To the left if you're following the trail clockwise
We took this trail
Met some horses along the way
Not sure what this was but something picked the bones
Wonderful desert landscape
We've hiked this trail before but took the counterclockwise direction this time. Of course we stopped at a Mexican restaurant - Los Gringos Locos after. Later that evening we played Spades at their home...guys vs. the girls...of course. This was the guys night. Win or lose we love to play. Of course winning feels better. :-) We also played Wizards and Jesters card game and Patsy was the big winner. I don't remember how I did. Ha-ha We're going to miss our hikes and card games with these great friends. Oh and new beers. Right Ron?
We then planned a delicious dinner with our son and his girlfriend, Audrey before we left. We found a new recipe from the Food Channel and used his grill to cook it. Chicken Involtini and Buttery Grilled Potatoes. Chris grilled up some burgers too for leftovers the next week. We had a nice chocolate cake for dessert.
Weather was great so we ate on the patio
We had a fun evening and played some spades after dinner. Audrey and I teamed up and whipped the mother and son team. Audrey hasn't played spades much in the past but caught on very quickly and had some beginners luck with great cards all evening.
As I said I had the chance to play golf with Chris before we left. We tried a new course, the Dobson Ranch course just a few minutes from his house. The last time we played it was no contest however this time my persistence paid off and I came out on top by a few strokes. I know we'll be back at it again next winter and I know he'll be gunning for me. Win or lose....I truly enjoy playing with him.
Just a couple days before leaving we got a call from our friends, Steve and Debbie from Down the Road. They were still stuck in CA in a pasture with mud all around from the rains there for the last couple of months. However they were driving their truck to Surprise, AZ to see Steve's father and step mom for a couple weeks. No way we were going to miss the chance to hang with these folks. We made plans to meet about half way between at Mac's Broiler and Tap in Tempe. Good food and many choices for beer. Of course when they pulled up Steve jumped out and said "there's a geocache right over there in the parking lot" so Steve and I got our phones and apps locked on and found it right away. Can't stop us. Glenda and I are slowly increasing our cache numbers.
We got a seat and ordered our beer and food and the conversation started. We hadn't been together since Durango, CO so there was a lot to cover. On and on we went. I don't think there was ever a lull in the conversation. Well after dinner and another hour later(maybe longer) we finally had to say our goodbyes.
The great thing is we are formulating a plan to meet out east this summer. Steve has a reunion in VA and then they plan to travel north to Maine. That's our plan too...to see the east coast. So Maine would be a great meeting place. I hear Maine lobster is wonderful. Got to check it out. So we'll be seeing them again soon. That is if they ever get out of CA. :-)
The crazy lovebirds
Then on March 1 we had to leave our winter home. We had everything ready to move on and all we had to do was say our goodbyes to our neighbors in the park. Once that was done, we hitched up and moved on down the road (sounds familiar). We drove about 3 1/2 hours to Kartchner Caverns SP about 8 miles south of Benson, AZ. We've been here before in 2015. We love the area and an opportunity to kick back, explore new territory and geocache. We have the same site because some of the other sites have a lot of slope or are too short for us and we knew this one was just right. We have so much space and privacy.
Looking down the road
Looking up the road
The weather is about the same as in Gold Canyon but we're at a higher elevation. About 4600 ft. above sea level. We have more winds here since it's so much more open around us. We don't plan on going into the Caverns this year. We did that in 2015. Our plan is to visit friends in Green Valley, AZ and Chiricahua National Monument. We also hiked the Foothill trail around the caverns. About 2.5 miles with 400 ft. elevation gain. We also did the optional Mountain View extension for the best views. The trail leaves from the campground and follows around the side through a couple of washes around the back of the caverns then around and up over the caverns with the option to get higher on the Viewpoint trail. The trail then leads back around the front to the visitors center and back to the campground.
Cairns mark the top of the Viewpoint
Checking out the view
We added our own rocks to the cairns
At the top
What a landscape
We're already immersing our selves in the scenery and are heading to the Chiricahua National Monument tomorrow. Cloudy day today but we got our 10,000 steps in and found 3 caches.
That's a good day.
More exploring and adventure to come.