Wednesday, December 02, 2009




Heavy frost on everything this morning & I could still see snow on the Chiricahua mountains about 40 northeast of us.  I mix up the chicken feed at night now so that is all I have to do in the morning.  Just toss it out to the girls without freezing my hands up.  Might have to get some of you RV ladies to knit us up 8 toasty little warm chicken sweaters for the gals.


We have been to what's left of most ghost towns here in the Sulphur Springs valley & last Saturday on our way to Pearce's Heritage Days we came across the ruins of the once booming & bustling little mining town of Courtland.  As with all other true ghost towns there wasn't much left of anything compared to what was once originally there.  What is left of Courtland is stretched out over a mile or so along a dirt road.  A few remnants of a stone wall here, some concrete slabs there, & one heavily constructed & reinforced concrete building that once was a jail.  As with all ghost towns we have rambled around in it is hard for the mind to  imagination what actually took place at these sites.  Standing amidst rubble of tumbled walls I try to close my eyes & return to the towns heyday but all my imagination has to go on are old faded photos of ghost towns, some old Hollywood movies, pieces of pottery, crumbling walls, maybe a few weathered boards with rusting nails, & perhaps an old leather sole from an old boot long forgotten.   Underbrush overgrows what were once bustling streets filled with people.  All traces of former railroads are gone & it's difficult to look back into history across the desert landscape & see old steam engines pulling railroad cars loaded with merchandise, ore from the mines, cattle, & people.  Hard to imagine children playing in the streets, horses tied up alongside old wood sided building & folks dressed in their finery buying sugar & flour in the general store.  Miners whooped it up in the many saloons at nights.  Strangers arrived daily by horseback, stagecoach, or trains.  It is an era that is lost forever & it is only the winds in the mountains that whisper the tales of a life & times that none of us will ever know......or imagine:(( 


And below is Courtland to-day.


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We caught ourselves a break to-day when the local propane delivery truck from Wilcox brought a load of propane for Jeanie & Ray's large propane tank here at the ranch.  It's a once a year delivery & supplies the house with heat.  We had filled up our motorhome's propane tank in Douglas about a month ago & were down to about half a tank.  Normally at three quarters empty we would have to square everything away, bring in the slides, disconnect the water, sewer, electricity, & satellite dish lines & drive our house to a propane filling station either in Douglas or at the closer Double Adobe RV park about half way to Bisbee.  While the fellow was filling the ranch tank Kelly asked him if he could fill our tank as well......& he did.  Nice break & it sure saved us a disruptive hassle.



I have a habit of loosing camera lens caps & as of last Saturday my last lens cap had departed to the fair land far away where missing things somehow go.  Needed a lens hood for my smaller lens anyway plus both camera lenses were in need of UV filters.  Figured we might as well head on over to Sierra Vista where we had looked up a camera store that had all the aforementioned items.  The road to Sierra Vista is an easy wide open spaces drive that gently winds between the Dragoon & Mule mountains.  We drove through Tombstone at high noon & if I would have had my window down we might have heard some gunfire coming from the OK Corral gunfight site.  They do re-enactments there daily.  We have been to Tombstone a couple times before & it is very commercialized but I would recommend you do the BIRDCAGE THEATER if you go there.  Check out our TOMBSTONE PHOTOS.  This place has not been jazzed up & re-constructed.  It an eerie place to wander around in & it smells very, very, old.  If there are such things as ghosts I'm sure they are present in this old aging building.  Yes, there is a gift store at the back door exit but that doesn't have anything to do with what is inside that old building!!



The Charleston Road runs between Tombstone & Sierra Vista & for us to-day it was a trip down memory lane because we spent a few very enjoyable weeks boondocking in the area this past January.  It was at this time we did day trips to the ghost towns of Charleston, Millville, & Fairbank.  Took us 2 days to find the crumbling adobe walls of Charleston amidst the heavy mesquite underbrush.  If anyone is interested you can find our daily adventures in our archives.  Look back to late January of this year for our times in this area.  Also February & March for our times at the ranch & our escapades into the Dragoon & Chiricahua Mountains.



Sierra Vista is a fair sized city & easy to get around in.  Every kind of store, facility, or business you need is here stretched out along Fry Boulevard.  Big box stores like Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Target, & Frys.  All the regular eating places are here too.  The driving force behind Sierra Vista is the large army base, Fort Huachuca.  We toured the Fort last March plus, Coronado Peak & Carr Canyon.  And of course it's all in our March archives.  



Hit a few thrift stores to-day & then the busiest grocery store I've ever seen.  Frys is a grocery chain found only in the southwest  & is very, very, popular.  It was our second trip to Frys this year & it must have been our lucky day because we caught ourselves another break.  Kelly had picked up a Fry's discount card last March & that saved us a few dollars but on the first Wednesday of every month it is an additional 10% off for Seniors.  We didn't know that but when Kelly went to pay, the cashier eyed me up & down with a wary eye, turned to Kelly & asked, "is he 65!!"  Guess my old torn shirt, dusty hat, & totally out of control beard must have scared her real good & she was afraid to ask me directly.  I like when that happens.  Don't ask me about the days an old girlfriend dressed me in white pleated pants, panama sneakers, pink polo shirts, & hung a gold chain around my neck. Made me wear a matching gold bracelet to my sparkly watch on my other wrist.  No, don't even go there!!  And no, the gold was not real.  It was just window dressing for her new boyfriend.  Is it any wonder I prefer to be a scruffy old sod busting cowboy these days:))  Maybe I'll do a blog on that era of my life sometime.  Maybe use some pink ink too!!


Anyway, I got kinda sidetracked again but I did find the camera accessories I needed & if your in Sierra Vista & need to do some wheeling & dealing be sure to drop in & see a friendly old guy by the name of Harvey Ross at LANDMARK PHOTO 400 W Fry Boulevard.   "Old guy' were Harvey's words not mine:))


We were back at the ranch by 4:15 just in time to get the chickens saddled up & the dog's fed.  Another fine day in the life & times of, The Bayfield Bunch:))


GROANER'S CORNER:))  Two cows standing next to each other in a field, Daisy says to Dolly "I was artificially inseminated this morning." "I don't believe you," said Dolly. "It's true -- no bull!", exclaimed Daisy.



The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now....AL.

MY SMUG MUG (I am finally working on updating this site)


  1. Your right about Sierra Vista being a nice easy shopping town.Love the wide streets and all the Big Boxers.One of my favorites in the great Southwest.

  2. More beautiful photos of the great Southwest. Hope to be that way in a few days...

  3. Your photos are making us homesick for the desert plus the minus 4 degrees we had this morning. I too lose lens caps, my last camera had a tether, this new camera came without one--but I just bought one on a suggestion!

  4. Great shots again... love the ones with the tractor, quite amazing how a piece of machinery can be *art* too! We always get our bulk tank supplier at home to fill our motorhome too, and he gives us our discounted household contract price too. I know when we were on the road for vacation, trying to find even a good price is hard. I think at one place we paid 3.50 a gallon!

    Loved your groaners corner too.. heh heh

  5. I really liked today's pics Al - nice job! You should put all of your ghost town pics in a book of some kind! But, then you'd be more famous than you already are!

  6. I hope you can dig up an old photo of you in a pink shirt! Plus the wrist sparklies. This I gotta see.