Sunday, September 3, 2023

Life Goes on in the Desert

 August 22 - September 2, 2023
Tombstone, Arizona

Looking at our "original" route for this year's travels I see we dodged a mess of smoke and fire in Oregon! This year we went north through Utah in April and then south down the coast hoping that would mean we missed the smoke (which has become its own season now) in the late summer. While we had perfect weather on the shortened route, we would not have missed the smoke had we still been on the road this month. I'd always rather be traveling, but it seems cutting it short this year was a blessing. 

From a friend's FB post near Brookings, Oregon - about where we'd be at this time.

Several of our RV buddies have posted visits to the Gadsden Hotel in Douglas, but I've forgotten about it when we've visited the little border town in the past. The monsoons are creating an incredible carpet of green throughout the area, so the 40 mile drive is especially beautiful. 

Cafe 333 is a lovely coffeehouse/dining room at the hotel where we enjoy a tasty Tuesday morning breakfast. Like most border towns, Douglas is struggling, but stepping inside the hotel is like taking a step back to the early 1900's when mining and ranching were in their heyday. 

A perfect little coffee house.

The lobby is gorgeous. Standing on the steep marble stairs to take the photo, I'm impressed that brides navigate them in high heels!

In addition to the dining room, there's a fun tavern and two retail boutiques. 

I love finding these old details.

The stained glass accents make the space glow with drenched color.

It's wonderful to see the solid wood and curved glass of the entry next door have survived for decades.

What was once the "company store" for the large mine, the space now stores vintage items (maybe planning to be a museum?)

A wall near the border I can support.

One of the things I love best about our property is all the visits we enjoy from the deer, quail, dove, finches, etc. This year the mesquite is so thick and green we often hear them more than see them.

A days-old fawn stops by with Mom.

I love all the cute spots!

This quieter, slow-down time is a mixed blessing. It's always a treat to enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds us, to have zero schedule to keep, to appreciate our lovely little house, to visit with local friends, and to watch the seasons move through. It's also challenging for me to keep busy when I want to be busy. The outdoor heat limits those options, and there's not much I haven't already "done" with the interior. I have a couple hobbies I could get back to - yeah, I should probably do that :-)

Morning's cooler temps give me a few hours to clear out the brush that has gotten out of hand over the last several months.

Monsoons move through and around us almost every day.

Donnie and Anna surprise Bill with a belated birthday dinner and fancy desert!

Sierra Vista enjoys a good drenching.

Tombstone Courthouse State Park looks haunted in the clouds and drizzle.

Some of the storms make their way to our place - this one has high winds and dumps an inch in an hour!

Even when they don't bring any wet, we have wonderful clouds moving through every day.

I do make it to Tucson for some personal pampering and minimal shopping. Of course the day I'm there is one of the hottest of the summer! Being at 4500' in Tombstone we are always about 20 degrees cooler - thankfully.

August in a desert city.

Getting closer to Tombstone, Mother Nature makes a swipe of color across the sky.

Eventually it reaches to the mountains.

The storm quickly drops the temps for about 15 miles. It's 90 degrees when I pull into the house.

San Pedro River Valley

Taking a break from her family, this doe rests in the shade inside the fence. 

Football season is once again upon us, a big deal in our house! Saturday is our fantasy league draft, always fun with Bill and his four sons and me. Looks like I have a mediocre team this year, but only time will tell :-) 

We've been back nearly a month, September has arrived, my favorite time of year is just around the corner. 

Precious Cassidy 

Elliott out playing with his daddy.

M and M enjoying school days.


  1. That Brookings photo is horrifying! We love to eat in the Gadsden Hotel--lunches are always good it seems. Cassidy is precious as are those boys.

    1. Pretty sure your posts were what reminded me to give the old hotel a try - we'll be back for sure!! Maybe we can meet up there :-)

  2. The wildfires are horrible again this year. Good that you were able to avoid them.
    A nice variety of visitors to your yard. And the grands just keep getting grander!

    1. We've had so many late summers ruined with the smoke of now yearly fires :-( Our locals do keep us entertained!

  3. I agree…the Brookings photo is horrifying! Gadsden Hotel is on our to do list when we visit Bisbee…our trip was cancelled last Winter when it snowed so I’m hoping for a visit soon. Your photos are gorgeous Jodee! Totally agree about the monsoon and skies…even if we don’t get rain. Fawns are so cute! Sleeping babies are one of my favorite things…and big smiles on grandkids is another!

    1. I'm sure you and Joe will enjoy both the food and the history of that old hotel. Sadly Douglas doesn't have much else to offer, but the drive is pretty this time of year!

  4. Good to hear all is going well back at the sticks and bricks home. Love your little mom and new baby:) The Gadsden Hotel is beautiful. Did you check out the chip on the 7th step that was supposed to have been made by Pancho Villa's horse when Pancho attempted to ride up the stairs? M&M are getting so big!

    1. Oh yes the chip!! I forgot to include that in the post because if you look closely you can see it that photo :-))

  5. Sure I'm glad you shortened your route and miss those horrifying fires. Every year I get talked out of coming west by what happened the year before. The stained glass and wood there in the Gadsden Hotel are beautiful as is your rainbow and your grandchildren.

    1. I'm afraid every summer is just going to be hotter so waiting may be worst. Of course the wetter years are much better :-)

  6. 114!?!? No way. I'll deal with the cold and snow just so I don't see temps over 100. Heck, I start melting at 85. 55-65 is perfect for me.

    1. Thankfully it's rare, but those are the days that stick out!! I agree I'd be happy if it never exceeded 85.

  7. Love the pics, steer clear of the fires.

    1. Thanks! I'm so glad we missed them this year - although the occasional lightening strike gives us a fire in the surrounding hills :-(

  8. Somehow I have been missing your posts. How many grands is that now?! Looks like the girls are catching up!

    1. Thanks for catching up with us - that's a lot of reading :-))) Nine grands now!!