2018 December – Week 3 & 4

Upon leaving Picacho, we headed towards Benson. With only a 90 minute drive we stopped at Karchner Caverns once again. This time so I could take the Big Room tour. This room is only open in the winter months as this is a nesting place for the bats. They move south in the winter for hibernating in warmer caves. No cameras or cell phones allowed in the caves so no pictures.

This stop allow us to get past security and onto Fort Huachuca to visit the museum. It is and still is an important outpost. From the Indian Wars to the wars in the Middle East. The testing and use of drones is the high security end of things now. The Buffalo Soldiers played a large part in the Indian Wars and through World War 2.

This time we did go out to Fort Bowie to take the hike into the fort site. It was established to secure the Apache Spring. An important water source in the area for expansion west. With the government shut down there were signs posted but only the visitor center was closed. the restrooms remained open. Having driven so far and missing Chiricahua National Monument last time due  to it being closed we decided to go for it. The gates were open but visitor center and restrooms were locked. It was a nice drive as it was not crowded. We did no hiking having done Ft. Bowie.

We did make it back to the Rancho Maria Winery for another round of their great wine. Following Google maps led us to a dead end. Should have followed the map sent to us by Mark. It was great to talk withhim again.

Being December we did get some cold rainy weather. Enjoyed looing at the snow on Mt. Lemon when is cleared.

We did go to Tombstone again. This time stopping for lunch and taking in the OK coral. It has changed from 30 years ago and is more of a stage show then the original site it once was. The movie narrated by Vincent Price was enjoyable.

We went to church Christmas Eve at Peace in the Valley Lutheran Church. Only one service and it was early. Christmas day was enjoyable while we cook ourselves a turkey tenderloin dinner for two.

Giving  the holiday travelers a chance to get somewhere after Christmas, we headed for Las Cruses on the 27th. Once there the setting up operation began. Linda working theinside and me doing my thing on the outside. Shortly after I started Linda cam around the corner of the rig. Telling me she just had a phone call. It was Marrisa asking what the was  to do in Las Cruses as they were entering town. Linda’s reply was we are in Las Cruses and you better get your butt over here. They were close because 10 minutes later we recieved our biggest surprise and Christmas gift. shannon and the kids came for a visit. Aaron stayed behind to work and take care of the homefront.

Of course the next day the cold, wet, snowy weather followed  them. We did go to the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum. We did get a tram tour of the outdoor exhibits before it started to rain. Then spent time inside the museum viewing New Mexico’s history.

Saturday was spent indoors at the mall where the ladies went shopping and Zach and I hung out and took in the Spiderman movie. Afterwards was lunch/dinner (linner) at Chuckie Cheese. Sunday morning saw  us getting together for their departure home.

Linda and I ended  the year by going to Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park and walking the trails. Afterwars we headed to historic Mesilla center. this is a special place as it is the last piece of land the US purchased to make up the 48 states as we know them today.

January 1, 2019 start the new year off with a hike in the Organ Mountains in the Solodada Canyon Day Use Area. Trail was icy in spots but warm and sunny in other areas.

This was a quick week and now it was time to pack up and move on down the road.

Fort Huachuca original parade grounds. Looking north at Dragoon Mountains
Inside the museum. Interesting history
it is7:17a.m. need to update.  Getting ready to head out for adventure.
Trail map with a posting.
Uphill before heading down and further back into the foothills
Apache Spring. down to a trickle
Gun powder storage
Visitor Center with sign noting 5000 ft elevation
fort ruins in background. Trail around the interior.
Loop trail. 1/4 mile uphill to start. slightly rocky.
Fort Bowie looking south – 1894
Looking south today. Hard to see what is left.
A little further up the trail. More like the picture.
Chiricahua National Monument. Wind and rain against the sandstone.
Another area
the scenic drive in the park
Sunset from Benson KOA
OK corral with figures as “they were standing”.
The town to tough to die. It was named as it burned down 3 times and kept rebuilding.
Where Wyatt ran the gaming tables. Not the owner of the saloon.
The Crystal Palace
First time here I picked up a cowboy hat. Second trip Linda picked up a serape.
Getting ready for Christmas. No tree this year.
Candy canes for the exterior. The biking frog is from the YMCA gang as a departing gift
Peace in the Valley Lutheran Church. A small welcoming group of people.
Light show on our home for added decorations.
Christmas morning walk looking toward mountains near Tucson
Christmas dinner
Snow on Mt. Lemon
Our visitors from Colorado Springs. Nice Surprise.


Ladies shopping in the old mechantile display at the museum 
Day two. Welcome Morris family. Some Colorado weather.
off to the mall. waiting for the stores to open.
Zach and I waiting for the movie to start. Inflatables to burn off some energy.
Organ Mountains from Ihop parking lot.
At the Mesilla State park. Rio Grande River. It is dammed up at Elephant Butte until irrigation time.
Footprints and tire tracksIn the Rio Grande
Sign explaings the towns role. Not noted here is te US thoought they owned it and took an 1850 census of the town although it was in Mexico.
Building where Billy the Kid was held in jail and later escaped.
Church at  one end of the plaza
Happy New Year – 2019


note snow on the north side of slopes and none on the south facing.
Looking back at Las Cruses


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