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.