We are currently in Sierra Vista, AZ and have been since 27 Oct, 06. I have always loved the Desert SW and this winter is no exception. There are so many natural wonders in this part of our Nation, I stand in AWE of the creators beauty in this area. We can't begin to see everything here in one winter, so I can see another winter here in our future.
Many people look at Desert areas as just more things that stick, bite, gouge, or tear you and or you clothing. I look at it as the magnificence of all that ever has been. I stand on the summit or Massai Point in the Chiricahua National Monument and visualize the Apache indians living in this area before civilization descended on it.
Cochise Stronghold is a very primitive area, and traversing into the canyon it is easy to see how Cochise and his people were so hard to get out of that area, so they could be moved from their homelands of ages.
Montezuma pass, near Sierra Vista in the Huachuca Mountains is yet another reminder of a time gone by and never to be seen or heard from again. Although the road up to the pass through the Coronado National Monument is narrow, winding, dirt and in places extremely rough it is a trip back in time to stand at the top of the pass and see the Sierra Madre mountains in Mexico on one side and the vast expanse of the Sonoran Desert areas on both sides. Going down the othe side is no different other than not quite as many steep switchbacks, and dropoffs. Signs advertising primitive roads are common and they mean exactly that. Very little maintenance is done on many areas of the roads, and washboarding is the predominant surface on many areas of the trip. The five hour trip from Sierra Vista over Montezuma pass, out through
Parker Canyon and Sonoita, Az and ending up back at square one in Sierra Vista was an enjoyable day trip, even though it was only about 100 miles.
The Dragoon mountains are another small chain in the Southern tip of the Rockies that are very interesting. Giant boulders balanced on top of other giant boulders, appearing to be ready to drop on the passing autos on the road.
Small towns dot the desert and mountain landscapes, projecting images of days gone by, and making passers by wonder how they have survived this long. Ghost towns and villages dot the desert landscape all over the area.
Going from one section of desert to another over the Sky Islands as the mountains are called here, brings forth complete changes of vegetation, temperatures, and sometimes it is hard to grasp how so much difference can be in so few miles of roadway.
Driving from Willcox, AZ South to Douglas, AZ and then turning back North toward Bisbee and Naco, AZ gives the feel of totally different worlds all within just a few miles of each other. Bisbee with its old world charm, and literally hundreds of tourist drawing shops and sites, and the old copper mines leaving the earth gaping open in a big way, could lead one to believe they are transienting planets, rather than a small portion of just one State.
About any drive around the Sonoran Desert will bring with it a wide variety of landscapes and terrain as well as quite a few National Parks and Monuments. The Saquaro National Monument (two of them), East and West near Tucson are two of the must see areas. The Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument on the Mexican Border South of Ajo and Why, AZ will leave you with memories of just how beautiful a desert can be.
If you are out this way, don't spend all your time in the cities, get out and see the natural beauty of the Beautiful Southwest and the Sonoran Desert.