We traveled 273 miles today and it was a very monotonous drive for the most part. The scenery was much the same as we have been in since San Antonio - the Chihuahuan Desert. There were mountain ranges all around us as we traveled but about all we saw was sand and scrub brush with a few yuccas thrown in. We did see a tumbleweed blow across the highway right in front of us and after trying on every trip, Doris was finally able to capture a picture of a dust devil on this one.
We are staying at the Magic Circle RV Park with 50 amp full hookups, cable, good Verizon and satellite. The sites are nice and most have covered picnic tables that are also protected on one side from the wind.
First thing Sunday morning we headed for Fort Bowie
. This installation was the major fort involved in the indian wars with the Chiricahua Apaches in the 1860s and 70s. To get to the fort you have to hike 1.5 miles up and around a mountain to reach the area where the fort was built. And then hike back of course. It was a great hike and we learned a lot about that period of our history. I included a lot of the placards so you could read them yourselves if you wanted.
That hike took us about three hours and then we went to the Chiricahua National Monument
for the rest of the day. For a little explanation of the difference between National Parks and National Monuments if you don't know.
Generally, a national park contains a variety of resources and encompasses large land or water areas to help provide adequate protection of the resources. Hunting, mining and consumptive activities like logging and grazing are not authorized.
A national monument is intended to preserve at least one nationally significant resource. It is usually smaller than a national park and lacks its diversity of attractions. As directed by the Secretary of the Interior, many national monuments established in recent years are managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The Antiquities Act of 1906 authorized the President to declare by public proclamation landmarks, structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest situated on lands owned or controlled by the government to be national monuments.
Anyhow, Chiricahua National Monument was unbelievable. It was a fantastic eight mile ride through some of the most unique formations we have seen. If you ever get a chance, please come see it.
Tomorrow we head for Tucson for four nights.