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Published: March 27th 2020
blog 03-23-20 Patagonia to Willcox
I was packed up and ready to leave by 9:30 which is remarkable for me. The road was a 2 lane 55 mph country road winding through pastures and scrubs. There were small Mesquite trees along the way and lots of cactus. I took a picture of bear grass with last years blossom stem and a century plant with it's old stem to compare the size of the 2.
Then the terrain opened up and the speed limit was 65 or whatever you wanted to do with the mountain in the distance. I chose another smaller road vs the interstate to get into Benson where I picked up some supplies and headed east on interstate 10. Before long I was in Wilcox and found my campground Ft Wilcox Campground.
I will be staying here for 3 nights so I can visit Chiricahua National Monument about 50 min away. One of the campers in Deming said it was a must see so I surely couldn't miss the opportunity.
The next day after Watson's walk I tucked him in the camper for the day and headed out on my own. The road ran along
the mountains in a valley that is called Sulfur Flats and it is white and dusty. Then the road tuck a turn to the left and headed up through a small pass in the mountain where I could see yellow flowers blooming all along the bottom of the hills. Pictures The contrast between the stark desert and bare mountains then beautiful flowers is outstanding. I know I've said it before, but I love it.
Part way throught the pass I spotted an old grave yard then found the road into it. There was a white metal fence around it and those yellow flowers blooming on the graves. I walked around a little to investigate but didn't stay too long because Chiricahua was calling.
The road to get to the park was a 2 lane straight road with rolling hills and pasture land, big cattle country here. I spotted a nest in a Mesquite tree and here it was a redtailed hawk sitting tight on her eggs. I stopped in the road, I could see for miles in both directions, and took her picture. You can tell her mood....
In Chiricahua the walls of the canyon closed in
closer and closer then an opening and a sign that said Faraway Ranch, so I took that and went to investigate the ranch. The pictures tell the story.
I headed up the canyon to see the pinnacles I had heard about and the ride up along the dry river bed was beautiful. the road was windy and narrow so I had to keep my wits about me. The views along the way as I got higher were spectacular but no place to pull over for a picture.
At the top there were several trails to take and after some investigating I found a trail that would lead into the pinnacles that didn't look too hard. It was steep going and tricky and the altitude was amost 7,000 ft so I really had to be careful.
This territory was Geronimo's stronghold and the army couldn't find him for years, no surprise there. It is very rugged country.
I was able to get closer to the rock formations and get a few better pictures to show the size and area of this park. One picture shows the profile of Geronimo laying down. Use your imagination a little.
I had a great time exploring all outside so I wan't near anyone. The visitor center was closed so I couldn't get any information about the park or maps about the many trails. Or get my book stamped!!!
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