Thursday, January 8, 2009

Chiricahua Natl Monument


We had never heard of it either! Chiricahua National Monument in AZ. But since we were told about it twice in a week, decided to spend a night there.
And a cold night it was...woke to 27 degrees out (not much different than at home) but we were cozy in the van.

Prepared to take a hike in this "Wonderland of Rocks" -- and dressed accordingly. Put on many layers including hats and gloves. And so we were shedding layers as the trail progressed. The sun was out but in some tree filled areas there were patches of snow and ice to walk over. Elevation of 4500 feet and on an up-and-down uneven surface. With beautiful views and awesome rock formations. (photos in first two entries).

We were the only car in the parking lot and the only ones on the trail when we started out and there were six more cars in the lot when we left.
This is not a crowded park even in season...Probably 100,000 visitors a year and only 4000 of us in January.

There are advantages to touring in off-season. A major one is feeling like we are alone in the wilderness. Quiet and open.

Later we took the tour of Faraway Ranch which was settled in the late 1800's which, in addition to a working ranch and farm, became a guest resort. (photos of the tour this entry).
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