Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Fun With Tombstone Friends

February 1-6, 2017
Tombstone, Arizona

It's a short drive to Tombstone on Wednesday morning. We're back at our good friends Donnie and Anna's for the third time since we went full-time. We mooch-dock in their driveway, and spend lots of time hanging out in their home. We've known Donnie since high school, and his wonderful wife Anna for over ten years. They are some of our most favorite peeps.

Our home-away-from-home
We hang out on the patio, soaking up the warm sun which I can't get enough of these days. 

When Anna gets home from work (we can't wait for her October retirement!), the guys take off for a college basketball game in Douglas, and she and I meet her sister in town for dinner.

Donnie is a winning bass fisherman and he and Bill get in a day of fishing on nearby Patagonia Lake. They have a great time! Tessa and I run into Sierra Vista for errands, getting back home around 3:00. Always good to get things done, but probably not as much fun as a day on the water.

Anna is off for the weekend and Saturday morning we head out for our trip to the Chiracahua National Monument. They brought us here the end of 2015, on our first visit, but it was snowing and we were turned around at the campground. Today we have temps in the high 60's, and the views are incredible! All the parking lots are full, but we manage to see much of the beauty without others.

The Visitor Center is busy.

Although dry in the higher elevations, the creek is running near the VC.

Columns peek from behind oaks and junipers.

North facing pillars with green veneer.

Blue beauty on a branch.

Massive views at Echo Canyon

Sulphur Springs Valley in the distance.

Donnie shows me the best spot to take the photo while Anna glasses the hillside.

Dense vegetation

Acres of amazing formations.

Tessa is less than impressed with the snowy trail.
What I remember the most from a quick visit here with the boys is a mountain top that looks like Cochise's head. I'm not sure where we saw it, but as Bill and I walk up to the exhibit center we find it! It doesn't take long for both of us to see his face in the rock - his massive native nose and Douglas fir eyelash are unique.

There he is!

Forehead on the right, deep eye, large nose, rough lips.

Eye lash just below his eyebrow.
Harris Mountain (the small one in the front)

Cochise Stronghold in the center with Dragoon Mountains to the left.
Wonderful views and information in the exhibit building.
Seeing what they can see
Perfect weather continues.
From the summit highway.

Driving by the lower columns.

A mile out of the monument it is a different world.
This is the first time the three of them have been to the top of the monument, and it has been a very long time for me - what a great day!

Before the big game on Sunday we take a drive to the other side of Sierra Vista. Carr Canyon is closed at the gate due to snow and ice, but the nearly dry waterfall is pretty from the road. Instead we continue south to Montezuma Pass where we visit the little Visitor Center, full of historical and cultural information. Coronado's expedition of 1540-1542 passed through the area early, eventually taking them to the Grand Canyon to the west, and what is now Kansas to the east.

Carr Canyon waterfall

Pilot and co-pilot

The day before we were in the furthest mountain range.

Donnie and Anna at Montezuma VC

A lovely circle of information honoring the four directions

History shared from different perspectives

Dia de las Muertos

Arizona White Oak is thick throughout the canyon
The four of us enjoy the game although the final outcome is not what we are hoping for. Love the halftime show and several of the funny and poignant commercials. Another fun day with these great friends.

Monday it's back to work for Anna and the three of us are lazy slugs all day :-)


  1. That's a beautiful area, Jodee! That photo of Tessa cracks me up. 😊

  2. Love the photo of the drive by. Very arty. :)

  3. Gorgeous photos Jodee--the times we've been to the Chiracahua Monument there has been no one there--I guess all our national parks and monuments are becoming crowded. I'm with Tessa--I wouldn't like snow on my trail either!

    1. We don't usually visit on Saturdays but our friends aren't off on weekdays so we braved the masses. In fairness, the parking lots are all very small :-))) It is a beautiful area!!

  4. Love Chiricahua NM!! The rock formations are spectacular. Cochisi's Head really is so cool!! I'm surprised there isn't more snow...your lucky day:) Sounds like lots of fun with your friends. Always nice to have a special place to park your home.

    1. So many wows!! It was great fun to stay with them again.

  5. Sounds like a great place to call home for a few days! Great friends and beautiful vistas. Love the formation, Cochise Head...way cool.

    Looking forward to meeting you, Bill and Tessa!

    1. I was so happy to show Bill Cochise Head - it was even cooler than I remembered. Hopefully we'll see you tomorrow!!!

  6. Love Cochise,s head and that hilarious picture of Tessa. "You don't REALLY expect me to walk there do you". So nice to have so many friends to visit.

    1. We've seen nearly 50 high school friends while on the road - not counting the reunions in Laughlin - it's crazy! And so fun.

  7. There's so much to see. We love the adventure of it and try to take as many pictures as possible. The hard part is sorting through all of them.

    1. I take so many photos in these places - you're right about the challenge of the sort!!

  8. Your photos of the monument inspire me. I so want to visit this winter but the nights are still too cold. We are getting closer to each other.

    1. Warming up fast over here, but the mesquites haven't budded yet so they say it will likely get cold again. Hope our paths will cross soon!! We'll be moving west next week.

  9. How fun to have special friends like Donnie and Anna. Making memories and enjoying life is what it's all about :-)

    1. We are very blessed in both our old and new friends :-))))

  10. We've not been to the west side of the Chiracahuas—but it's definitely on our list. We've spent time on the east side, near Portal, and loved it. The birding was amazing there. But wow, those rock formations on the west side are spectacular! Cochise Head is so interesting. Fun to see you guys enjoying special times with so many friends, old and new.

    1. We were talking about the birding near Portal, putting it on our list for next time! There are several trails you guys would enjoy around the formations.