visits.  By this time we had come quite a distance out into the desert the roads were getting to be quite a challenge, we were going through narrow washes and boulder strewn areas, but Larry’s little Geo really could handle the territory.  We traveled a short distance over the Butterfield trail that was once the original Butterfield Stage Line that crossed this area. Larry told us that in some areas along this trail you can still see the wagon wheel marks in the rock.  Our last stop was the Candy Rock Fluoride Mine and Homestead. The mine is open and has a ladder leading down into the depths. A short distance from the mine was the homestead thought to be owned by the first miners at Candy Rock. This homestead was so far out in the desert we wondered how anyone could survive out here without water, they apparently raised animals as was apparent by the ruins. Larry pointed out the area of green growth around the homestead and explained that the water table was so high here all they needed was a shallow sand point well for all the water they could use. Larry was so informative you could tell he really loves this area, this year he and his wife bought a park model and will be spending most of next fall and winter down here. We spent three hours riding with Larry and had a great time and really learned a lot about the history of this land.

We returned home in time for to Richard to make a delicious lunch of sausage and eggs and then took a short hike to the Petroglyphs that are close to the RV Park, we weren’t expecting much but were really amazed at what we found, as the photos show. Hidden Valley Ranch is really a treasure, wonderful people, beautiful scenery, and so much to do and see I would recommend this place to everybody. Tomorrow we will be heading into Arizona.

Our guide and his GEO tracker

4x4 only way to get to the areas he showed us

Grave Marker

Grave of PVT Charles Williams 1866

Steers raised and sold to rodeo's

the owners also have a couple of burro's

a couple of the young calves that were just born

cruising along to our next stop

heading to an old mine

old mine

Larry also likes to geo-cache and showed us a cache that he found

found a treasure

unmarked grave found at the old mine site

a couple of miles further on we stopped at another old mine

this one looks interesting

we could enter this mine for a sort distance

once inside there was a ladder that led to a tunnel and no we didn't check it out

making a quick exit from the mine

then on to an old homestead

After our day with Larry we decided to take the short trail from the campground office to area where there are petroglyphs. Here are some of the pictures from that hike.


 Hidden Valley ranch house and buildings