After visiting the local restaurants and saloons, no visit would be complete without a visit to Bootstrap Hill Cemetery…And so our time at Tombstone has come to an end. Cleaned up, well fed and rested (and happy the Patriots are headed to the Super Bowl), we began our next leg of the trip.
Bootstrap Hill Cemetery, Statue of Wyatt Earp, Downtown mains street – Tombstone
Monday’s ride was 30 miles to Whitewater Wildlife Management Area. And what a spot! We were the only tenters but we did meet some very nice RV’ers from Illinois. This is a nice spot but can only accommodate about 6 tents. If you are in an RV, probably about 6-8 of those would fit here as well. This is an awesome wildlife sanctuary. Birds (mostly waterfowl), coyotes, deer, and other wildlife abound in this little oasis. Bring a camera… and binoculars!
Whitewater Wildlife Refuge Campsite
Our friends from Illinois visited with us a good part of Tuesday morning. They were eager to share online sites as well as maps that help fulltime RV’ers. Here is the irony; They said, by far, the best maps were the Delorme Gazetteer and I should buy one…(They are made in Maine by a Maine company) Yes, maybe I should.
After a night of wind (again!) and rain, we woke up to a very chilly 35 degrees. The hillsides nearby were tinted with white. But after some hot coffee and hot oatmeal, the sun eventually peaked out and the weather did improve. Today’s ride was relatively flat but still had to contend with the wind. Border Patrols are everywhere. That seems to be a common theme in both Southern California and Southern Arizona. Also, on our way up Hwy 80 towards New Mexico, we were asked to pull over to move a couple of large pieces of equipment down the road. One piece was the whole width of the highway!
Another pretty mountain picture!
This is a very scenic route and the mountains are spectacular. The taller ones are white… Which looks pretty, but it is in the neck of the woods where we plan on spending the night. Corey had a long day as he clocked 48 miles and made it to Geronimo Surrender Memorial (GSM). After visiting the GSM and a good night sleep, we will head into New Mexico. Let me just remind people of the weather. The Southwest is nice, very picturesque, but winter can be COLD. And if you are up in elevation (and most of it is), it is even colder!
Many of the mountains had snow on them
So goes the tale of our night. We found a nice spot at Cave Creek (Coronado National Forest). It was secluded with plenty of firewood and a nice place for out tents. It even had a clean outhouse and fresh spring water (a rarity in these parts). However, the temps dipped into the teens and it snowed the first part of the night. To make coffee and oatmeal for breakfast, I had to melt the water before I could boil it! 😬 Didn’t realize that I’d be winter camping in the Southwest! Still dreaming of warmer weather.
Cave Creek: We had trees, a brook (with water) and wildlife – Just like Maine, complete with snow & cold
The Geronimo Surrender Memorial was impressive. It is sad when I think of how we treated the Indians in our pioneer days. The Wild West sure has some stories to tell!
Geronimo Surrender Memorial
Wednesday found us fighting cold and wind (although the wind is substantially less today and to our backs). Because of the cold, we packed up camp and skedaddled early. We made New Mexico late morning. Because of favorable wind and great roads we decided to do a 75 mile day. The Southwest is having an unusually colder and wetter than normal winter. Let’s hope things improve.
Rumford Elementary School, can you name the countries and states that border Arizona? As we headed through New Mexico, we crossed the Continental Divide. Do you know what this is? It was tough for the early settlers to eke out a life in the Arizona and New Mexico desert. What do you suppose enticed these pioneers to strike out for the desert Southwest?
This will be a good time to remind our readers why Corey and I feel so dedicated to our cause – Mission 22. After serving our country, you form bonds that are hard to explain. Corey and I both served in the U.S. Army. And when a fellow soldier has difficulty (even if we have never met them), we have some idea what they have been through and are going through. After much research, Corey found Mission 22 has low overhead cost which means most of the donations go directly for services to help distraught soldiers. There is a cost (often referred to as administration) to any non-profit organization but many have a huge overhead and pay their CEO a huge salary. Not so with Mission 22. In addition to their efficiency, our trek across country is totally funded by us. It is part of our contribution to all who have served. Thank you.
Note: The Border Patrol is just as active in New Mexico! Coming from a “border state” like Maine, I find this odd and very foreign. I think our experiences in Texas will be different only because we will be 100’s of miles from the border.
Pretty soon we will be traveling along the New Mexico and Texas borders. Stay tuned! You never know what unexpected events come our way! (EMOJI – smile)
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