Tuesday, November 22, 2011

We ventured into Az. for the first time this year! Love it!

Az. has been probably been  my favourite State since we started this lifestyle!  It has a bit of everything, and California is a very close second!  New Mexico though, is sure putting in it’s two cents worth, as I am continued to be amazed by the sights in N.M.

Today we were up real early after going to bed early, and Judy and I enjoyed a great skype call with Kristina and Gwenny!  We are using the Park Internet here, and it is very fast, which as you know, makes for a good skype call.

Gwenny was right into her activity centre…

Video call snapshot 29

Once we got our lunch packed, we were off for the Chiricahua Mountains.  Had some serious Jeeping to do!

This is the little Country Store in the little Town of Portal, Az. It is a mountain Town, however they close on Tuesday, so we could not partake!


Once we got past the store, we got a hint of what we were in for.


Ya, the sky looked like that all day, and it was nice and warm once we got closer to lunch time.


We stopped at Cathedral Vista to catch the view, and you have to hike 1/4 mile to get there…


Great views from this Vista… 360 degrees of Mountains…



These caves were etched into the mountain… don’t know if there were any cave dwellers here or not, they were quite high…


I had to get the binoculars out for this one… what a morning we had!  Check the up angle I am looking at to view the mountains!


As we made our way into the park we came across these two guys running up the road… they can fly!


Judy found a nice mountain stream and a little waterfall…


Check the pic below out I took in the forest, growing below the trees I found a yucca tree and some cactus!  You don’t see a lot of this in Ontario!


It was one of those days where every time you turn around, you see something to shoot!


The mountain roads are quite a bit of fun to ride… mostly dirt and narrow… one lane, with lots of switchbacks… and Rusty, the Owner of our Park was telling us one of the roads was recently blocked by a Semi Truck Driver who tried to climb over the mountain with a full car carrier, full of cars!  You would have to be nuts to try!  Plus he had to drive by about 15 warning signs telling him not to go!  Apparently he had to take the last car off the trailer, to drive back down the mountain for help!  Go figure!


We were descending the far side of the mountains, and came across this observatory at the top of this mountain… kind of neat!


I tried to climb the road up to the top, however part way up they had a barrier to keep all crazy Canadians out, so we opted instead to stop and have lunch… what a view we had.


Right beside where we parked for lunch, we soon realized there was an abandoned mine shaft, right into the mountain!  Judy wanted no part of going in!


I got my nerve up to walk in about 10 or 15 feet, until I could see no more as it was so dark!  So, instead I held up my camera into the black hole and let her rip, and this is what I got!

This mine went right into the observatory mountain, and I imagine they were mining for copper.


We wanted to head across the mountains and pick up the 181 highway, and head over to Bisbee… however we came across a sign saying, “road closed to thru traffic”… so I went around anyways as there was no one around for miles… we got up to the top of this mountain, and were over 7,200 feet by my GPS before we hit the road block… which was a highway crew drilling holes!  Rusty tells us they were drilling in the mountain after the big fire here last May and June.  Bisbee will have to wait!  Turned around and headed for home… what a view though!


Check out the last pic of the night of Pipe Organ Rock… great views in this area for sure!


We got off the mountain, and toured the Desert Museum by our Park, but that will wait for another post!

Till tomorrow…


  1. Great trip! Great photos! Thanks

  2. Sounds like a great day! I haven't made it out to the Bisbee area yet. Not sure that I will before we take off.

  3. Glad your enjoying the Portal area. We love it there and have returned 3 times now. Great drive over the Chiricahuas and it was near Saddle Onion close to the top where we made the decision about 3 years ago to buy a Jeep. There is another way over the Chiricahuas that we did as well and that one runs up Tex and Rucker Canyons. Rusty probably can give you directions for that. We did it a couple years ago and it was another great drive. Yep, ya just gotta love Arizona alright and you are in a great part of the State for sure. If you get to Bisbee be sure to get your Jeep up into the narrow back streets hugging the sides of the hills. Lots to see on those little streets if you don't fall off them:))

  4. Sure looks like you had a great day of touring and exploring. Looked to be a perfect day too - it was here as well. Great pics!

  5. Love, love, love the pictures. I'm hoping we can maybe get down in that area this season.

  6. you just proved another great reason to have a jeep as a toad!..perfect day!!..perfect pictures!

  7. one of my favorite things was driving from Lordsburg and then suddenly seeing the Chiricahuas simply explode upwards out of no where... I simply love these mountains...

  8. well you folks definitely had a 'large' day..thans for sharing all the great pictures...gorgeous

  9. Arizona! I just heard about the Arizona Meteor Crater. You've probably already been but it is a crater from a meteor hit 50,000 years ago! The crater's almost a mile across and they have an RV park close by:


    Glad you guys are having a great trip!