30 January 2006

Leaving Las Cruces

Las Cruces, NM. We arrived here on the 26th and are leaving again today, the 30th. Actually we left today, we are currently on the road heading to San Antonio, TX. It’s a long drive from Las Cruces to San Antonia, probably between 8-10 hours with the RV.

Mostly we’ve been relaxing, riding our bikes and stuff like that. We went to Fort Selden day before yesterday and toured their museum and the ruins there. http://www.nmmonuments.org/about.php?_instid=SELD There isn’t a large photographic account of the Fort, there are some pictures that say, “we think it might have looked something like this” and it would be a picture of another Fort. We didn’t take the cameras with us…so there are no pictures from us either. It’s an interesting place, but not as well kept as some of the places we’ve been.

Other than that we didn’t really do much. On Saturday we drove out to the Farmer’s and Craft’s Fair, it was ok…fairly small. I did buy a couple CDs of a guitarist named David Valenzuela (http://www.davidvalenzuela.com/), if you like Latin guitar music; you’ll like his stuff. I particularly recommend his CD ‘Latin Moods’…it’s good. I have no clue if he sells his CDs online or not because I’ve never been to his website.

So that’s about it, we hit the road this morning around 9am and have a long and boring drive to look forward to. We’ve never been this route before, we’ve only been as far east on I-10 as El Paso…so we are on an adventure, and we are currently driving past UTEP on our left side and Juarez, Mexico on the other. It’s currently about 9:30 in the morning; it will likely be really late before I get a chance to post this, or maybe even tomorrow if I forget.

So there it is, we’ve left Las Cruces and are heading for San Antonio, TX.


PS – It’s now 8:30pm and we just got here and are about half done setting down. After the 10 hour drive here I’ve renamed Texas, it’s no longer The Lone Star State, it will, from here on be referred to as The Roadkill State. I have never in my life seen so many dead deer on one stretch of highway, we counted between 50-100 dead dear on the I-10 from the state line to here…crazy. And that’s not saying anything about all the dead bunnies. These people should be ashamed of themselves!

27 January 2006

Fairbank, AZ

On Saturday January 21st we drove out to find the ghost town named Fairbank, AZ. Fairbank has an interesting history. Here it is according to the Bureau of Land Management – San Pedro Riparian:

“Fairbank is a ‘ghost town’ located within the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (NCA), along the San Pedro River. Its life as a town began with the construction of a railroad in 1881, and it soon became an important depot as well as the closest railroad stop to Tombstone, then one of the largest western cities (15,000 in 1882).

Originally called Junction City, Kendall, then Fairbanks, it was officially named Fairbank on May 16, 1883. The name refers to N.K. Fairbank of Chicago, who helped finance the railroad.

The town was built on an old Mexican land grant, the San Juan de las Boquillas y Nogales, which was bought by the Boquillas Land and Cattle Company in 1901. The company evicted all potential landowners, but continued to lease the mercantile building and a few residences well into the 1970s.

The Bureau of Land Management acquired the land that was once the Mexican Land Grant in 1986 as part of the San Pedro Riparian NCA. Today the area is open for the public to enjoy.”

I think the most interesting part of the ghost town for me was the cemetery. We didn’t get any pictures of it, but what an interesting place. It’s about a half-mile walk from the town proper along an easy trail. The only difficult part is when you actually get to the hill the cemetery sits on and you have to walk up a little hill. At the top of the hill rest dozens of piles of rocks some with wooden crossed fashioned and stuck in the ground, some of the crosses have toppled, some don’t have crosses at all but have dead bushes that tried to grow over them. It was strange to stand at the top of the hill and just turn in a circle and notice all the piles of rocks surrounding you, they were everywhere, and know that each was a grave. There were very few with markers and those with marker, you couldn’t hardly read. There were several that had modern day rosaries draped on their crosses, and one of a child that has small stuffed animals at what I would assume is the head. Really a very interesting place.


25 January 2006

Rattlesnake Ranch

On Thursday the 19th of January we drove out towards Gleeson, AZ to visit Rattlesnake Crafts and Gifts, as seen on NBC’s Today Show. This is an interesting place, I never saw the show about it, but they have “As Seen on NBC’s Today Show” painted on a wood plank as you drive in. This place is literally out in the middle of nowhere; the only things you see on the horizon are the desert, some hills and the occasional power cables. You drive about 11.5 miles of dirt road mostly unimproved, which I’ll tell you is no fun when you have to pee….and there are no restrooms at Rattlesnake Ranch, so you get to drive 15 miles back to Tombstone 11.5 of which is bumpy dirt road.

I’m not positive about the story behind this place, but rumor has it, the people who live here moved from LA, sick of the city and city life, they moved out to the middle of nowhere, between Tombstone and Gleeson, to live a more quiet life. However, let me tell you…when the wind is blowing this place really isn’t quiet. Hearing all that metal clink together and knowing that it’s mostly old knives, axes, and sickles, the movie line from Twister pops into my head, “Who are these people?”

There was no shortage of character and humor either. I particularly liked the sign that read: “Beware Pickpockets and Loose Women.” We didn’t a pick of that, but I likely won’t forget it. Bill did take a pic of another funny sign seen here. There was really no way to take pictures of all the stuff they have there. It’s not a particularly large place, but the stuff they have is amazing. I’m sure we could go back time and time again and discover new things every time. They do also have rattlesnake stuff. They have a little trailer set up next to some of this stuff that is packed with items that are made out of rattlesnake skin, or teeth, or vertebrae, you can buy this stuff for reasonable prices if it strikes your fancy, my fancy was not struck that day and my house is still a rattlesnake free zone.

It’s an interesting place with it’s own brand of quirky charm, just be sure to use the restroom in Tombstone before driving out there. To get there you driving on the main street through Tombstone, follow the signs to Gleeson, then follow the wooden signs to Rattlesnake Crafts and Gifts, and when you think you are almost there…your wrong…keep going!


19 January 2006

Ft Bowie

On Monday the 16th, Bill and I drove out to Ft. Bowie National Historic Site. http://www.nps.gov/fobo/ You drive in, park at a trailhead then walk the 1.5 miles to the Fort ruins and the visitor center. They keep it this way so that while you’re walking you can get a feel for the distance and what people then might have had to deal with, not to mention that along the 1.5 mile trail are the ruin of a Butterfield stagecoach stop as well as a cemetery commemorating some of the fallen. It’s really an amazing place and not too difficult a hike. There are some mild up hills and down hills, but nothing like some of the places we hiked. It was also really cold the day we went there. The high never reached 50 and it was a little windy.

Taken from the National Historic Site Map: “Guardian of Apache Pass: For more than 20 years Fort Bowie and Apache Pass ere focal points of military operations by the U.S. Army against the Chiricahua Apaches for control of the region. This bitter struggle, which ended only with the surrender of Geronimo in 1886, helped to determine the pattern of development on America’s Southwestern frontier during the last half of the 19th century.”

The way they have preserved the area is really incredible. Along the foot paths through the actual fort ruin they have placed pictures that were taken back during that time, the thing that’s really neat is that these pictures look to be places in almost the exact spot that they would have originally been taken from. You can look down at the picture, then up at the landscape and see the exact same frame.

Ft Bowie really is an amazing place, but be ready for the 1.5 mile walk each way to get there and back, there is no way to drive in. There is wheelchair access somewhere, not sure where, but I believe you still have to hoof it a bit. There is just something spine-tingling about being able to walk on the same ground where so much history (for better or for worse) took place.


10 January 2006

The Terrible Tannenbaum

Normally after the National Championship, our Christmas tree comes down. This year, for whatever reason, Bill and I were lazy and it didn’t get taken down. The Steeler’s played and won on Sunday and Bill had draped his Terrible Towel along the base of our Tree. Since the Steeler’s won, that now has mojo and can’t be taken down. Instead the Christmas tree has now been dubbed the ‘Terrible Tannenbaum’ and will stand until the Steeler’s are done with their season.

This was just too funny not to share! The Steeler’s have a tough game coming up, they are going to Indianapolis to play the Colts, this has been a tough team for everyone, but the Steeler’s seem to have a blind spot when it comes to beating the Colts. So, everyone out there…keep the Terrible Tannenbaum in your thoughts this coming Sunday as the Steeler’s take on the Colt’s. Go Stillers!


07 January 2006


So my sister told me that if we ever had the chance while in southern AZ that we had to visit Bisbee. That is was a cool, funky little mining town.

Yesterday we didn’t have much to do so we hoped in the truck and headed to Bisbee. My sister was right; Bisbee is a cool, funky little mining town. We didn’t take any pics, but just walked all over town checking out the shops and whatnot. http://www.bisbeearizona.com/

If you get the chance to check it out, do…it’s kind of cool. We also found the best place to eat in Bisbee, the Bisbee Grille! They have awesome food, you won’t be disappointed. So in our walking tour of Bisbee, we bought some Killer Bee Honey Butter (yum), and some handmade chocolates. Other than that we just tooled around town and enjoyed the walk. One of the funkiest things about Bisbee is the way the houses are built on the hills. Most of the houses that are on the hills don’t have roads that go up to them, you park at the bottom then climb the steps (sometimes 100s of them) to your house. Everything just seems to be kind of hap-hazardly placed on the hills with no particular rhyme or reason, then a staircase built to get to it. You certainly wouldn’t have to worry about a gym membership if you lived there.

After our day in Bisbee, Bill drove me across the Mexican Border into Naco so I could say I’ve been in Mexico, I’m not in a hurry to go back, at least not to Naco! The border check point was really confusing and we got turned around and had to ask a border guy where we were supposed to go, finally got across the border and drove about 5 blocks in, turned around, came back out and of course got razzed by the border patrol for getting lost in their labyrinth and only being in Mexico for less than 5 min. Again, it was just a novelty kind of thing since we were so close to the border and I’d never been over it.

On our way home we stopped in Tombstone for an ice cream. I like being able to just stop somewhere as cool as Tombstone...just to have an ice cream on the way home.

That’s about it for now. We left southern AZ this morning and are now in the Phoenix area to visit some family for a few days, then we’ll head back down to Southern AZ for a bit before heading into New Mexico.


01 January 2006

Happy New Year

Happy New Year, 2006!! Bill and I have really enjoyed being back in Southern AZ, it’s so beautiful here. The highs have been in the low to mid 70s, blue skies, gorgeous sunsets, and unbelievable night skies. The pics here are of the sunset we enjoyed on New Year’s Eve. Bill took these pictures from inside out RV…this is literally the view out of our back window.

The camera didn't pick up the exact colors of the sunset, it was much more impressive in person. The sky was so red and glowing that it looked like it was on fire!

We’ve had a very relaxing couple of days and are looking forward to more of the same. Not really much to update anyone on, just wanted to share the beautiful sunsets. I would love to be able to take pictures of the night sky here, but I don’t know if our camera can even do that. There is virtually no light pollution where we are so you can see everything. You can see the Milky Way running through the middle of the sky, so many stars that you almost can’t pic out the major constellations.

That’s about it, we are enjoying the peace and relaxation of being here.