Saturday, 19 April 2014

Patagonia Lake State Park

We’ve been to Patagonia Lake State Park several times, but it’s a lovely spot so we decided to return, needless to say we carefully watched our speed as we drove through the town of Patagonia on our way.
At Patagonia Lake, you can camp, fish, boat, swim and hike.   The hike takes you along the Sonoita Creek trail and as we’ve already done that we decided to just have lunch and mooch around.   Unfortunately for us we visited on a Tuesday and the visitor centre is closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.
We parked in the day use area and set off to have lunch by the lake, it was very pretty but a bit on the breezy side, even the ducks were struggling to make headway so we didn’t linger.
Swimming in Patagonia Lake is classed as wild swimming, not that I would it’s too darn cold for me, and the day we visited the beach area was being renovated so it was closed anyway.

These pretty flowers were on the lakeshore, I have no idea what they are.

A view across to the mountains, not sure which mountains though.

We walked around the park and back through the marina, where we watched someone attempting to put their boat back on the trailer and someone else rowing out of the calm waters of the marina onto the windy lake.

Keeping a watchful eye over things and for any unwary fish was a heron perched on the rangers boathouse.

On the way back we pulled in at a layby with a historical marker sign, complete with bullet holes, and discovered that we were on the site of John Ward’s Ranch.   In 1861 Indians kidnapped his Mexican stepson, Felix, army officers wrongly assumed that the local Chiricahua Apache were responsible, they weren’t it was actually the Pinal Band of the Western Apache.   This mistake led to the infamous Bascom Affair between Lt Bascom and Cochise.  I’m not sure if John Ward ever saw his stepson again, but he died in 1867, after which the site became a blacksmith and wheelwright shop, a mining headquarters, a store and finally a produce farm before being abandoned in 1903.

Just beyond the historical marker is the Telles Family Shrine which was begun in 1941 after Juanita and Juan Telles made a vow to God for the safety of their sons in WWII.   The shrine was rededicated in 1988 and the plaque was erected by the Pimeria Alta Historical Society.

It just goes to show you never know what you’re going to find on the side of the road. 

Have fun, we are!

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