I knew the 3 donkey guys were up to something again this morning when I saw them clustered around the gate with what appeared to be a couple long green tubular things. I slipped down the north fence line, around behind some clumps of tall 12 foot grass, crossed over behind a couple tractors & slipped past the end of the hay bale barn. They were so engrossed in their little project they never saw me coming. Yep, they were up to something alright. Somehow they had gotten into Ray's driving shed & were able to drag back a set of welding tanks along with the lines & a welding nozzle. Nellie had the oxygen & acetylene tanks propped up against the fence & Sarah had the rubber lines stretched up over her back & sure enough, there was Poncho, welding goggles & all, trying to burn a hole through the chain securing the gate.
Well, I let out a holler & Poncho dropped the welding nozzle & Sarah turned & quickly looked the other way as if she didn't know what was going on. They were 3 pretty sheepish looking donkeys as I climbed the pen fence & walked across the corral towards them. It was me & 3 donkeys in a stare down over the top of the gate. Well, I assume Poncho was staring at me but it was hard to tell with those goofy looking welding goggles he had on. I wasn't mad at the guys & I don't think they were mad at me for catching them but there were a few moments of indecision between all of us. Who was going to make the first move & what was that move going to be!! The thought occurred to me then that I had better get myself smartened up right quick & with that thought fresh in my mind I undid the chain & pushed the gate open making way for the rascally donkey gang to come into the corral. And come in they did!! The gang headed straightaway for the piles of hay. Well, Sarah & Nellie did that is. Poncho couldn't see where he was going with those whacky welding goggles still on his head so I had to run over to him & pull them off. He shook himself, got his bearings, turned around twice & headed for the hay. I closed the gate to the pasture & resigned myself to the fact those donkeys were just one heck of a whole lot smarter than me & they deserved to be in the corral with all that hay. Donkeys-3....Al-0!!
We had heard that Tombstone's infamous Johnny Ringo from the old Wyatt Erp & OK Corral days was buried somewhere over near the base of the Chiricahua mountains east of Sunizona. Somewhere along Turkey Creek road they said. Charlene at the Elfrida library had told Kelly this morning that it was a few miles down that road, over a creek, & around a couple of curves. We knew there was a stone cairn marking the spot because we had seen a picture of it. So, that was our objective to-day.......find Johnny Ringo!!
It was another beautiful Saturday morning in the Sulphur Springs Valley as we headed north on highway 191 out of Elfrida. At Sunizona we turned right onto highway 181 & headed east. As usual, very little traffic on these great Arizona roads as we passed by the Paws & Hooves ranch where Carol & Rosanna live. We had just had supper with them last night in Bisbee. The highway heads straight east for a few miles before making a sharp swing to the north. We did not follow that curve. We went straight through on a washboardy & dusty Turkey Creek Road heading directly for the mighty Chiricahua mountains. Around the first mile marker we slowed down & began scanning for anything looking like a stone marker. Passed over the dry creek, around a couple curves but still didn't see anything. This is a beautiful part of the valley with gently rolling hills leading to the mountains. Fields of soft yellow grass, large prickly pear cactus, agave, yucca, Mesquite, & other large spreading trees. Just the kind of setting we would love to have house in. Passed the Sunglo ranch & came upon another very old looking ranch on the left. We felt we had gone to far so turned around & immediately spotted a white sign on the north side of the road. Pulled off to the side into a small dirt track along a fence & stopped. Couldn't make out what the sign said so while Kelly slipped through a gate to have a closer look I pulled on my photo vest & grabbed the cameras. Kelly called back, "this is it."
(click pics to enlarge & hover mouse for captions)
A narrow path led through some scrub trees & yellow grass. We were able to make out the marker a couple hundred yards ahead. We had found the final resting place of Johnny Ringo alright. It is not known for sure if he took his own life at this spot or was murdered here but while looking at the pile of stones I couldn't help but think, well if ya gotta die this is probably as good a place to die as any. It was peaceful here in the shadow of the Chiricahuas. Only the wind in the trees rustling along a quiet & dry creek bed nearby the grave. Gently sloping grass covered hills with rocks & boulders surrounded the spot. Yep, I thought, a mighty fine place for a feller to be buried alright.
AN OLD RANCH SITS NEAR THE JOHNNY RINGO BURIAL SITE
It was exactly 7.8 kilometers back to the pavement of highway 181. We turned right & headed the car for the town of Wilcox somewhere on the other side of the looming Dos Cabezas Mountains which we can see all the way from the ranch. I will continue that journey in to-morrow's blog. The little tumbledown town of Dos Cabezas, their Pioneer Cemetery, & on to the town of Wilcox, home of the last silver screen singer & cowboy, Rex Allen. Also a familiar town in the growing up life of country western singer, Marty Robbins.
BOWIE PEAK IN THE BACKGROUND WITH FORT BOWIE JUST ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THOSE MOUNTAINS
I couldn't help but think again as we were heading north on the beautiful winding highway between the surrounding mountain ranges how I wished we could be doing this all the time. The thought of returning home & sitting in one boring spot again for 6 months until we can travel again is almost too much for me to even think about. Last summer was bad enough so I'm sure not looking forward to this coming summer. There is just too much in this land to see & do & the time for seeing & doing it is getting shorter all the time. Traveling & RVing is something that gets into a person's blood & once you have it there is no getting rid of it. I just couldn't help but feel sadness this Saturday morning as those thoughts came rumbling through my head . Oh dear, oh dear, whatever am I going to do..............:((
GROANER'S CORNER:(( Ever notice that what people call congestion on a train is atmosphere in a nightclub!!
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The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now....AL.