Tuesday, February 8, was a day spent in the campground. Tom went to a computer “Show and Tell” in the afternoon as I spent time reading. For dinner we went to a local restaurant, “Horseshoe Café”, with a group of about 30 from the campground.
Wednesday we drove to the town of Tubac, Az. for the Art Festival. Tubac is a unique town with lots of shops, many devoted to art. The Art Festival has well over 150 kiosks set up throughout the town selling art, jewelry, some clothing and other pricy things. We ate at a Mexican restaurant, Elvira’s, which had good food at a cost. It was a nice day with comfortable temperatures in the upper 60’s and bright sunshine.
Thursday we ran a few errands into the town of Benson- post office, grocery stores-but spent most of our day in the campground. For dinner Tom had to fend for himself as I went to the clubhouse for “Woman’s Night Out”. The theme was Hawaii so the attire arranged from Muumuus to blue jeans and t-shirts. I had gotten a dark blue and white flowered shirt at Walmart that I wore with jeans. We had to pick a small piece of paper from a dish that designated the table that we were to sit at- a good way of mixing everyone up. Our dinner prepared by some of the men was Hawaiian Chicken, rice, grilled pineapple, a fruit salad and pineapple upside down cake, very tasty. The entertainment provided by campground locals provided lots of laughs with some male and female bashing. A fun night!
Today, Friday, we drove southeast about 75 miles to Chiricahau National Monument. The Monument is an isolated mountain range that is surrounded by grassland. Rock pinnacles cover the mountainsides.
Chiricahau Apache called the pinnacles “standing up rocks”. Cochise, a Chiricahau Apache inhabited this area and upon his death Geronimo became a leader here. We stopped at the Visitor’s Center and watched a short movie about the “Monument” and then drove through the park. I had prepared a picnic lunch as there is no place close to eat- the closest town is 35 miles. At the top, Massai Point-6870 feet, we decided it was too cold to eat outside (there was some snow on the ground) so we started back down to warmer areas. We did stop at an area called Sugarloaf and hiked about 1/2 mile on the trail to the Grottoes.
The Grottoes was a huge rock structure with tunnels and “windows”. We finally ate our lunch when returned to the lower warmer area at Faraway Ranch. There were some very pretty bluish-green birds in the area that we later were told were Mexican Jays.
After lunch we walked back to the Faraway Ranch and had a nice tour of the house.
Neil and Emma Erickson, Swedish immigrants, settled here in 1888. Then in 1920’s their oldest daughter, Lillian and her husband, Ed Riggs, turned the ranch into a guest ranch which was in operation until 1973. After the death of the Erickson 3 children the ranch and furnishings were incorporated into the national park as a historical district. Another beautiful day with bright sunshine and temperatures varied according to the altitude- cold on the top of Chiricahau, warmer at the bottom area and still in the 70’s when we returned to Benson at 5pm. But the temperature does drop quit a bit at nighttime- it was 29 degrees this morning.