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878 triplogs

Sep 07 2019
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71 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
West Sawmill Canyon-Santa Rita, AZ 
West Sawmill Canyon-Santa Rita, AZ
 
4x4 Trip avatar Sep 07 2019
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4x4 Trip6.80 Miles
4x4 Trip6.80 Miles
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Lots of Grass and Fairy Dusters

Oh, and plenty of cattle too. I drove by this a few days back on my way to the Chiricahua Mountains and decided it was time for a visit. I had been in here to hike two other times, last in 2003. This is the canyon between Florida and Melendrez Pass. A fair number of people out there today. In the past I had gone a little past Sawmill Canyon Well (windmill) and parked by a side road that drops down into the main drainage. This is where I hiked upstream, even coming across an old miners cabin. Don't know if it is still there, but when it cools off perhaps I'll go back and see. This time, I continued on up the road, which becomes very narrow along a shelf as it steeply climbs to its end by an old prospect. I finally reached a switchback near where it tops out on the ridge dividing Florida and West Sawmill Canyons, where I was able to turn around. Knowing there were others out and about, I didn't want to meet anyone on that stretch, so I got back down to wider track as quick as I could. Fortunately, there were no encounters. :sweat:

AllTrails lists this road (FR 4037) as 6.8 miles from the the turnoff from Box Canyon Road (FR 62) to its end. There are lots of ups and downs along the way, with plenty of erosion, so this one is strictly 4WD. You need that extra low gear in places, so an AWD SUV, such as my RAV, probably would have trouble in spots. It was fun going back in there after all these years! :D
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Wildflowers Observation Moderate
Fairy Dusters gone wild :lol:
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Aug 26 2019
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71 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Carr Peak Trail #107Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 26 2019
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Hiking6.00 Miles 2,000 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles
2,000 ft AEG
 
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Not many photosets from up that way this summer, so I thought I would go check things out. It is one of the great summer wildflower hikes in Arizona. The number different varieties represented in 3 miles of trail is pretty amazing. Whether the monsoon has been good or bad, this one always delivers. It has been a hot summer and the rains were late and spotty, so I expected the display to be less than some years. This turned out to be somewhat true, but the year to year differences are minimal. Wow factor stays strong. :D

I picked Monday to go up because the chance for storms was low that day. That worked out pretty well, as I slowly worked my way up to the peak, camera in hand. A couple of folks from Bisbee and Sierra Vista caught up to me around the aspen zone, and they continued on. Fortunately, they were still on the peak when I arrived, and we had a nice conversation and took some photos. They departed and I hung out awhile longer. By this time it was midday and clouds were increasing, but no thunderheads were seen. On my way down through the aspen zone I was surprised when light rain started falling. This persisted and increased some in intensity, and when I finally put on the poncho I was already soaked. But it was mild and it felt good to be out of the sunlight. It was odd, seemed like this small cloud, rain area was just over the immediate area. There never was any lightning or thunder, so that was a plus. :sweat:

That made me think of the worst case of hypothermia I ever had, right here on this trail back in June 1990. I was camping up there to get out of the heat back in Tucson (highs around 110). No rain was in the forecast, since it was June before the monsoon really got going. As I was coming off the peak, clouds were rapidly building just to the south (no doubt the heat was creating major instability, allowing the limited moisture to boil up into thunderstorms). It was a surprise for sure how fast this took place! Nearby cracks of thunder made me pick up my pace. :o Luckily, the thunder abated, but not the rain and insane wind as I tried my best to high tail it down the trail. Of course, I was wearing only shorts and a t-shirt, and since no rain was expected, I didn't have a poncho. I had no protection from the chilly wind whipped rain and I was getting colder and colder. After awhile I couldn't feel my fingers and started shaking uncontrollably from loss of body heat. I was also slowing down and getting a bit spaced out. But I kept going as best I could. By the time I got back to camp, my ears and hands were numb and it was all I could do to get in the tent, take off the clothes and crawl into my sleeping bag and curl up in the fetal position, shaking like crazy. I dozed off thank goodness and when I awoke later, I was finally warming up and not shaking. But that pins and needles feeling as the circulation returns wasn't fun. It is amazing how fast you can go from hot to cold!

Good old Carr Peak, lots of fun over the years. :lol:
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Wildflowers Observation Substantial
extreme in places
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Aug 20 2019
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71 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge, NM 
Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge, NM
 
Scenic Drive avatar Aug 20 2019
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Scenic Drive8.00 Miles
Scenic Drive8.00 Miles
 no routes
1st trip
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Spent two nights in Las Vegas (the original), with Tuesday as my full day there. Plenty of time to meet some people, check out the now open Castaneda Hotel, and hit some of my favorite watering holes in this interesting old city on the Santa Fe Trail. :D I decided to see something different this trip, so headed over to this wildlife refuge a short distance southeast of town. I first stopped at the visitor center for an overview. Then I continued on the 8 mile scenic auto drive through the preserve, with stops at scenic spots. I also did a 2 mile hike on the Gallinas Nature Trail from the parking lot/trailhead, located at the southwest corner of the loop drive.

https://www.fws.gov/refuge/las_vegas/

Very scenic area, with the preserve out on the edge of the Great Plains, and fine views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the west, including Hermit Peak. Storms boiling up over the mountains just enhanced my visit! :D

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Wildflowers Observation Light
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Aug 20 2019
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71 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Gallinas Nature TrailNortheast, NM
Northeast, NM
Hiking avatar Aug 20 2019
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Hiking2.00 Miles 150 AEG
Hiking2.00 Miles
150 ft AEG
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This trail starts at a large parking area west of McAllister Lake, just north of where county road C22C makes its turn north. Easily seen on satellite view. The trailhead as posted on this HAZ description is incorrect, probably derived from what is shown on both US Topo and US Hydro. Perhaps at one time it was over by the ranch ruins, but I would guess there has been a reduction in vehicle access over the years as the emphasis turns more toward nature study vs recreation. This is also evident at McAllister Lake, which at one time had a road along the western shore, with old abandoned rest rooms probably related to picnicking, boating, and fishing use long ago. Low water levels in recent times wouldn't make boating much of an option anyway. So the hike parameters now are about 2.2 miles round trip and about 250 feet of elevation change.

The hike heads across the grassland toward some rocky cliffs overlooking a tributary canyon that feeds into the Gallinas River. There a number of them in the area, and this one had water flowing. I could hear it, but not see it, as I didn't go all the way down off the rim to the bottom (turned back when I started hearing thunder from the storms approaching from the northwest). There are some old stone ranch ruins on the upper portion, probably dating back to the early 1900's.

Perhaps I will go back there again one day, and go further to either get a view of the Gallinas from above, or hike down the tributary canyon until it reaches the river. I liked the transition from grassland to rocky sections with trees. :)
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Aug 13 2019
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71 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Parker Canyon Lake Shore Trail #128Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 13 2019
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Hiking
Hiking
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I was passing through the area and stopped by the lake for some photos.
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Aug 13 2019
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71 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Bear Creek Pools-Huachuca, AZ 
Bear Creek Pools-Huachuca, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 13 2019
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Hiking
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A stop at the Bear Creek bridge along Forest Road 61 while heading westbound from Coronado National Memorial. This is a scenic spot along perennial Bear Creek on the southern portion of the Huachuca Mountains. The stream has cut some nice pools in the bedrock to the south of the bridge. It is popular with some of the locals as a place to camp, picnic, or take a quick dip in the water.
Named place
Named place
Bear Creek Sutherland Peak
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Aug 13 2019
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71 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Huachuca Mountains-Southern Side, AZ 
Huachuca Mountains-Southern Side, AZ
 
Scenic Drive avatar Aug 13 2019
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I decided to take the longer way home this trip by way of Coronado National Memorial, Montezuma Pass, and Forest Roads 61 and 48 to Parker Canyon Lake. Pavement resumes again at the lake as SR 83 begins its scenic route to Sonoita, then north to the intersection with I-10. I don't get on the southern side of the Huachuca Mountains often, so this was a treat. :D This is the "border" side, and back there almost all the radio stations I could pick up were Mexican, with some occasional NPR signals drifting in and out. (Might be time to crank up some Wall of Voodoo! :o ) More familiar radio station signals resumed beyond the lake, as I pushed back into "civilization." :lol:

I took a short side trip up to old D'Albini ranch site in Cave Canyon. The road continues on a short distance beyond the ranch and forks to reach the Ida and Oversite Canyon trailheads. These trails head up to the Crest Trail near Bear Saddle, offering a loop hike option if so desired.

This enjoyable drive is over very good graded and paved roads. You won't encounter many vehicles between Montezuma Pass and Parker Canyon Lake, most being ranchers and Border Patrol. Pretty country back there. I think I will try and visit it more often in the future. :)
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Aug 12 2019
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71 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Carr Canyon-Huachuca, AZ 
Carr Canyon-Huachuca, AZ
 
Car Camping avatar Aug 12 2019
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Car Camping
Car Camping
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Another visit to an old friendly favorite location. :D
Meteorology
Meteorology
Moon Sunset
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Aug 12 2019
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71 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Comfort Springs Trail #109Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 12 2019
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Hiking0.70 Miles 300 AEG
Hiking0.70 Miles
300 ft AEG
 
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A late afternoon arrival to camp at Ramsey Vista CG. After setting up there was some daylight left, so I headed down the trail to the spot where water is almost always flowing. It is always nice to visit this place so close to the campground. :) A serene, rain free night was enjoyed at camp. :D
Flora
Flora
Smooth Bouvardia
Meteorology
Meteorology
Sunset
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Aug 03 2019
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71 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Madera Canyon, AZ 
Madera Canyon, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 03 2019
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Hiking4.60 Miles 1,600 AEG
Hiking4.60 Miles
1,600 ft AEG
 no routes
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A brief escape from the swamp cooler in Tucson to the only slightly more comfortable Madera Canyon. Seriously hot/warm this weekend. :sweat: I wanted to camp Saturday night and try a short hike Sunday. Since I hadn't done any hiking since January, I knew that was going to be interesting. :lol: I arrived at the campground Saturday evening, set up, and started a conversation with my camping neighbor. She lives in Tempe and was down to hike some trails she had not done. Turns out she does hiking and backpacking with Phoenix area meet ups and knows some of the people I do. So, that was a fun randomness, and made for good conversation. :) I told her I planned on hiking the Old Baldy Trail to Josephine Saddle in the morning. She didn't want to hike alone on an unfamiliar trail, so we set out together. It was nice having some company for a change. I did let her know I was way out of condition and we might have to bail on the hike early. She was okay with that. I had hoped to be able to continue back down from Josephine on the Super Trail, and doing the Fern Canyon cutoff to the Kent Spring Road, then the pipeline connector back to the Super Trail again and on to the parking lot. But I really didn't think I would be able to do it. Sure enough, I was hiking pretty slow and ran out of energy just before reaching Josephine Saddle and told her my body said it was time to head back down. Being as it was a brutally warm day didn't help matters. By the time we got back to the parking lot I was exhausted. We bade each other safe travels, and I headed back to the discomfort of the swamp box at home. :lol:
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Jul 17 2019
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71 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Leslie Canyon TrailTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Scenic Drive avatar Jul 17 2019
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Scenic Drive
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A friend asked me about the state of the campgrounds in the Rucker Canyon area of the southern Chiricahua Mountains, so I decided to do a nice day trip down that way to check things out (I was last in there in 2012). One of the reasons I don't go there to camp much anymore is because of the rather long 25 mile dirt road drive, some of it through highly flood prone sections along Whitewater Draw. For today's trip I decided to go in by way of Leslie Canyon north of Douglas. I took Davis Road from near Tombstone all the way over to US 191. Davis Road continues east of 191, becomes a dirt road, and eventually connects with the Leslie Canyon Road. From there I headed north through the NWR and on up to the intersection with the Rucker Canyon Road along Whitewater Draw. There are some scenic spots as you pass through the Pedregosa Mountains and along the rolling hills of ranching country as you work north to Rucker Road. I left home early, since I didn't want to get caught deep back in those flood prone areas in case the phantom monsoon actually decided to make a real appearance. :lol:
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Jul 17 2019
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71 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Rucker Canyon Campgrounds, AZ 
Rucker Canyon Campgrounds, AZ
 
Walk / Tour avatar Jul 17 2019
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Walk / Tour
Walk / Tour
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I had not visited this area since 2012. At that time I camped at Camp Rucker Group area. Today was just for a look around before continuing my trip. Everything is the same as last time I was here. I plan on coming back and camping sometime this summer or fall. I have a hunch these campgrounds don't see a lot of use because of their remoteness.
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Jul 17 2019
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71 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Rucker Back to Tucson, AZ 
Rucker Back to Tucson, AZ
 
Scenic Drive avatar Jul 17 2019
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Continuing on from Rucker Canyon, I headed southeast on Tex Canyon Road, past Krentz Ranch to US Highway 80. Then it was westbound on US 80 to Douglas and on to Bisbee. I encountered thunderstorms as I approached Bisbee. The rain got pretty intense by the time I reached the traffic circle at Lowell, so I decided against a stop in Brewery Gulch (glad I did, as when I got home I checked the Old Bisbee Brewing Company Facebook page, and they had posted a short video of the storm, saying they got their first "gulch washer" of the season :lol: ). Headed to Sierra Vista on SR 92 (I was out of the rain area just past Bisbee), where I stopped to gas up the truck and pick up some fast food. The scenic drive continued over to Sonoita, then on the Greaterville Road through Box Canyon to the junction with the Madera Canyon Road. Took a short side trip over to Proctor Road, where I stopped to enjoy the sunset and have a cold one with my fast food, before finishing up a long and interesting day on the road. :D
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Jul 05 2019
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71 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Big Burro Mountains, NM 
Big Burro Mountains, NM
 
Scenic Drive avatar Jul 05 2019
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Scenic Drive
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After a night in Silver City for the fireworks show, I had planned on camping Friday night either up by Lake Roberts or City of Rocks State Park. But, I changed my mind in the morning and decided to just head back home instead. On my way back to Lordsburg I did a little exploring along Gold Gulch Road, a place I hadn't been to since the 1990's. There are plenty of places for dispersed camping back in there, but I wouldn't go during rainy weather, since the roads go through numerous flood prone sandy sections. Aside from that it is pretty scenic, with plenty of mining and ranching artifacts to check out.
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lots of Pricklypoppy
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Jul 04 2019
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71 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Silver City Fireworks, NM 
Silver City Fireworks, NM
 
Walk / Tour avatar Jul 04 2019
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Originally I was going to go to Santa Fe for the Fourth of July fireworks show, but I just had too many things at home that needed attention, so I opted for a shorter trip. This worked out just fine. :D I was able to get pretty close to the launch site and enjoyed the show put on by the locals, which rivaled the official display at times.

[ youtube video ]
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Jun 29 2019
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71 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
West Turkey Creek-Chiricahua, AZ 
West Turkey Creek-Chiricahua, AZ
 
Scenic Drive avatar Jun 29 2019
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Can't really escape the heat right now. Even the higher terrain is pushing it. Yeah, pretty typical for this point on the calendar. :lol: I just wanted to get out of town and go for a drive. An old favorite locale beckoned, so I was off to see what I would see. Since Sycamore CG is supposed to become a fee area later this year, I wanted to see if any changes were happening to justify this proposed action. Nope. Exactly as it was last year. There were storms brewing around the mountains, but little rain was falling. The deer were plentiful, as I saw perhaps 15 or so. The last deer I saw for the day was somewhat of a surprise and not in the Chiricahua Mountains.
Flora
Flora
Apache-Plume
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very isolated
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Jun 29 2019
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71 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
A Swing through Tombstone, AZ 
A Swing through Tombstone, AZ
 
Scenic Drive avatar Jun 29 2019
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Leaving West Turkey Creek in the Chiricahua Mountains, I decided to head over to Tombstone, rather than back to Tucson the usual way via Sunizona, Sunsites, Dragoon Road to Texas Canyon, and I-10. The dirt road ends by the intersection with paved SR 181 (where it curves north to go to Chiricahua National Monument). At this spot is a convenient road known as the Kuykendall Cutoff that heads south to connect with the Rucker Canyon Road. Here you can make a left turn to go back into the Chiricahua Mountains and Rucker Canyon or turn right and head back out to US 191 north of Elfrida (I turned right as my goal was to go to Tombstone). This connector road is convenient if you want to go between West Turkey Creek and Rucker Canyon and cut out the extra miles by not going all the way out to US 191. This is a well graded dirt road that is fine during dry conditions, but would be more of a hassle in stormy weather of course.

When I reached US 191 north of Elfrida I continued west on Courtland Road, which is paved for awhile before becoming dirt and interesecting the Ghost Town Trail Road near Courtland. South from here (left turn) and soon you reach the paved Gleeson Road. Turn right to go to Tombstone. (Note: once you reach US 191 you can also drive south to Gleeson Road near Elfrida and stay on pavement the whole way). Whichever way you go, Gleeson Road is quite scenic as it winds through lots of mining country in the southern Dragoon Mountains, before the gradual descent to Walnut Gulch by Tombstone. :D

I wanted to stop at Tombstone Brewing Company, since I hadn't been yet, and wasn't disappointed. While there, I noticed another deer in a yard across the street, and the bar people said they were common in town, and treated as pets. (They like the spent grains too) :lol:
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Jun 15 2019
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71 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Stewart CG-Chiricahua, AZ 
Stewart CG-Chiricahua, AZ
 
Car Camping avatar Jun 15 2019
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Car Camping
Car Camping
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DesertratDeb
Over to the Portal area of the Chiricahua Mountains for an overnighter with some friends to reestablish contact and catch up on things. We expected more people down in this popular area, but we had the campground to ourselves. As it was getting dark at camp we were treated to the sounds of a group of Whip-poor-wills and owls that were literally overhead! It was pretty amazing. In all my times out, I had never experienced so many that close to where I was sitting. :D

In the morning we went to the Portal Peak Lodge, Store, and Cafe for breakfast, followed by a little stroll around town. Back at camp, Jim and I packed up and headed home to Tucson, while the rest of the group went for a birding hike in South Fork.

As an added bonus, I got to briefly make it into New Mexico for the first time this year, as we drove in via Road Forks and Rodeo. :) I drove back out via the direct route to San Simon. Fun time!
Named place
Named place
Cathedral Rock
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Jun 09 2019
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71 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Carr Canyon-Huachuca, AZ 
Carr Canyon-Huachuca, AZ
 
Scenic Drive avatar Jun 09 2019
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Scenic Drive
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I headed down to one of my favorite places in this part of Arizona with the intention of camping. However, when I got there I changed my mind, as it was pretty warm and I just wasn't feeling like setting up the gear. So, I got out the chair and sat around for about an hour in the shade of the trees, while enjoying my Wendy's meal and chili that I picked up in Sierra Vista on my way. This visit just reaffirmed my prior conviction that it is better to enjoy these sky islands after the summer rains have commenced to bring things to life and taken the heat stress away.

There was one tent set up at Ramsey Vista CG and nobody at Reef, except for the birders who are a common sight this time of year. Everything else seemed about the same as last time I was here.

The cicadas were really cranking out their "electric serenade" for me to enjoy all the way up to 7200 feet! :D
Named place
Named place
Carr Peak
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May 11 2019
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71 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Bonita CreekTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 11 2019
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Hiking3.00 Miles
Hiking3.00 Miles
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Finally got out of town for my first camping trip of the year. :) Only one night, but it was worth it as I visited the neat riparian zone of the Gila Box east of Safford. More water this visit than any of my past (though very few) stops in the area. Before heading back to Tucson, I decided to get the sandals out of the truck and do some delightful slogging in and out of the water in Bonita Creek. Though I don't hike in water very much, I must admit the cool water sure felt pretty good on my feet. :D To be honest, most of the walking along the road was not in water, but I enjoyed the parts that were.
Flora
Flora
Pomegranate
Named place
Named place
Bonita Creek
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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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