PARTING MORNING VIEWS OF THE CHIRCAHUAS
Saturday night I was lucky just to get the blog Published because I kept dozing off while writing it. Hope that’s not how people feel when reading it. Kelly was in bed by 7:30 & I was out like a light an hour later. Problem with that is simply that my brain woke me up at 2 a.m. thinking it had done it’s ‘necessary for sanity’ 6 hour stretch, so………my day began at 2 a.m. No darn wonder I feel a little crusty at times!!
THIS IS WHERE WE CARRY OUR SATELLITE DISH, OUR LAWN CHAIRS & OUR MONKEY
I’m not a numbers guy but I did jot a few things down on our trip to the southwest last week. Miles (I prefer to think in miles rather that kilometers!!") from Goderich to Rusty’s RV Ranch was 2,208. Fuel cost, $986. Gas prices dropped from over $3 a gallon in Michigan to around $2.75 a gallon here in the west. And no, I have no idea how many miles to the gallon the rig gets. It just takes what it takes to gets us to where we needs to go!! And food costs? Let’s just say we are now shareholders in McDonald’s!! We are Passport America members so our stay at Rusty’s per night was half price at $12. However, Rusty has a change coming up for the new year. In order to get that Passport America rate there will be a minimum 3 night stay required.
HAWK CHASING A FLOCK OF SMALL BIRDS
Have you met Biscuit yet? Slip on over to Kansas City & see who the new head Honcho is at RETIRED ROD’s place:)) And, before I forget, we have a new blog supporter. A big Bayfield Bunch welcome to Jo Beth & Catherine. Nice to see you on our blog supporter’s list.
HIGHWAY 80 TO DOUGLAS ARIZONA
Cold start to the day as we waved goodbye to RUSTY’S RV RANCH this morning about 8 a.m. Set the rig’s cruise control on 50 MPH & had ourselves a leisurely cruise south down the beautiful San Bernardino Valley. No traffic in front or behind for as far as the eye could see. Now, how nice is that:))
I have mentioned before that my favorite driving time of the day is between sunrise & 10 a.m. Morning light has a hue to it like no other time of day. Some mornings have a serenity & spiritual pull to them & this morning was one of those mornings. The highway stretched across the valley floor ahead of us like a black velvet ribbon flowing effortlessly through a sea of endless yellow grass flecked with Mesquite scrub, large Prickly Pear Cactus & Yucca plants. Mountains ringed us from horizon to horizon. The Chiricahuas on the right & the Peloncillo’s on the left. Ahead of us lay more mountain ranges in Mexico & far to the southeast, lay the Animas & St. Luis ranges. We passed Skeleton Canyon where Geronimo was finally chased down & captured by U.S. Calvary troops.
TWO BORDER GUARDS STOP FOR A CHIN WAG
This is the land of Cochise & across these grasslands & through these canyons rode his Indian raiding parties into Mexico. It is the land where legends were born. Wyatt Earp & his brothers rode here as did the Clanton Brothers & the Dalton Gang. TEXAS JOHN SLAUGHTER'S RANCH is just a few miles away & it is this area that Stan Jones refers to in one of the most beloved & recognizable western songs of all time. Ghost Riders In The Sky. It just feels so good to be back in this historic part of Arizona. Kinda like being ‘back in the saddle again:))
IT WAS THIS AREA ‘GHOST RIDERS OF THE SKY’ WAS WRITTEN
Rolled into Douglas Arizona about 10 & just as last year, we hit the local Wal-Mart to stock up on groceries. Another 20 minutes on the road had us up the Sulphur Springs Valley & into our final destination…. the ranch. Ranch dogs Pearce, Gleeson & Corky came pouring out across the yard with tails just a barking. It was so great to see our old Pals again. Ranch owners Jeanie & Ray came out to greet the dusty travelers from Canada & it was great to see them again & catch up on all things old & new…….which now brings me to the last minute changes in the life & times of, The Bayfield Bunch.
Well, where to start. It’s a two part story. Jeanie & Ray have had their ranch for sale now for the past couple of years & have been hoping to full time in their beautiful 40’ Itasca Winnebago Meridian diesel pusher. A fellow from the Phoenix area expressed interest in the ranch this past March & just a few weeks ago he came down to look the place over, fell in love with it & is returning shortly with his family to show them the ranch. So, there could very well be a ranch sale in the wind shortly. Of course this has meant Jeannie & Ray have had to put their winter travel plans on hold as well.
WHITE CROSSES MARK SAD PASSINGS
OK, that’s part one of the story. Some of you may remember us meeting friends of Jeannie & Rays in our previous two stays at the ranch. Ingrid & Tom are an elderly couple & they are the one’s who would bring their big friendly black lab dog Corky to the ranch when they would go to Sierra Vista shopping or for medical appointments. Ingrid & Tom lived east of Elfrida at the foot of the Swiss Helm mountains & we had driven by their place way out in the boonies one time. Pretty rough road to get to their place & they needed a pick-up truck to come & go.
Now, to tie the 2 stories together. Both Ingrid & Tom have been in failing health for some time now but were determined to stay in their own house for as long as possible. Jeannie had been taking Ingrid for medical treatments to Sierra Vista for quite awhile. Recently, Ingrid’s health took a dramatic turn for the worse & it was decided by Ingrid & Tom’s children to bring their parents back to New York State as soon as possible. Ingrid & Tom made that journey just a couple weeks ago leaving their house empty at the foot of the Swiss Helm mountains. Since they left, Jeanie & Ray have been driving to the house every second day to keep an eye on things & water the trees, etc.
Now, enter the Bayfield Bunch into the mix. Jeannie emailed us last week while we were on our way to the ranch wondering if we would be interested in setting up camp over at Ingrid & Toms place to look after things until Ingrid & Tom’s house is sold. Yep, that sure interested me right away alright.
Fast forward to later this afternoon. Jeannie & Ray led the way in their Jeep while I followed in the Motor Home & Kelly brought up the rear with our Jeep. Our little convoy made the 20 minute drive from the Ranch near McNeal to Ingrid & Tom’s house near Elfrida, Arizona. Two thirds of the way was on pavement & the last third was on a mighty rough & dusty road subject to wash outs at any time. Slow & easy did it & at last we rolled into the driveway of Ingrid & Tom’s house.
FOLLOWING JEANNIE & RAY TO INGRID & TOM’S HOUSE
It was the pine trees I saw first & the remoteness I sensed second. How could we be so lucky to have lucked into looking after such a great piece of 20 acre property with a third of an acre totally fenced in. Coyotes & Javelina’s. (wild little piggy guys) are aplenty in this neck of the woods. What a perfect place for the Bayfield Bunch. No neighbors, no human sounds, no light pollution in the night sky & no traffic madness. Mountains behind us & miles of valley floor stretching out in front of us. Mesquite trees & shrubbery all around & a rough enough road to keep any vacuum cleaner or encyclopedia salesmen from bugging us. Boy oh boy, how lucky can we be:)))))))
FIRST PICS FROM OUR NEW WINTER DIGS
Sorry for the long blog……… but I just got myself a little too darn excited today for a change….10-4
GROANER’S CORNER:(( A blind man was out walking with his seeing-eye dog when suddenly the animal paused and wet the man's leg. Bending down, the blind man stretched out his hand and patted the dog's head.
Having watched what happened, a bystander said, "Why are you patting him? That dog just peed on your leg!"
"I know," said the blind man, "but I gotta find his head before I can kick his butt!!
Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.
Until one has loved an Animal, part of their soul remains un-awakened
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The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now......AL.