|EVIDENCE OF BY-GONE ACTIVE EMPIRE RANCH DAYS|
I especially enjoy morning walks in new places so how nice to wander along an old dead end dirt road and follow a narrow path through shin high faded yellow grass and grayish black scraggly looking leafless Mesquite trees. Not a lot of cactus here but we did see a Prickly Pear and a Cholla. The once prosperous Empire Ranch is nearby and we saw evidence of their large cattle operation as we made our way along. We plan to take a self guided tour of that ranch Monday or Tuesday morning. The ranch is uninhabited so we are looking forward to maybe having it all to ourselves to look around.
|EASY WALKING OUT HERE IN THE GRASSLANDS|
|WE THINK THIS WAS A CATTLE WATERING TROUGH|
|KELLY STANDS ON A STONE TO SEE IF THERE'S WATER IN THIS BIG TANK BUT THERE WASN'T|
Fired the Jeep up and we all piled in heading the 7 short miles to the little whistle stop of Sonoita Arizona. Exploring a dirt road along the way we stumbled ourselves across the Santa Rita Abbey.
|ON THE ROAD TOWARDS THE ABBEY I THOUGHT TO MYSELF I HOPE THEY DON'T LOCK THE GATE BEHIND US THEN GRAB US AND TRY TO MAKE MONKS OUT OF US|
Libby was needing gas so we attended to that first then headed across the road and down a bit to the Vineyard Cafe. Had been awhile since we had ourselves a good mess of bacon and eggs so in we went. Really nice cozy little place and our breakfast and coffee were great but here's something odd. For the first time ever in the history of my life eating bacon and egg breakfasts.....this morning's breakfast only came with one piece of toast. What!!!! How is that possible. But that's the way it is and that's the way I had to accept it. Just when I thought I had seen everything in life along comes breakfast with one piece of toast. Well I never..................
|WE REALLY LIKED THIS COZY COURT YARD AND OF COURSE THAT GOT MY HEAD TO THINKING AGAIN....MORE ABOUT THAT LATER|
|THIS RESTAURANT/SALOON BESIDE THE VINEYARD CAFE IS FOR SALE IN CASE ANYONE'S INTERESTED|
From Sonoita we headed southwest to a little place we drove through one time over 10 years ago and I remembered it as kind of quaint looking. I'm talking about the quirky little artsy town of Patagonia Arizona of course. Turned out it was a $3 brown bag Saturday morning at the local Thrift Store meaning for three dollars you could have as many clothes piled into a big brown bag as you wanted. By the time Kelly got out of there it almost took 2 of us to carry her overstuffed and tightly packed bag. From there it was a short drive down the street to the town's center. Hardly big enough to call it a town though and maybe more the size of a Village.
|I TOOK ME A FANCY TO THIS ARTSY LITTLE HOUSE|
|THIS IS PRETTY MUCH THE HEART OF PATAGONIA'S MAIN STREET WHICH IS RIGHT ACROSS FROM PATAGONIA'S HISTORIC TRAIN DEPOT|
|BOTH KELLY AND I LOVE THIS KIND OF SOUTHWEST ARCHITECTURE|
Parking the Jeep and getting out for a walk around we both took an immediate liking to Patagonia. Again our kind of place with it's Bisbee like colors and architecture. A few nifty little shops, some bakeries, and a smattering of other interesting stuff. The old restored Santa Fe railroad station is the town's center piece. And how nice the old rail line through the town has been made into one long park with lots of big evergreen type trees to sit and walk under. Morning Glory and Apple muffins from one bakery and big ice cream cones from another. Yep we fell in love with this rustic little place.
|WHERE A RAIL LINE ONCE RAN PAST THE OLD PATAGONIA TRAIN DEPOT A NICE TOWN'S PARK WITH TALL STATELY TREES NOW RUNS THE FULL LENGTH OF THE TOWN|
|PHEEBS KNOWS I HAVE A YUMMY MORNING GLORY MUFFIN IN THAT BAG|
|I DON'T KNOW WHAT KIND OF 'CAMEL PARTS' HE HAS AND I WASN'T ABOUT TO ASK|
|SOME NICE BUILDINGS IN PATAGONIA|
|HERE COMES MY ICE CREAM CONE AND I THINK THERE IS A LOAF OF FRESHLY BAKED BREAD IN THE WHITE BAG|
|AW COME ON DAD JUST A COUPLE LICKS|
|WONDERED IF MAYBE THESE RV KAYAKERS MIGHT HAVE BEEN AT PATAGONIA LAKE|
From Patagonia it was back to and right through Sonoita continuing east on highway 82 until we reached a turn off leading back into the Las Cienegas Conservation Area. From checking our maps before hand we knew this road eventually led back to our rig. Nina had also mentioned some nice boon-docking sites along the way so we wanted to have us a look for future reference. And we did find us a nice one.
|WE LIKED THIS BOON-DOCKING SITE AND IF WE DECIDE TO CHANGE SITES WE WILL COME HERE TO TH IS ONE....SANTA RITA MOUNTAINS IN THE BACKGROUND|
|BEEN AWHILE SINCE I'VE HAD A BIG OLD COW PICTURE IN SO HERE IT IS|
|WE WERE DRIVING ALONG SLOW WHEN ALL OF A SUDDEN TWO DESERT JOGGERS WENT FLYING BY|
|SURE ARE SOME MIGHTY BIG TREES IN THESE HERE PARTS|
The South Road leading back to our rig was in good shape but I would not recommend driving an RV from one end to the other because of several dips and one especially where one could easily hang-up a rig trying to cross a wash. Coming around a dusty corner how surprised we were to suddenly see a body of water alongside the road and so much so we quickly ground ourselves to a halt to gaze it.
|WHAT A SURPRISE TO SEE WATER OUT HERE|
|LOTS OF REALLY NEAT-O GREENY STUFF|
It was somewhere around 2 p.m. when we finally made it back to the rig and flopped ourselves into our favorite recliners. Unusual for me to have an afternoon nap but by golly it wasn't long and I was off to la-la land for a short bit. Despite a cool wind outside the sun beaming in on me through my side window had me warm as toast. And that would be '2' slices of toast of course:))
|THIS WAS QUITE A FUNKY PLACE IN PATAGONIA TODAY|
|KELLY GOES TO THE DOOR TO ASK ABOUT THE PRICE OF THEIR DATES BUT THE PROPRIETER WAS OUT FOR LUNCH|
It's funny how minds think and change themselves at times and we had an example of that this morning while sitting at a little table for two at the Vineyard Café. Beside our table was a set of glass French doors leading to an outside cozy courtyard. We both remarked how we would love to have a place with a walled courtyard like that. Of course my mind immediately takes off thinking 'now how in the heck can we get us a place with a beautiful southwest courtyard like this'. Okay, if we sell everything and............ Oh wait a minute, isn't that how things got started about 5 years ago around this time. Oh this mind of mine it just never settles down about thinking of possible future things. Always looking around the next corner and over the next hill. Even after just selling our Congress Arizona house a few months ago things stir inside me when I see a 'For Sale' sign on a piece of property or house or both. No matter if it's an old house with the property overgrown or something fancily newer my mind kicks right in thinking and knowing what we could do to make it nice for us. So would I like that challenge again?? Sure I would, but.............Hey I saw a nice fairly new fancy paint job Winnebago Motorhome this morning that maybe if we..........Awwwww forget it!!!!!!!
|KELLY'S HAND ON HIP REFLECTION CAN BE SEEN IN THE WINDOW AT BOTTOM LEFT|
GROANER'S CORNER:(( For the first time in many years, an old man traveled from his rural town to the city to attend a movie. After buying his ticket, he stopped at the concession stand to purchase some popcorn. As he handed the attendant $1.50, he couldn't help but comment, "The last time I went to the movies, popcorn was only 15 cents." "Well, sir," the attendant replied with a grin, "You're really going to enjoy yourself this evening. We have sound now."
Ben went on safari with his wife and mother-in-law.One evening, while still deep in the jungle, the Mrs. awoke to find her mother gone.Rushing to her husband, she insisted on them both trying to find her mother. Ben picked up his rifle, took a swig of whiskey, and started to look for her.In a clearing not far from the camp, they came upon a chilling sight: the mother-in-law was backed up against a thick, impenetrable bush, and a large male lion stood facing her. The wife said, ''What are we going to do?'' ''Nothing,'' said Ben, ''The lion got himself into this mess, let him get himself out of it.''