And Yet Another Trip To Sierra Vista

Sunday we had a visitor!  The Cowboy had gone out to the garage and when he came around to the back door there was a very long gopher snake stretched out just under the door into the house.  The Cowboy encouraged the snake to move along but he wasn’t very interested in crawling away but eventually did disappear–probably somewhere less busy!

On Friday we purchased what we thought was oil based enamel paint for the garage door.  The Cowboy was trying his hand at mixing other oil based paints into the paint we purchased at Home Depot.  He was attempting to match the color of the house but the paint just wouldn’t stay mixed–it kept separating.  Much to his dismay he discovered we had purchased a latex paint!!  The can looked just like the other oil based paint we had purchased and was on the very same shelf as the other oil based paint.  So, that idea went out the window and on Tuesday we went back to Sierra Vista, took a chip of the stucco with us for matching and purchased a latex type paint for metal–to paint the garage door.  It’s amazing how close places like Home Depot can match your paint colors.  I painted the garage door this afternoon and it’s a perfect match!

On Monday we played taking another ATV trip with Dan and Louanne.  Our destination was Hands Pass and the Kasper Tunnel in the Chiricahua Mountains.  In the 1890’s the Hand brothers three came to this area to mine.  They acquired the Hilltop Mine and the hand dug small tunnel through the mountains allowed the town of Hilltop to develop on both sides of the mountain.  Our Backcountry Adventures Arizona book gave great directions; our GPS as well as the Avenza Map app showed the trail but it was not to be.  We came to a locked gate with lots of ominous “no trespassing” signs.  We tried another trail–the Pine Canyon Trail with the same results–a locked gate.  That trail was so rocky we were almost glad to find out there was a locked gate! 🙂  It was still a great day, the weather was perfect for riding, we found water still running in the desert and saw a few critters.

You can never take the girl out of the country! 🙂

Today my little brother retired at the ripe old age of almost 58.  He started working for an Arkansas power plant when he was 19 years old and has worked there for almost 40 years as an electrician.  I am so proud of him–he’s worked very, very hard all these years both at this job and on the farm he inherited from my grandfather.  Enjoy your retirement Ross, you’ve earned it!

10 thoughts on “And Yet Another Trip To Sierra Vista

  1. Hello Montanaclarks,

    Love your blog! Here’s a link to the whole article if you are interested>> Copy and paste it into your browser search bar to access the web page.

    Hilltop Mine, Chiricahua Mountains Arizona
    Last Updated: 27th Jun 2016
    By Rolf Luetcke

    Update from June 2016,
    A friend was up in the mountains and tried to go up to the Hilltop Mine. The road had already been washed out so badly that even with his ATV he was not able to drive to the mine itself. This time he was riding his ATV up the road and there was a fence and locked gate. No signs to keep out but the locked gate and fence made access impossible. He contacted the forest service because the mine and area is in the National Forest and he was surprised at the locked gate. This is what he was told.
    There is apparently a small parcel of private land within the National Forest and it happens to be where the access to the Hilltop Mine and other forest areas is. The people who own the land fenced it to “have a private hunting property” according to the representative of the forest service. The forest service agent said they were trying to work with the land owners to allow the road to remain open. At this point the owners were not willing to do that. The forest service said they definitely wanted to reopen the access to the area but the process is not a quick one and they were still in negotiation with the property owners. The agent said that if the people do not plan to go along with reopening they plan to bulldoze a new road around the small private land to allow access again. The friend who went up said he had planned to climb the fence and go up to the mine anyway. My wife pointed out that the land owners were hunters so probably well armed. She didn’t think it a good idea to push the access seeing that the people responsible are armed. At this point there is no access to the old Hilltop mine on the West side from Pinery Canyon but the forest service said they plan to open up access. I know how slow those wheels turn but eventually the access to the Hilltop mine should be reopened.
    The friend knew there is also an old dirt road, if you can call it a road, that accesses the Hilltop from the East side of the mountains via Whitetail Canyon. I had driven that old road in 1970 and it was barely drivable at that time. The forest service representative said that road is impassible, he had attempted it with an ATV and said he couldn’t make it. So, it seems that the Hilltop mine is only accessible by foot at the moment and with a fenced portion that may not be the best idea at the moment either.


    1. Wow–we love when readers comment and give us great info! We live in an area of Montana where there are frequent battles between private land owners and the USFS. We suspected that to be the case with the locked gate and you provided us proof. Thanks!!


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