Sunset on Grayton Beach

Sunset on Grayton Beach
Sunset on Grayton Beach

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Chiricahua National Monument, Whitewater Draw...Sandhill Cranes, Bisbee and Meeting people... New friends

While at Kartchner Caverns SP we made sure to visit the Chiricahua National Monument. We had so many recommendations to see it so we drove the 50 or so miles and were we ever rewarded in our efforts. This is a wonderful area for hiking, camping and horseback riding. We started at the Visitors Center and got our Passport book stamped and then took the scenic drive up to Massai Point. Incredible views of the surrounding area.





Typical high desert landscape with beautiful rock formations. After we took a short walk around the high point we drove down a short distance to Echo Canyon trail. This is a 2.5 mile hike down into the canyon and back up. They recommend hiking counterclockwise so there is less steep incline coming up out of the canyon. There was even a grotto area of rock that was very interesting.








Some of the rock formations reminded us of our visit to Bryce Canyon NP with all the hoodoos.




We spent about 4-5 hours exploring the trail and the landscape. We had a light lunch that we brought and then headed back to Kartchner. If you would like more information on the Chiricahua NM you can find it HERE.

I posted some photos in FB of our hike and visit and one of our RV friends, Mona Liza commented that while in the area we should check our Whitewater Draw to see the Sandhill Cranes as they migrate back north. So the next day we took the 60 mile drive to see if we could get a glimpse. We were rewarded for our efforts. The cranes fly off early in the morning, like 6 am, to go to other areas to feed and return to the marshy conservation area in the mid day. That's when we arrived. As we sat on benches around the marsh the cranes would fly in in groups of 20-40 at a time. They were specks in the distance and then suddenly appear. Enlarge the photos for best viewing


 
It was a cloudy windy day and the cranes were a ways off from us but I did get a few decent pictures using my zoom lens.





Sandhill cranes are very large birds with wing spans of up to 6 feet. The Audubon Society has some great information about them HERE. Scroll down to see the information on the link.

Because it is a marsh area we were able to see Coots, ducks and other water fowl. It was a fun activity and so happy we have friends that make those types of recommendations.

Well since we were so close to Bisbee we decided to make a quick trip there and check out the olive oil store and for me the Old Bisbee Brewery. We were in Bisbee 2 years ago and ate at the Mexican restaurant down the street from the olive oil store and brewery. Again a quick trip.

This time when we stopped at the brewery we noticed they had a vegan chili and root beer too. So We each got a chili, Glenda got root beer and I got a nice tasty Mayan Stout. Wonderful coffee finish and great balance. The chili was delicious and Glenda said the root beer was good too. I truly enjoyed the stout.



Well while were eating a gentleman sat down at the table next to us and we started talking. As we talked another couple sat down at the table next to him. The next thing we know the couple says "we weren't eaves dropping but we heard you say you are at Kartchner Caverns SP and heading to Leasburg Dam SP in Las Cruces". We're planning to stop for one night at Kartchner and we're dry camping at Whitewater Draw to see the Sandhill Cranes and then head to Leasburg SP too. WHAT A COINCIDENCE. Doug and Julie are new full time RV'ers and were traveling from CA to FL and then up the east coast for the summer. They're also world travelers and shared some wonderful experiences in Spain, Portugal, France, India and beyond just to name a few.

They're pulling a travel trailer and started off small...like 26 feet. Reminded us of our old Jayco 22 footer before we started full time. Anyway, after we talked and ate we parted ways thinking we would see them at Kartchner. Well they couldn't get a reservation on short notice there so they stayed at Whitewater Draw one more night and then headed to Leasburg SP. Now here is another coincidence....their site was right behind ours. This is crazy. We got to Leasburg about the same time and went over to say hi. We were both going to be at the SP for 7 days too.

So during the week we had them over to our site for a couple of campfires and some snacks and we also played spades with the wives, of course, winning. Lots of fun. They're both beer lovers like me but different in that they like more IPA beers and I like the dark beers. Lots of beer talk and sharing.




What a great  time we had this last week with them. We did our thing, they did theirs but we got together to share the experience and talk about our travels. What a coincidence.

We find this is happening a lot in our travels and are so happy to living this lifestyle. New places, New adventures and New Friends. We exchanged information and plan on keeping contact as we all travel and share this incredible journey. More on our stay at Leasburg SP in Las Cruces soon. Thanks for following along.


4 comments:

  1. New friends, that's so much what this life is about. You're about to make 10+ when we get to AL. See you soon.

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    1. You're so right. Like seeing friends in a couple days. Can't wait to meet all these new friends. :-)

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  2. We had such a great time playing cards, swapping stories and drinking great beer with you two. We are really enjoying Marfa, TX. It's an interesting place. Headed to Texas Hill country next week. Hope you had a great time in Balmorhea! XO, Julie

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    1. We also had a great time getting to know you and Doug. Always fun playing cards, telling stories and certainly drinking beer. Glad to hear you're enjoying Marfa. We had a good stay at Balmorhea and have moved on through TX into Louisiana. Enjoying some wonderful seafood. Hope you get this way to get in on the crawfish season. Hope to see you down the road.

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