Thursday, January 12, 2012


(Third consecutive night in a row I am too tired to finish the blog before midnight.  Once again, this is Wednesday’s blog despite Thursday’s date)



Don’t exactly know what it is about a cloudy day that just kind of curb’s one enthusiasm a bit. Maybe it’s the subtle grayness.  Maybe it’s the lack of warm sunshine on one’s skin.


Slipped on down to the corrals first thing this morning to check on the Donkeys and give them some hay and make sure the level in their water tank was ok.  Had a couple carrots in my pocket too:))  I always get a kick out of how Pheebs and the Donkey’s touch noses through the fence.


Expected the Farrier around 9:15 but she phoned about an hour later re-scheduling the appointment for next week sometime.  Slipped down to the corral and let the donkeys out into the main pen.


We had a full day ahead of us and a few more places to show Jean so we weren’t long in getting on the road.  We knew the new tire for the Jeep wouldn’t be in until early afternoon so we set off in the direction of Sierra Vista.IMG_1530


Our first stop was to meet a couple of likable folks who are in the advanced stages of building a brand new house east of the San Pedro River.  I am going to write a separate post about them and how a set of circumstances led these happy folks to a decision in selling their California house and moving to Arizona’s San Pedro Valley.  A set of coincidences that was first started by none other than the Bayfield Bunch about 4 years ago:))



From Nancy & Pat’s new digs we scooted around Sierra Vista to the southeast & headed ourselves for Ramsey Canyon.  Unfortunately the Visitor’s Center and birding area was closed.  Undaunted we headed the short distance back to the highway and charted a southbound course for the CORONADO NATIONAL MONUMENT.  A quick stop at the Visitor’s Center and we began our ascent to the peak.


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I guess we had forgot to tell Jean about the hairpin dirt road turns, sheer drop offs and high altitude climb:))  Of course Kelly & I had been up this road a couple times before and I knew it was just fine.  But, I do understand what it is like for a passenger riding in a vehicle.  Only place to be on roads like that is behind the steering wheel in full control of the vehicle.  For me, anywhere else in a vehicle, even on a flat stretch of road on a good day, is a nail biter.  I do not make a good passenger regardless of who’s driving.  I have always been a driver and not a passenger.


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The views driving up the mountain were just beautiful and in many places we could see evidence of the devastating fires early last summer which had swept over the Huachuca Mountains.  Blackened tree trunks and yellowed hills.  I kept trying to point out the long steel Mexican border fence stretching across the desert far below on the valley floor but the girls wouldn’t look.


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A few more hairpin turns, a few more grades and a few more great views finally brought us to the parking area on Coronado Peak.   I swear I heard those big sighs of relief again.


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The Border Patrol was very prominent on the peak today with a lot of curious looking active space age surveillance equipment mounted on a truck.  Three other empty border control vehicles plus a white SUV with Government plates all sat locked and empty.  Not a sole around.  Just a silent movement of high powered cameras slowly sweeping the surrounding landscape.


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The views into Mexico from Coronado Peak are nothing short of spectacular.  At 6,575 feet one can easily see for probably fifty or sixty miles or so on a clear day.  I never tire of the views here.  It is a short walk to the very peak itself but the pathway was closed due to recent fire damage.  The fires had swept right up over the peak blackening all the trees and even some of the wooden guard rails in the parking area.  I remember sitting on that peak a few years ago marveling at the beautiful panoramic views all around me.  My posts about Coronado Peak can be found here at, A WEE HIKE UP TO CORONADO PEAK and DESTINATION....PARKER LAKE and TODAY WE FOUND THE CORONADO CAVE.


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Our drive back down the winding dirt road from Coronado Peak was uneventful.  I think the ladies were getting used to the dizzying heights.  Steep mountain roads were becoming old hat to them.  Yep, I think we are gonna have to consider bungee jumping next time Jean comes out for a visit.


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Our next stop was the Donovan Jeep dealership in Sierra Vista.  Our Jeep tire repair was done.  Locking wheel nuts had all been removed and a brand new Goodyear Wrangler tire was in place…….. but there was a problem!!  Tire size was fine but the tread pattern was totally different than our other 3 Wrangler tires.  Awwww nuts!!



Donovan’s service manager explained the problem saying Goodyear informed him they had discontinued the particular tire and tread pattern of our other 3 tires.  Like I said, Awwwww nuts!!  Nothing we could do so off we went with our one mismatched tread design tire.  I’m sure I saw people pointing at us as we headed down the road with our mismatchment.  My how things have changed over the years.  I remember driving old wrecks that were lucky if they even had tread on the tires and if a couple of tires didn’t match, well who cared anyway.



From the garage we headed into the afternoon traffic with Jean & I leading the way in the Jeep and Kelly following in Jeanie & Ray’s truck.  Jean had a hankering for Pizza so it didn’t take us long to sniff out a Pizza Hut.  A large Super Supreme Pizza hit the spot for all of us. (except I do not like black olives…or any kind of olives because yuk, they’re horrible!!)


With the sun rapidly sinking into the west Kelly jumped into the truck & headed for the Ranch with a short stop in Tombstone to pick up a pair of Cowboy boots.  Jean & I finished up the Pizza and hustled ourselves over to a nearby Walmart.  Jean needed some new sunglasses and we needed some apples, cranberry juice, ginger ale and a big bag of dog food for Pearce & Gleason.  We didn’t waste any time getting our stuff and were soon eastward bound along the Charleston road making fast tracks for the Ranch.  It was all but dark when we rolled through the gates.  Kelly was busy doing the chores & I was grateful for that.  She was also busy picking up half a dozen items Pheebs had dragged out of the Motorhome and scattered around the laneway.


Whew, it was another long day but what great memories we have created this past week since Jean’s arrival.  It is the first time Jean & I have ever spent any quality time together since I was born.  We sure had a lot of ‘in person’ catching up to do.  Thanks to the computer age, Jean & I have been in constant contact for over 10 years now through literally thousands of emails.  Yep, she’s a pretty special Aunt alright and it will be a pretty sad day Thursday as we drive Jean back to the Tucson Airport for her return trip to Sarasota Florida:((



Tonight we welcome PAPOOJACK'S WORLD as our latest Blog Follower.  Looks like Papoojack has himself one of those efficiently cute little Casita travel trailers:))

DSC_0046GROANER’S CORNER:((  What is a baby:
A soft pink thing that makes a lot of noise at one end and has no sense of responsibility at the other.

-Tourists see the world, travelers  experience it.
- Home is where your pet is:))
The only thing better than right now  will someday be the memories of
right  now...AL.


  1. No wonder you were to tired to finish you blog , a very busy day!

    It so nice that you were able to spend quality time with you Aunt Jean.

  2. wow what a great day and definitely no wonder you were too tired to finish the blog!!! So special that you got to spend time with Aunt Jean...maybe she will join you again next year :) those donkeys they are so cute...and i have to laugh at the pheebes dragging stuff out of the mh..she misses you when your sure lucked out with her..what a wonderful furkid she is

  3. Gah! What an effort! I'm humbled by your superior bloggyness, or something like that.
    OK, maybe you're just long winded.
    At least the dealership found a tire of some type. Sucks about the tread, but you'll get over it. They're tires. They wear out.
    Have a safe trip to the airport.

  4. It's sure a good thing you were able to use that truck while Jean was visiting.

    There must be something the matter with you if you don't like black olives. :)

  5. Have to admit, I am not a good passenger either...I love driving. but then again w/ Sam having been a cop sometimes his mentality is still that. Havent convinced him yet that his truck isnt a Supercharged Ford w/ lights and sirens on the top !
    Maybe Pheebs was doing a hansel and gretel thing for you....leaving a trail out for you to follow home.

  6. Yes, I for one will be glad when you aren't so tired--your blog is one I look forward to reading every MORNING!

  7. All that Border Patrol equipment would ruin it for me.

    I am so happy for you and your Aunt Jean that you got to spend this time together. Opportunities like that don't come up often, and I'm glad you made the most of the opportunity.

  8. Al,

    I was wondering what make, model and tread pattern the spare tire is for the Jeep. Might it be the same as the three that match?

  9. I had no idea that all the treads had to match on a tire...Kind of like dusting the top of the refrig..if I can't see it, I don't care...I'll bet Aunt Jean sleeps all the way to Sarasota...How great to have her visit you this year..

  10. Enjoyed reading your Aunt Jean stories - one can feel the love in your blog for her - awesome!

  11. Al, it was great finally meeting you and Kelly, but a special treat meeting your Aunt Jean, as well. She is quite a gal!


  12. Whew you guys tire me out getting so much done in one day!

    One thought on Pheebs... take a close look at the items she is taking out of the rig. Is it something you recently touched or wore?

    My sheltie (a herding breed like your Pheebs) will get fed up with me when I am gone too long. He will find something I recently touched within the last hour or so before I left the house. He will take it and drag it to the door and set it there, with a tiny bit of chewing on the corner! Not a lot of damage, but just enough to send a message. It might be a book, or a cone of yarn, or a makeup brush, etc. Something that was just recently in my hands before I left.

    When I come in, he will sit with his back to me, as if to say: "I AM TICKED OFF THAT YOU LEFT ME FOR SO LONG!"

    One time we came in the door just as he was dragging my towel down the stairs that I had from my shower that morning!

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard