Wednesday, December 15, 2010




NOTE:  I was minutes away from publishing the blog when I somehow did something that wiped out all my photos which I had so painstakingly gathered up for tonight’s blog.  At this point I am just to tired to go back & redo all the photos again.  Remember Tuesday’s blog about being tired & making mistakes…..well, I rest my case:((

I would have to say the most exciting part of today was our short jaunt to the local dump this morning.  No garbage pick up here like back home so it was a good excuse to take the little Motormouse for a ride in the Jeep & explore around a few dusty neighborhood roads.

We have had night visitors……..inside our fence line!!  Noticed the tracks Tuesday morning while filling a small water trough in front of the house.  The recently installed & strong metal perimeter fence is a deterring 4 feet high but that has not stopped a certain type of rascally critter from leaping over the fence & coming in for a drink of water.  Fresh deer prints were visible in the soft sandy like soil around the water trough.  I have since located an old plastic picnic cooler, filled it with water & placed it on the outside of the fence where we have seen Javelina, Gamble Quail & Deer.  The local bird population sure likes the idea as well.

Finished my, ‘Log Of An Arizona Trailblazer’ book today by author J. A. Rockfollow, one of Arizona’s early pioneers.  Another fine example of Arizona’s history from the latter 1800’s into the early 1900’s.  The western frontier was a wildly exciting place in those times & I’m always surprised at many of the things that took place, both good & bad.  There was a certain degree of lawlessness alright but there was also a great deal of comradeship, good deeds, & gentlemanly ways.  Certainly was a different world than we know today.  Harsher in many respects but kinder in many others.  I do like all the modern conveniences of today but sometimes I wonder if maybe I was born a hundred years too late:((

Below is the cover, & all that is left of a book I had as a small child.  I remember the book well & would spend many hours imagining my way through it’s big colorful pictures of the old west.  Indians, stagecoaches, mounted soldiers, cattle herds & cowboys rode the Sagebrush trails across the pages.  Behind the riders were always the dark & mysterious mountains that imprinted themselves on this small boys memory.


It would eventually take me many years to make my way across the land to finally catch site of my first real mountain.  Still, to this day when we travel west in the fall I strain my eyes to catch the first tell tale sign of the great mountains looming out of the distant haze.  The small boy in me is still in wonderment of this land I first saw in the pages of my, ‘Big Book Of The Wild West.’  I have been very fortunate all these years later to have now walked in the same footsteps as General George Armstrong Custer up in Little Big Horn Montana & Butch Cassidy in Panquitch Utah.  I have also walked the same streets as Wyatt Erp, Doc Halliday & the boys in Tombstone Arizona.  I have hiked the very trails & been to the very watering holes used by the legendary Indian Chiefs, Cochise & Geronimo.  Hiked into the very heart of the COCHISE STRONGHOLD in the Dragoon Mountains as well.  I have seen the old stagecoach ruts worn in the ground at Apache Pass near FORT BOWIE & stood in a buildings ruins where Geronimo was once held in captivity.  We have walked through the old BUTTERFIELD STAGE RUINS in both Arizona & California, located the grave of JOHNNY RINGO at the foot of the Chiricahua Mountains & gazed into an old tumble down Saloon in the ghost town of GLEESON ARIZONA.  We have also walked the overgrown streets & picked our way through the long forgotten ghost town ruins of CHARLESTON, Millville, COURTLAND & FAIRBANK.  We have also been fortunate to have attended another historic ghost towns annual remembrance at, PEARCE HERITAGE DAYS.  



The old frontier is still alive here in the west if you just take the time to feel it’s presence.  It may not be as obvious & wild as it once was but it is still here if you take the time to feel it’s presence.  Real cowboys on working ranches herding cattle is still the way of the west.  Cowboy hats & boots are the norm & if you look carefully you can still see some of the fellas carrying real guns in holsters.

Mountains on the horizons, cactus on the trails & ghosts in the wind.  Yes, the west is still alive for this little boy as it rides it’s way every day right out of the pages of his long lost big old cowboy book…..:))


GROANERS CORNER:((    A tough old cowboy told his grandson that if he wanted to live a long life, the secret was to sprinkle a pinch of gun powder on his oatmeal every morning.
The grandson did this religiously to the age of 103. When he died, he left 14 children, 30 grand-children, 45 great-grandchildren, 25 great-great grandchildren, and a 15 foot hole where the crematorium used to be.

Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.

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


  1. I miss getting out into nature. LA is wonderful, but it's time to get back somewhere that deer will wander along.

    I love the groaner today. Where do you get these from?

    (I keep passing along the one match = forest fire, campfire = box of matches one!)

  2. I love the photo of the San Pedro River.

    I have mixed feelings about the Old West, and my sympathies usually lie on the side of the Indians. Like you said, there was good and bad about those days and people of the old west, and I guess the outcome was inevitable. But they probably had as much crime as we do today, just less people so no doubt less criminal acts.

    All the places you mention evoke memories of the west, and I'm so glad you get to see it and be there every year.

  3. Are you going to have a prize for the 200,000th visitor?

    I check your blog frequently and enjoy your writing. We are in Tucson for the winter and travel out in the area near you frequently geocaching.

  4. I remember that book, my older brother had it, so nice that you are visiting all the places you read about and reliving the stories that the little boy loved.


  5. well at least the deer won't harm you 'fur kids'..!! enjoy the wild west!!

  6. How odd Al. While I very much enjoy the pictures you present us with nearly every day, I find that I didn’t miss the photos at all this morning. The words recounting your travels were powerful enough. While I haven’t been to many of the locations you described, I felt as though I was right there with you seeing those western settings through excited “little boy” eyes. Well done!

  7. A great blog today, Al. Among your very best. Thanks for the memories. When I was a lad, I had three favorite books. One was "The Tree in the Trail," about a little cottonwood sapling, following it's life, death and future uses. An Indian lad was the first adventure, as the boy piled sharp rocks around the base of the tree to keep bison from trampling it. It's final chapter was the old tree's wood being used as the yoke for oxen hauling a wagon. The other two books were by Holling Clancy Holling, one book about cowboys, one about Indians. I read those books over and over.

  8. Your words painted the pictures for me today. :)

  9. Say, over those 1000 posts you have gradually discovered the benefits of paragraph breaks. (grin)

    Glad you've enjoyed the grasslands of southeastern Arizona. They are under-rated.(thankfully)

  10. I grew up watching Roy Rogers, Hopalong Cassidy, The Lone Ranger, Gene Autry and still love the old Westerns...(Also LOVED Sgt. Preston of the Yukon..just sayin')
    We are still not sure about getting to Arizona this year...Long drive, even from here...

  11. Great post, Al, didn't even need pictures! Sometimes, just the imagination is all that's needed to paint your own pictures!

  12. I too have many times thought I was been 100 years to soon.

    However, if that had been the case I might have been born an Indian; not a very promising beginning for a long life at that time.
    Or if I had been born 100 years ago I would have been 18 years old the day before the firing on Fort Sumter. My chances of living through the Civil War would not have been great which ever side I may have been on.
    The good news? If I had lived as long then as I have now I would have seen some glorious times as well as the bad!

  13. Yup.

    We like where you roam.
    Thanks for taking us with you!

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  14. My little brother had that book. He lived, ate, and breathed cowboys. Even slept with his cowboy hat on. It's nice to walk down Memory Lane. Thanks.

  15. I would guess there are a bunch of us who lived an imaginary life in the old west when we were young and innocent. Thanks for the reminder of those great days of fantasy.

  16. It's a good thing that the book you read as a boy was "The Big Book of the Wild West". So that you now spend your winters tracking down the heroes and legends that you read about as a boy in the SW USA. Just think if that book had been Jack London's "Call of the Wild". You would be spending your winters up in the Yukon chasing the ghost of those character while looking and the rear ends of a bunch of sled dogs.