I would not have minded spending another day at Whitewater Draw, but my demanding travel schedule insisted that I keep moving. So on it was into Bisbee where I met up again with my brother and his wife who were checking out the area. From there a night on a hill overlooking Tombstone, and down into Sierra Vista to visit with a friend and his family. Part of that visit was a trip back to Bisbee Saturday night, where we took in a gallery opening and sampled some of the interesting culinary options available in town. Bisbee reminds me of a typical ski town, where all the young staff have service jobs, just so they can ski all day. Not sure what the young folks do in Bisbee …
Like other turn of the (last) century mining towns I have lived in or visited, Bisbee has some very unique architecture, with buildings and roads clinging to hills and cliffs, and outdoor stairways are everywhere.
After Bisbee and Sierra Vista, my schedule had me booked in for a visit to Tucson, where my brother and I had time for a short hike into the hills just outside town, while his wife was taking an art course.
Hot Well Dunes was the destination that came to mind. Last time we had followed the route north from Bowie, but there are a few intersections to remember, as well as a fair bit of dusty gravel road. So this time, for some variety and a change of scenery, we went north on 191 till about MP 105 where the one-lane sandy trail called Tanque Rd led us out across the desert.
Turns out, the 12 miles was one of the smoothest, nicest back roads I’ve been on lately, with 360* views all the way across, to where it joins the narrow, paved road leading down from Safford. Along the way there was a wildlife water tank that collects rainwater, and stores it for dry spells.
I spent a couple of relaxing days with regular soaks, and drives out into the dunes. Then the weekend snuck up on me and the ATV’s arrived. Now I don’t mind ATV’s or ATV’ers, and this is an ATV legal campground, but the ones that arrived pulled in right beside me, and pulled out their industrial generator to charge their house batteries immediately upon arrival! Hello? Don’t you have power at home, or doesn’t it charge while you drive, and do you need one loud enough to scare critters into the next county? Ever see that big bright thing in the sky that provides free, silent power to those who ask for it? A couple hours of that and a kid on an ATV going in dusty circles around my site was enough for me. I abandoned my last two paid-for nights and hit the road. Just a few miles away, and off on a side road there was total peace and quiet – Aaaah!
Next day, a pleasant drive into Safford provided the opportunity to re-stock a few items and check online for likely camp spots in the area. Well we’ve never camped in a box before, but Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area looks to have promise. Maybe we’ll check it out!