Three Days Touring SE AZ: Fantastic Country!by Jim Gressinger on Apr. 16, 2012, under Best Southern Arizona Picnic Areas, Camping, Day/Weekend Adventures, Hiking, Local Adventures, Scenic Back Roads, Southern Arizona Critters, Southern Arizona History & Culture, Southern Arizona Lodging, Southern Arizona Wildlife, Things To Do With The Kidz, Wildflowers
As I posted several days ago, Ms. Karen & I were headed for a three-day weekend in Southeastern Arizona. Now we’re back and have a couple hundred photos, some of which I will share here. Others you can view on our Southern Arizona Guide website in a few days. Here’s is the route we traveled. All told, a little less than 700 miles.
This is a wonderful place for children and adults. Tons of hiking, picnicking, camping, fishing, bird and critter watching. And lots of Native American and Pioneer history.
Slaughter Ranch Museum
The Slaughter Ranch right on the International Border is spectacular. A fine museum dedicated to pioneer rancher and Cochise County Sheriff John Slaughter. A beautiful place to have a picnic along side the lake. We conducted an on-camera interview with Bob The Caretaker. You can view it in a few weeks on our website. I’m going to add this to our Best Picnic Areas section.
Gadsden Hotel, Douglas
This was once a grand hotel, now shabby after decades of hard times. Douglas is a portrait of an impoverished American city.
Very sparse human population out here between towns. We saw a lot of poverty, a lot of churches, a lot of prisons. We also saw a lot of wildlife and beautiful scenery … and met some terrific people.
The first night we stayed at the Portal Lodge. Simple, clean, inexpensive. They have a store, cafe’, and lodge. I think it’s the only place within 10 miles to get supplies and an OK meal.
Taking the back road from Portal over the top of the Chiricahua Mountains to the Monument, we also saw the devastation caused by last June’s (2011) Horseshoe 2 Wildfire which burned almost a quarter million acres of remote forest.
Make sure you have plenty of gas. Gasoline is very scare around here.
Saturday morning we left Portal Lodge and headed up the east side of the Chiricahuas. Our destination was the Chiricahua National Monument on the other side. The pavement eventually gave way to a well-maintained dirt road that took us over the mountain top.
This was one of the most spectacular scenic drives we have ever experienced.
Tomorrow or the next day I will post more photos of our tour of Cochise, Graham, and Greenlee Counties almost to the Arizona-New Mexico border.