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Published: March 29th 2020
blog 03-24-20 Chiricahoua National Monument
After Watson's walk I tucked him in at the camper for the day and I was off to explore Chiricahoua Nat'l Monument which was about a 50 min drive. The route took me along the base of the eastern mountain range along the Sulfur Flats then the road curved east through a break in the mountains. Part was through the gap I spotted an old graveyard and I just had to stop. It was called Pioneer Cemetery and after going through the gate I walked around a little to see how old it was. There were beautiful yellow flowers blanketing the graves and an occasional fence separating one family from the next. Pictures
I wanted to investigate further but time was ticking and Chiriricahua was calling. I went out the gate and had to take a picture of the latch, never saw anything like it before. There was a slot in a straight metal piece and a ring that fit in the slot. When you pick up the ring the gate can be opened, when you close the gate and put he ring in the slot, it's locked. Pictures
On the other side
of the mountain there was a valley that was mostly ranches but few and far between. I spotted a nest in a mesquite tree and had to turn around to get a closer look. It was a red-tailed hawk nest with the mom sitting tight on the nest and giving me the evil eye. I was able to get a couple of quick shots with the telephoto lens sitting in the middle of the road. Don't worry, I could see for miles both ways.
Again, the fields were covered with yellow flowers and I just had to take some pictures.
The road wove into a canyon as I entered the park. The walls became closer for a short time then opened a bit. There was a sign that said Faraway Ranch so I turned to investigate.
I had no idea what was in this park and couldn't find out because the visitor center was closed. So I had to just blunder, or explore.
The ranch was a cattle ranch then became a dude ranch with the gorgeous scenery the main attraction. With so much to explore you could stay here for a year and not see
Back on the road I wound up the hill as the canyon walls closed in and became more interesting. The rock formations were getting really interesting then I was above the canyon and still winding up. The scenery was gorgeous but not too much looking because of the narrow, winding road. At the top there was a parking lot and several trails that went off in several directions. Ok, not knowing, I just picked one. It led to a small building on the top with 360 degree views. Not far was a rock formation that looked like Cochise's face laying on his back. What do you think?
I wanted to get closer to the pinnacles so I followed a trail down the hill with a series of steps and some tricky footing. The altitude was almost 7,000 ft so I was being very careful. Pictures. I should have been there earlier in the day or later in the afternoon for better lighting on the pinnacles.
This land was the last stronghold of Cochise and his band of Chiricahua Indians, not surprised the army had such a hard time finding the Indians in this terrain.
I headed home enjoying the views the whole way. I took Watson for another walk then relaxed the rest of the day.
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