Last weekend we went camping at Chiricahua National Monument near Willcox, AZ. Pure bliss!
On the way down we stopped at Apple Annie’s and picked pumpkins and did the corn maze. A very muddy corn maze but we enjoyed it anyway.
We found some fall color on our hike to Far Away Ranch. The weather was perfect, not hot, not too chilly.
Far Away Ranch has a great history filled with strong women. The fireplace was made from stones taken from a monument to President Garfield that was falling down. The names were chiseled by Buffalo Soldiers stationed there before Far Away Ranch became Far Away Ranch.
We had a wonderful tour of the house led by Ranger Anne.
In the afternoon we hiked to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain. This is an old fire lookout tower and proof that we went all the way to the top.
At one point we actually hiked through the mountain!
I would have thought it was too cold for the snakes to be out, especially in the shade, but apparently not. This is a black tailed rattlesnake I believe, right near the beginning of the trail. Luckily other hikers gave us a heads up preventing any heart attacks.
Still there on the trip back, we had marked his spot with a small rock cairn so as to not get caught unawares.
There are no fire pits at Bonita Canyon Campground so we brought our own, perfectly legal. The rangers will let you have a small fire in the grill (if there are no fire restrictions of course!) This was much nicer and we cooked hot dogs and s’mores the first night. It was perfect sitting around the fire weather.
Okay, while seeing the snake on the hike and a skunk (which I did not take pictures of) one night near our campsite (when I was sitting alone by the fire!) did not exactly bring me joy it was still cool (you know, afterwards). But this guy brought a smile to my face:
The mom had already crossed the road and then I came along and the fawn stopped and I stopped and I told him to go ahead. I could see the mama deer anxiously looking back and after a moments hesitation the baby deer bounded across the road and caught up to his mama. We saw a lot of deer, they know they are safe in the National Park area during hunting season.