Voyage of the Wayward Wind 2008 travel blog

Fort Bowie National Historic Site

Fort Bowie Cavalry Barracks

After Geronimo's Surrender

Butterfield Stage Stop

The Copper Queen Hotel

Marti & Bill in Bisbee AZ

The Lavender open pit copper mine

The Lavender Pit

Tuesday, April 1 thru Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tuesday, 4/1, we joined 25 other rigs for an Escapees Chapter 21 rally in Bowie AZ, 60 miles east of Benson. We arrived at noon and spent the afternoon visiting with other attendees. At 4 o’clock, Happy Hour began with the arrival of lots of good munchies. By the time we’d eaten our way through them, dinner wasn’t necessary so the evening was spent playing various games in the clubhouse.

Wednesday, 4/2, the chapter served big Costco muffins for breakfast. Ron, our next door neighbor at Saguaro, arrived just as breakfast was wrapping up. He’d had a doctor’s appt yesterday afternoon to get the result of the tests he’d had last week. Sadly, he was told he has prostate cancer. Surgery is set for April 23 - he’ll need lots of support from all of us.

Then we carpooled to the Fort Bowie National Historic Site where we enjoyed our sack lunches before being given a presentation by the rangers there explaining what we would see as we walked through the remains of the old fort. Built in 1862, Fort Bowie and the nearby Apache Pass were the focal points for military operation by the US Army against the Chiricahua Apaches for control of the region for more than 20 years. The bitter struggle, which ended with the surrender of Geronimo in 1886, helped to determine the pattern of development on America’s Southwestern frontier during the latter half of the 19th century. The visitor center and the tour of the fort site were quite interesting, however, the weather left much to be desired. It was cloudy, very windy, and definitely jacket- required weather. Unfortunately, we were not prepared for that. After getting down off the mountain and returning to more acceptable weather conditions, we stopped for ice cream and then relaxed for a couple of hours before dinner. The chapter provided meat and chips while the rest of us brought something to create our own taco salads. Really Good!! After eating, the owners of the park, John & Judy Hall who have performed on the Grand Old Opry, sang for an hour’s entertainment. They are now in their 80s, but still sounding good. Back in their prime, their band toured most of the states and many foreign countries.

Thursday, 4/3, after breakfast, sweet rolls again provided by the chapter, we took care of domestic chores and visited with others before heading to the Fort Bowie Vineyards where we sampled about a dozen wines (neither of us really liked any of them) and checked out their gift shop. If you made a purchase, you didn’t have to pay the $3 for the wine tasting, so of course we had to buy something. We got a bag of pistachios, a bag of pecan meal, and a big cluster of chocolate covered pecans. A potluck dinner was scheduled for 4 PM. About 20 people from the co-op who did not attend the rally came for the potluck so we had plenty to eat! Drew & I chose to spend a quite evening in the RV rather than play cards after dinner.

On Friday, 4/4, a potluck breakfast was held - really good stuff!! Afterwards, we said our goodbyes to those not returning to Saguaro until at least fall, leisurely broke camp and headed back to Benson around 11 AM. I think a good time was had by all - even Dipt enjoyed his mini-vacation with all the birds in the trees right outside our windows. Once set up again at Saguaro, we had a restful afternoon, went for a quick shopping trip to WalMart, rented a movie to watch while eating pizza for dinner, and then went to bed early.

Sunday, 4/6, Drew & I drove back to the Dragoon Mountains, across several miles of someone’s ranch, then did a few miles 4-wheelin’ back to the Dragoon Springs Butterfield Stage Stop from the 1858. It was quite interesting. Then we stopped at the Triangle T guest ranch for dinner. A number of people had told us the ribs there were to die for. And they were sorta right - you could die eating them! Well, “Been there, Done that”! - doubt we’ll ever go back.

Tuesday, 4/8, we decided to go to the Chute Out Steakhouse in Benson for dinner to celebrate 22 yrs since our first date. We’d never been there. The food was good, but not memorable. The wait holds that position - There was noone ahead of us, but it still took 1hr and 15 minutes to get seated and have our salads served. I guess we won’t hurry back.

Wednesday we were invited to a party given by some Escapees getting ready to leave Saguaro for the summer. We met quite a few people we’d somehow managed to not get acquainted with - a fun evening despite a strong cold wind blowing.

Thursday and Friday we enjoyed visiting with brother Bill who was here making a surprise visit from Casper. Right after Bill headed to Tucson to visit his sons & grandkids, we heard from Don & Leslie Brennan, fellow Titanium owners from Canada. We joined them for dinner at Galleanos and then spent the evening catching up with each other’s travels & such.

Sunday, Bill returned from his Tucson visit, and he, Drew & I drove to Bisbee where we walked through the old town, had a light lunch at the Copper Queen Hotel, viewed the Lavender open pit mine, and took the underground mine tour. Then we decided to return to Benson via Sierra Vista where we stopped at the new Texas Roadhouse for dinner. The food was very good, but the noise level, on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being uncomfortably noisy, scored about a 17. We added it to our growing list of places to not revisit

Monday afternoon, our friends from Maryland, Bill & Rita Fordham, arrived for a quick overnighter on their way east. We went to Galleanos for dinner (3rd time in 5 days, but still good) and then played Mexican Train for the rest of the evening. We’ve done some practicing so instead of being beaten 3 to 1, we only lost 2 to 1. We plan to practice A LOT before we see them again in September. Stay tuned!

Since we rarely get to eat out (LOL), on Tuesday we joined the Sunday Morning Breakfast Group (30 of us) for their regular Tuesday Evening Dinner at a Restaurant outing. This week it was at the Greek restaurant, Papouli’s. Have I mentioned that our grocery bill for our time here in Benson is LOW?

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