Monday, 29 November 2010

Oh dear !

I am way behind with updating the blog, again!

We are now at Rincon East RV Resort in Tucson where we have been doing more relaxing, a little line dancing, swimming, shopping, sightseeing, hiking and attempting (on my part) to learn how to play bocce ball.

Our new views at Rincon, this is looking north to Mt Lemmon.

This is looking east to the Rincon Mountains.

And my favourite spot.

The weather has been gorgeous, but currently it is a little chilly as the storm systems just north of us are blasting snow into the mountains and sending the arctic air down to us, but don't worry it should be be back in the 70's by mid week. Hurray!

I will try and get the blog updated this week.

Have fun, we are!

Monday, 8 November 2010

Busy Doin' Nothin!

Life is tough here at Tombstone Territories RV Resort, what with constant sunshine, blue skies and fabulous views. Across the desert the San Pedro Riparian area, the Dragoon Mountains and Tombstone Hills lie in one direction and the Whetstone and Huachuca Mountains in the other.

Some days we’re constantly on the go, what with swimming in the pool, relaxing in the hot tub and you have no idea how exhausting it can be reading our books, why the energy expended in turning those pages………………

Our view to the Whetstone Mountains.

As for my daily walk around the park, by the time I've stopped for several chats along the way it can take a while.

Our view of the Dragoon Mountains at sunset.

The sunsets here can be incredible.

At night it’s very peaceful the sky is incredibly dark and clear and is filled with stars, the like of which you never see in the city.

Sometimes the silence is disturbed by the coyotes out hunting they yip and howl to alert the others to a kill. The first time I heard it I thought someone was being murdered!

We’re moving to Tucson tomorrow, so our lazy desert days with fabulous views will be at an end, for now.

Have fun, we are!

Western Music Festival - Tombstone

There was a Western Music Festival in Tombstone this weekend, so we headed down to have a look.

Artists performed throughout the day on the main stage in Allen Street and at various locations throughout the town.

It was a fun afternoon and we enjoyed listening to the music, although some of it was a bit slow for us.

There is a cowboy symposium in Sonoita later in the month and quite a few of the artists will be performing there as well.

The law was there in full force.

Isn’t he cute? He must’ve been one of the most photographed dogs in Tombstone that afternoon.

We had chimichangas in the Long Horn after which we were so full we did nothing much that evening!

Have fun, we are!

Back to Bisbee

Bisbee is about 40 miles south of here and was once a famous copper mining town.
The town is built along the canyons of the Mule Mountains with narrow winding streets
some houses are reached by very steep steps.

You either have to be fit or have a chairlift to live here!

The copper mines closed a while ago, although you can take a tour around the Queen Copper Mine, we did that a few years ago and it’s very interesting.

On this trip though the idea was just to mooch around, see what we could find, have coffee and enjoy the sunshine, so we took a walk along main street.

Some interesting artwork on an old wall in Brewery Gulch.

I think this is some sort of school, but isn't it a nice building?

We’ve visited Bisbee on several occasions and always enjoy our time there, we had a great day.

Have fun, we are!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Bull Riding - Tombstone

The Bull Riding event started as everyone stood while the ranchers wife rode around the arena on horseback with the US flag. A high school girl from Sierra Vista sang the national anthem.

After each rider had drawn a bull, they were introduced to the crowd. On Saturday they were all from the local area, after that the contest began.

The bulls are run into the chutes; the bull rider then loops his well rosined rope around the neck of the bull, after that he climbs onto the bulls back and settles himself down, well as well as you can settle down on the back of a bull! The riders wear spurs, but the rowels are blunted rather than pointed, well would you want to stick points into the side of a bull?

Once the bull turns his head to the front of the chute the gate is opened and the bull leaps out.

The rider uses one gloved hand to hold onto the rope and the other is kept high in the air to keep his balance. Each rider is trying to stay on the back of the bull for 8 seconds.

8 seconds doesn’t sound long, but……………

Once the rider falls off, and he does, then he has to keep out of the way of flying hooves and sharp horns.

Bull fighters distract the bull so the rider has chance to get out of the way and then direct the bull to the exit chute.

These bulls are huge and weigh about 2,000 lbs you definitely wouldn’t want to get stomped on by one of them.

Needless to say I don’t think we’ll be taking this up as a new hobby!

Have fun, we are!

The Guindani (Godawful!) Trail - Coronado National Forest

The Guindani (Godawful!) trail in Coronado National Forest is just over 4 miles long, gains about 900ft in elevation and leads into and out of the wash in Guindani Canyon, is (supposedly) easy to follow, well marked and on the information we were given is also a mountain bike route.

We set off from the trailhead where it recommends long sleeves and long pants, but hey it’s a mountain bike route so we weren’t too worried about that after all how bad could it be?

The trail starts off as a single track, after about ¼ mile there is a sign directing you to the right along what looks like an old jeep road.

Not too bad, and it looks rideable on a mountain bike.

After a while the trail dipped down into the wash in Guindani Canyon, where it was definitely not rideable, but hey this was also a mountain bike trail so it wouldn’t last long, would it? Yes that really is the trail.

After all the rain in Arizona this summer it was very overgrown. You would definitely be carrying your bike down here! So it was a case of find the cairn and look for the next one before continuing, trying our best to avoid the mesquite, agave and other prickly stuff, not to mention the grasses all across the trail.

If anything the trail got worse, several times we climbed up out of the wash, the cairns and very faint trail became even more difficult to follow. No way could you ride a bike through this lot. We were getting scratched but imagine pushing through that in lycra, ouch!

Eventually, we climbed higher and thought this is it we’re out of the wash we must be climbing up to the viewpoint. Wrong! Once again we descended back into the wash.

We’d probably only come about 2 miles and were still in the wash! Considering it was supposedly an easy to follow trail there were hardly any trail signs and the trail just appeared to lead further back into the Whetstone Mountains. Lack of any real distinguishing features, apart from the wash didn't help either. It had taken us about 3 hours to reach this point and even though it was still early afternoon this time of the year the sun goes down quickly in these canyons and it is no place to be trying to walk out of in the dark.

So we decided that the best thing to do was turn around and retrace our steps back through all the pesky prickly stuff. That was easier said than done, because of course the trail was just as bad going back.

At one point we did wonder whether we should’ve struggled on, but I think we did the right thing because as we headed back dusk had already fallen in sections of the canyon where the sun had dipped below the top of the mountains. I don’t like the dark!

Once we got back to the jeep road we heaved a huge sigh of relief, we were back in the sunshine and didn’t have far to go to the truck.

It was around 4.30 p.m. when we finally got back to the truck, looking back we could see that the sun had completely gone from the canyon and darkness was falling fast, so we definitely did the right thing when we turned round.

This is a godawful trail/bike route and doesn’t appear to be particularly well walked or well maintained either, as for mountain biking, well maybe if you had a death wish!

We didn’t have fun on this godawful trail and were glad to get back to a nice chilled beer and margarita.

Have fun, we are!

Kartchner Caverns - Foothills Loop Trail

The Foothills Loop trail at Kartchner Caverns State Park is described as a moderately difficult trail climbing up the limestone hills north of the caverns entrance.

We took the right hand loop and headed down into the wash, following a fault between the Whetstone block and the San Pedro block. There are information boards along the way.

The first information board leads you to bedrock mortar a few yards off the trail which was used by Indians indigenous to the area for grinding corn.

We continued up to the scenic mountain viewpoint the view below is to the Dragoon Mountains on the other side of the valley.

Looking back into the folds of the Whetstone Mountains.

It was a nice trail around the mountain before dropping back into the wash and heading back to the car park.

As we were heading back on we saw a sign for a Coronado National Forest Trail called the Guindani Trail.

We enquired and were told it was slightly more difficult than the foothills loop trail, was well marked and easy to follow, so we decided to do that the next day. But that as they say is a whole other story!

Have fun, we are!