Friday, January 22, 2021

Three Weeks in January

January 1 - 21, 2021
Tombstone, Arizona

While it was shocking to watch the attack on the Capitol, on the people who were confirming the vote of millions of Americans, on the democratic process we hold so dear, it didn't shock me that it happened. That it was allowed to happen. Investigations, arrests, charges and sentences will confirm what we already know.

Here in Southeastern Arizona little changes. We stay home 99% of the time, piddling around the property, mostly being lazy. Check-ins from family and friends confirm all are doing fine, coping as best they can, staying safe and healthy. Several have received their vaccines without issue. It's all we can hope for until the vaccines do what we all pray they will.

Last month we finally found good Internet service which has added a whole new level of entertainment access, and a whole new level of laziness I'm afraid. We still "need" satellite tv for the NFL Channel, otherwise we mostly watch Amazon Prime Video now. It's something we're likely to miss when we're back on the road, but we'll get over it being able to travel again!!

Speaking of the NFL......I can't remember any team taking such a dive after being the last undefeated at the end of 11 weeks as my Steelers. That last game was beyond embarrassing :-( Now we're just hoping Tampa Bay doesn't make it all the way!

Speaking of traveling again.....we drop the motorhome at Camping World in Tucson for a list of minor repairs and replacements needed before we leave this Spring. It's still strange to leave it for an extended time rather than returning to sleep in it!

On the way home we take scenic Hwy 83 and finally make the drive into the historic Empire Ranch. I've seen pics from other bloggers in the past, but forgot that it was such a big place with access to the grounds and the house. With bright sunny skies, warmer temps, and no one there but the guy cleaning the restrooms, it's a perfect day for a bit of exploring.

Different colors and textures designed by age and weather.

One of many large barns.

The rooms are stark with little done to create a feeling anyone lived here.

More effort in the dining room.

At the end of my wanderings through the house I find myself where I was supposed to have started. The walking tour pamphlet would have been nice :-)

In addition to the barns and corrals, the grounds include several outbuildings and trails.

Along Empire Creek is the Cotton Wood Gallery. Like at the San Pedro River, the trees here are enormous.
The ranch is part of a larger conservation area so we take our time through the old growth trees and yellow plains, making a loop back to the highway. 

Minimal but informative signage.

A large herd of antelope cross in front of us, we give them a wide berth until they've moved on. Beautiful animals.

Ongoing efforts to remove the invasive mesquite that grew up after overgrazing stripped the plains. 

Unique geology surrounds the area.

One afternoon I remind myself that I'm a member of our little Amerind Museum and that I can go anytime! Less than an hour away, it's a nice drive east of Benson. Not another visitor shares the space with me, making for a safe, quiet, and very enjoyable few hours. No photos allowed inside, I take my time absorbing the beauty and history collected here. They will be changing some of the exhibits soon and I'm excited to see what's to come.

Huge old doors from a church in Mexico, circa 1660.
Tucked in among the beautiful rocks and trees of Texas Canyon, the museum grounds are one of the best parts of having access to this space. Without the worry of rattlesnakes (one is still smart to keep an eye out on warm, sunny days), it's wonderful to meander the short trails.

This arachnid-looking "creature" startles me as I come around a corner!

Jeff and I take a drive to Bisbee to take photos but the light is wrong so we end up with a yummy breakfast at the Bisbee Breakfast Club and a bit of window shopping. The BBC does a nice job of separating diners, mandatory masks, one-use menus (one per table), and lots of sanitizing. And their food is still wonderful!

I have to confess that one window did turn into actual shopping in a little store with no other people.

In our house January 20 was a day of celebration. A day of relief. As much as hearing words of compassion and hope from our new president, I was encouraged by recognition of our losses to COVID, Eugene's honor, Amanda's power, and even Bernie's mittens. I see a bright future in spite of the hate that continues to bubble.

Big boy Ezra on a warm day at his mountain home.

Sweet angels

Happy, healthy and (almost) 3 month old Elliott.

Stay safe, choose happy, be kind to others, 
be kind to yourself.



  1. Wasn’t the 20th the best, Jodee? Love the beauty of the winter desert!

    1. Yes, I loved every minute of it! We love our golden grasses and rugged mountains.

  2. Lovely photos Jodee! Even though Mike and I are conservative folks I watched all the festivities on January 20th with an overwhelming sense of calm. It was so dignified, calm, quiet, uplifting--wonderful. A few months from now this conservative might not feel the same way about the current administration--I do admit I have reservations about some of his executive orders--but we will see.

    1. Understandable :-) For now at least it is a wonderful healing time for so many of us.

  3. Great Pictures! I recall being at 'The Swamps' when there was some swampland there, and lots of birds ... looks like the drought has taken its toll on those grasslands.

  4. The 20th was a great day. For the first time in four years John knew when he got up the 21st, he didn't have to fear what the news (Tweets) would say had happened since going to bed. Glad you were able to stop at the Empire Ranch. It's an interesting spot with some hiking, as well. Lucky you being so close to Bisbee. It is one town where we eat out several times when visiting. They have some great eaters that we really enjoy. The Bisbee Breakfast Club is one. Sorry about your Steelers. They just lost it at the end. It was quite strange. I'm rooting for my boy...let's go KC! Good to hear you and Bill are doing well. The grands are growing up so fast.

    1. We'd love to see KC repeat, but I'm also liking the Bills this year - don't guess I can have both :-)) Yes, waking up the 21st was a wonderful feeling.

  5. Oh, happy day!! We were thrilled on the 20th, and are still celebrating! I feel like a huge weight of angst has been lifted. Hope and truth and calm and integrity and feels so good to have sanity restored.
    It looks as though you guys have been thoroughly enjoying your little corner of the world. I always appreciate your color and texture photos...those details capture my eye, too. Cute, cute grandkids. :-)

    1. Sanity and peace, ahhhh! Those old corrals and barns always make for fun visuals.

  6. Love your pictures of the ranch, your museum grounds and the great sign from Bisbee. All places I clearly need to put on my list if we ever get out of this quarantine. I too am feeling so much more relaxed and actually lighter after January 20. But I'm very worried that they may not convict this villain and I do not want him ever to be able to run for office anywhere again.

    On a happier note what cute pictures of your grand boys. Happiness and health to you all.

    1. Amen to convicting him - soon!

      There's a lot of natural beauty here, we need to get out and appreciate it more!!

  7. I’ve not been through those areas either. More spots to come back snd see! Such cutie pies. I love their shirts!