Who We Are

We sold our home in June, 2007, and spent the next 7 1/2 years traveling full time in a Cross Roads Fifth Wheel. (We had been traveling during our summers for several years before going full time.) We loved the full-time lifestyle! Each summer we spent a month or two volunteering in State Parks, first in Indiana at McCormick's Creek State Park, near our family, then in later years as the grandchildren got older, at the Bluewater Lake State Park in New Mexico. We spent 6 months each winter at Cactus Gardens RV Resort in Yuma, AZ, where I worked mornings in the park office. The remaining months were spent on the road, seeing this great country of ours. Our favorite places are our National Parks. Anita loved photography and the freedom of digital photography, taking sometimes hundreds of photos in a day. We hiked as much as our legs will allow. We also really enjoyed square and round dancing as we travel across country, and meeting all the wonderful people who dance and/or travel.

But as in all things, there comes a time for change, and we decided it was time to create roots once more. In the fall of 2014, we purchased a home in Cactus Gardens, and in the spring of 2015, sold the 5th wheel. Anita also retired in the spring. We will continue to travel each summer, but for a shorter period of time. We hope to continue blogging about those trips, but it will obviously be on a more limited basis than in the past.

Please explore our past posts if you are interested in traveling this great country. You'll find an index in the left column. We hope you enjoy our blog, and appreciate all comments

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Driving on the Coronado Trail

Over 450 years ago, Francisco Vazquez de Coronado took 1400 men on a fantastic trip through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas seeking the fabled Seven Golden Cities of Cibola.  Although he never found his cities, his exploration established much of Spain’s later claim to the huge Southwest.Capture6

Today, the official Coronado Trail Scenic Byway runs from Clifton, AZ to Springerville, AZ.

We asked square dance friends, Ron and Kay Henderson, to accompany us as we drove much of the byway’s length, from Clifton, AZ to Alpine, AZ.





IMG_2226Ron worked for the Forestry Department for years and is a “walking history tome”.  He gave us a running commentary throughout the drive, adding background to the fabulous scenery.



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The town of Clifton (derived from Cliff Town, appropriately) was founded in the 1870’s  The nearby river water was necessary to the copper smelters serving the mines.  Although Clifton remains, most of the original Main Street is boarded up.

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Next town northward is Morenci, North America’s leading copper producer.  The mine, which seems to stretch on for miles, boggles the imagination.  In recent years, it has produced more than 1 billion pounds of copper annually.

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The trucks working in this mine have tires that are 10 feet in diameter, and the trucks appear too tiny in this photo to discern. 

Beyond Morenci, the road ascends in elevation rapidly.There is a 6,000-foot change of elevation, starting from the topography of the Upper Sonoran Desert to near-alpine meadows high in the White Mountains.The road, in less than 100 miles carries you through changes in climate, soil, moisture and elevation the same as you would see on a road trip from Mexico to Canada!

IMG_2049 [50%] This is not a road to be traversed swiftly.  The Federal Highway Administration considers this drive to be the curviest road in the nation. There are nearly 450 switchbacks, (many marked at 10 mph) along the route.  Nearly each curve, though, affords a wonderful view.  Here’s a view of the road ahead through the side window.







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We stopped to take in the view at Blue Vista overlook, perched on the edge of the Mogollon Rim. 

The Rim rises 4,000 feet from the valley below.







IMG_2123 [50%]In the midst of the Ponderosa pines and alligator juniper of the high elevations, we stopped for a picnic lunch.








IMG_2166 [50%]Shortly thereafter, we were amazed to see snow laying alongside the road and in the shade of the forests.  Ron just had to stop and hold the snow.  It’s not often anymore that we see snow!







IMG_2239 [50%]Ron Henderson writes many historical papers about the area, particularly about almost forgotten cemeteries.  We stopped at one such cemetery on the way back, almost hidden in the grass. IMG_2234 [50%]








We left Silver City at 8 a.m. and arrived back, tired, at 6:30 p.m., but what a drive we had experienced. 

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