Yesterday our friend John picked us up and we drove the “long route” through Texas Valley to the Coronado National Forest in the Dragoon Mountains and into Chocise’s Stronghold. This is a beautiful area at about 5,000 feet surrounded by granite domes and sheer cliffs. There are a large number of trees of different species (3 species of oak alone) and many different types of cactus, bushes and shrubs. Very interesting terrain!
Cochise and his band of 1,000 Apaches lived her for about 15 years. It’s not hard to picture braves manning outposts on the tops of the granite domes. They would often hit the Butterfield Stage Line which ran from Fort Bowie to Tucson. They killed 22 drivers within 16 months. And they talk about dangerous occupations today!! Cochise and his warriors went on their rampage for 10 years. He finally retired and he died while living on the Chiricahua Reservation. He is buried in a secret grave in the Stronghold. The only white person who knew where his grave was, was his blood brother.
There are several hiking and a nice nature trail at the Stronghold. There is also camping for small RVs. A cool place to visit!
On the return trip, John took us through some back country along forest roads, occasionally banging against the rocks on part of the road they were grading (glad he took HIS truck!), through the mountain pass and exiting on the east side of the Coronado Forest. We were treated to some very scenic areas and vistas. As we dropped down we had views of Tombstone in the distance and came back onto the paved main road just north of the Town.
Upon returning to the park we attended happy hour, then the excellent German Dinner planned for last night. We met a number of other S-K-Ps (all great people) and learned more about how the club works and the benefits it offers. Upon returning home – we are right next to the activity center so it wasn’t a long walk, we went on-line and joined the Escapees.
And - finally, we watched the last part of the Race. WOW - how bizarre!! The Montoya incident will be talked about for years!! I was still pulling for my old favorite Mark Martin but alas, it was not to be.