Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sierra Vista, Arizona (March 12-19, 2012)

Sierra Vista, Arizona is located 70 miles southeast of Tucson, Arizona and 20 miles southwest of Tombstone, Arizona.  The city sprung up around Fort Huachuca *(pronounced wha-chewka) and was the home of the famed "Buffalo Soldiers."  The Apache Flats RV Park is located on the fort and is a top-notch facility. During my working career I had many opportunities to visit this fort and explore the area.  I wanted to share them with Joyce.

Apache Flats RV Park


We spent several days exploring the fort and the town.  The weather was nice so we decided to make a visit to Tombstone the next day.  I had been there several times in the past, but that was almost 25 years ago.  It has changed a lot since then.  For the better.

My visit here long ago was to a run down semi-tourist town.  Many of the buildings were dilapidated and there were very few other business such as gift and souvenir shops. Today the town seems to be thriving and has had a major face lift.  Dozens of small shops have sprung up and many of the buildings have been reconstructed.  We visited during the morning on a weekday and the streets were teeming with tourists.  It was a fun trip.  A must see if in this area.

Tombstone, Arizona

The next day we took a road trip through the high desert to the copper mining town of Bisbee, Arizona.  Bisbee is nestled in between several mountains and is the home of the Copper Queen Mine and the Lavender Pit Mine.  John Wayne was a frequent visitor to this town and had several investments here.  Like Tombstone, this town has been revitalized through tourism.  It is now an artsy-crafty destination.

Bisbee, Arizona

We made our way back to the RV park via a road running parallel with the Mexican border.  There were many, many Border Patrol vehicles on this route with many of them were stopped in fields surveying the area with binoculars.

A short distance off this road is the Coronado National Memorial.  We made our way into the area on a small road leading to a narrow paved road running alongside a creek.  A very beautiful place.  Farther up the road is a viewpoint on top of a mountain where Coronado was said to survey the Arizona countryside during his expedition in 1540.  As the road led up to the viewpoint it turned to gravel and became even more narrow and very steep with numerous switchbacks. About one-third the way up I decided I had had enough of this and proceeded to turn around.  Of course there were no areas to turn around in so I had to wiggle the big truck back and forth in the road to get going back down the mountain.  Did I mention that narrow, loose gravel road (about 12 feet wide) did not have anything to keep one from going over the edge and toppling hundreds of feet into the canyon below?  That coupled with the fact that I am not comfortable with heights made this an ordeal that drained my nerves.  

On the way out the views of the US/Mexican border were stark.  A steel wall topped with barbed wire separated the two countries and went as far as the eye could see.

The next few days were spent cleaning the dust and dirt acquired in New Mexico out of the RV.  We could not find a decent place in town that was having a St. Patty's Day celebration so we cretaed our own with homemade corned beef, cabbage, carrots and potatoes, soda bread and, of course, some green beer.  By the looks of the picture I had already had some green beer.

With our time here finished we started prepping for our next move to an RV park a short distance away.  Love these small trips between destinations.

No comments: