A Day Off

Those gale force winds in the forecast materialized early Saturday morning and the Cowboy decided a day off was in order.  The Chiricahua mountains were calling us.  With Emmi, blankets, picnic, camera and GPS in the jeep, we were off.  This is such wide open, pleasurable driving country–little traffic, few people.  We decided to take the route over the mountains to Portal, Arizona.  We’ve traveled this way once before back in late 2007–we had forgotten just how beautiful it was up there.

Yep, 19 miles of rough, teeth rattling road with breathtaking scenery.

It took us about seven hours to make the round trip.  When we were back in civilization hitting interstate 10 at San Simeon the wind was horrific.  There were state troopers poised to stop traffic on the freeway if the dust from the open fields restricted visibility too much.  We chugged on through making it to the Willcox Dairy Queen for our ice cream treats.

As we traveled up the mountain road we saw several side roads and took one to Barfoot Park where we found several concrete foundations, many concrete picnic tables and nothing to indicate what these structures had previously been.  There was a National Park sign indicating the location of a fire tower foundation high on the mountain but nothing else.  Back home–Mr. Google to the rescue.  The fire tower–Barfoot–in spite of being wrapped in fire retardant material burned in the June, 2011 fires in the Chiricahua Mountains.  Barfoot Park began in 1903 with a forest ranger station.  At one time there was a sawmill at Barfoot which supplied lumber for the US military Fort Bowie and for Tombstone.

And from the Tucson Citizen–the foundations and picnic tables are from the Camp Victorios Cochise County Boy Scout Camp established in 1923.  The camp was abandoned in the early 1990’s due to lack of money and problem bears–one story recounted a child being dragged 60+ feet by a bear.

So much history in this area and so much beauty–

Sunday was a perfect day–not so warm and almost no wind.  Our friends Angie and Ralph came over from Tombstone–they are excitedly planning their first ever trip to Alaska this spring/summer in their new Arctic Fox slide in truck camper.  So, we’ve had two easy days–back to work tomorrow!

And we have a new feature for this Restoration Cowboy Style blog–Where Were We?

Nine years ago–that in itself is hard to believe–I’ve been writing a blog for nine years!!  Yes, nine years ago–April 9, 2008–we were in our 5th wheel parked at Tombstone Territories RV Park in Tombstone, AZ.  We heard beautiful music coming from the RV next to us–Native American flute music. High Spirit Flutes in Patagonia, AZ make Native American style flutes from a variety of woods such as cedar and walnut with different ornamentation and in different keys. The location of High Spirits Flutes gives pause when you are driving up to it–dirt road, mobile home, shipping containers but their staff and flutes are awesome. The young man who helped us was knowledgeable and assisted us in choosing a flute in the key of “A”. It came with an instructional DVD and song book. Now, we will see if Janna can make music with it!  From TinTeePeeLogCabin.

14 thoughts on “A Day Off

  1. Over the Chiricahuas to Portal is one of our favorite scenic drives as well and then there’s Portal and Cave Creek itself. A day off like that is well worth it’s weight in gold. You can also slip over the Chiricahuas further south through Rucker Canyon. Remnants of old Fort Rucker are still there. We sure grew attached to that whole area your in now when we used to do ranch sitting near McNeal. We’re hoping to maybe spend more time in southeast Arizona next winter.

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  2. That is truly such a great area for taking scenic drives and getting into beautiful and historic sites. We can’t wait to get back there. So glad you took some time off to enjoy places and people. I need to pull out my flute!!!

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