Fort Bowie was a 19th-century outpost of the United States Army located in southeastern Arizona near the present day town of Willcox, Arizona. The remaining buildings and site are now protected as Fort Bowie National Historic Site. Wikipedia
I have spent this past week boondocking not far out of Tombstone, Arizona. Even though I have been in this area multiple times in recent years, it has become something of a tradition to pop in here for at least one week when I am in Southern Arizona.
This year I had decided to hit a couple of the landmarks that I had missed in years past. Most prominent was my failure to visit the Coronado National Memorial which commemorates the first organized expedition into the Southwest by conquistador Francisco Vásquez de Coronado. It was a quick visit to the park, stopping into the Visitor’s Center and driving up to the Montezuma Pass Overlook where there is one heck-of-a view…
I woke early each of the next few days just to revisit some of the places I had visited in the recent past. Mainly these were just good reasons to wake up well before my work day and get outside. On one morning I hiked out to Brunckow’s Cabin which is purported to be the “bloodiest cabin in Arizona history”.
On another morning Moose and I adventured out to the ghost town of Charleston, AZ located on the west bank of the San Pedro River. I had visited here back in 2013, but even so I found a new area of the town that I had not explored before. Moose enjoyed the roughly 2 mile hike more than you could imagine. He has grown so much in the past year and a half, venturing further from me when off-leash then I am comfortable with. To prove his maturity he returns when I whistle each time with that big puppy smile.
And as a grand finale, on the final night camping here I ventured into Tombstone, which I had visited in the past, for a night on the town. This means I had the choice of one of two bars open past sunset as the entire tourist town shutters up pretty early. I ate a mediocre burger at the Crystal Palace Saloon where karaoke was the entertainment choice of the night. It was sad unfortunately, with the dozen or so patrons just not making much of a “party” in the huge dining area. So I chose to mosey on over to Big Nose Kate’s Saloon which had a live band, scantily dressed waitresses (so did Crystal Palace to be honest) and a lot bigger crowd. A few drinks – and songs – later my night, and time in the Tombstone area, was complete.
I got to thinking – after seeing Kelly Puccio’s TimeHop posts on Facebook – what was I doing this week last year? How about 2 or 3 years ago? If I held my bread and tapped my shoes… well I still couldn’t remember. Thankfully, I have this blog that has worked as my long term memory for some time now.
1 year ago
Having just left The Tombstone area I stumbled onto a deal in Wilcox, AZ (where I will be passing through next week in fact) and purchased 10 pounds of chicken breast even though my freezer can only hold 2 breasts at a time. Needless to say, I ate a lot of chicken this week 1 year ago. On my way North, where I though my next destination would be Roosevelt Lake, I came across Roper State Park, where I camped for a night.
2 years ago
I left the Phoenix area, where I was hanging out with my Sister and Brother In-law, and began my Northern migration. Not making it too far north of Phoenix that first day, I stopped at Cave Creek Regional Park where I did my first ever proper mountain biking ride on the 6 mile long ‘Go John Trail’. I can still feel the pain in my rump…
3 years ago
I was doing nothing exciting; just sitting in Sutter Creek, California visiting my Mother and Aunt.
Sure, my version of baking is not baking-proper as my limited storage prevents me from storing the necessary items to bake anything from scratch, but for a van-dweller any time we get to turn on an actual oven it means there is some hardcore food preparation going on. So I set out to bake the only item I had in my stores; Blueberry Muffins, which were quickly renamed to Van-berry Muffins.
One may think I do not have the correct tools for such a homely task, but this van-dweller has been around the block a few times already. The mixing bowl, rubber spatula, and even the muffin pan were thought out years ago. You may be surprised what I have in the van… in fact the phrase “I got that in the van” escapes my lips many times more often than you may think, some times to the annoyance of the person lacking such an item.
With my recently purchased Camp Chef Oven it took no time at all to have my muffins cooking away for the prescribed 14-17 minutes at 425 degrees. And only 22 minutes after inserting the muffins into the oven (I had forgotten to monitor the temp) I had beautifully cooked Van-berry Muffins, and a much warmer van to boot.
I have visited the San Pedro National Conservation Area once before in 2011 during my first adventures in boondocking thanks to the McCarrell’s offering up their land to me back then. Since then I have been in the area just about every winter, but have only just decided to revisit San Pedro. What was once an 1800’s ranch is now a 57,000 acre conservation area for wildlife including some 84 species of mammals, 14 species of fish, 41 species of reptiles and amphibians, and 100 species of breeding birds.