Showing posts with label Huachuca mountains. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Huachuca mountains. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 26, 2010




The morning dawned cloudy but at least we remained above freezing through the night & anything above freezing is a bonus.  The day later turned into one of the finest days we've had here in the Sulphur Springs Valley for quite awhile.  Sunny & warm:))



This morning our laptop computer presented us with a blue screen.  Not good!!!!  We bought our current Toshiba laptop back in September of 2006 from a Future Shop store in London, Ontario.  Despite me dropping the computer on the kitchen floor less than 48 hours after we brought it home our Toshiba has performed flawlessly for most of the past three & a half years.  In the past 3 months it has occasionally seized up, etc.  Lately it has refused to shut down a few times, seized more often & this morning it presented us with a blue screen saying, 'Checking file systems.'  We managed to work through that but other problems occurred.  Kelly read up on the start up blue screen malfunction  & it said the problem could be the beginning of a deteriorating hard drive.  For awhile now we felt our computer was becoming a bit unstable & last fall we had talked about some of the computer problems & done a bit of research on new laptops just in case.  After the blue screen this morning we decided it was time to make a decision.  Could we afford another laptop.......'of course not!!'  Could we afford to take a chance on losing our even bigger 'of course not!!'  Do we have things backed up......yes & no.  We do have an external hard drive with a lot of stuff backed up but we felt this was as good a time as any to move into Microsoft's new operating system.....Windows 7.  I have a huge load of high resolution photographs so felt it was time we had a more stable platform with greater power & much bigger memory capabilities.

IMG_1994IMG_1993  IMG_1991


Kelly had previously done a lot of research on many brands of laptops & read all the reviews.  Because of our trouble free Toshiba plus the fact that they are reportedly better built laptops than many of their competitors we decided to stay with Toshiba.  After comparing our needs to what the various models were offering we decided on a Toshiba Satellite A 505 S6005  We also paid a bit extra to have it optimized which means the Geek Squad at Best Buy had already removed all the junk stuff that comes with new computers.  The recovery discs are already done & all that has probably saved us about 4 hours of trying to un-install all the junk ourselves.  The computer comes out of the box 'clean' & that was well worth the extra $60 to have that mess taken care of!!  Laurie from SEMI TRUE TALES recently purchased basically the same computer.  Laurie is a pretty smart gal & we knew she had done her research as well so felt comfortable knowing she also felt the Toshiba Satellite was a good buy.

  IMG_2002 IMG_2001IMG_2003


We have the computer home but not out of the box yet so am looking forward to having a look at this new Windows 7 everybody is talking about.  We will copy & transfer all our important stuff from this computer to the new one & that will give us a complete back up operating system.  Probably will continue using this one as long as it remains stable & so far today it has been running fine again. 



From Best Buy in Sierra Vista this afternoon it was over to 'Jack-in-the-Box' for a production line burger.  Ho-hum!!  Next was Lowes for a few things, Wal-Mart for some motor oil, & Fry's for groceries.  By the time we got to Frys my patience was totally fried so I stayed in the car to guard our new laptop:))  Sierra Vista is a nice city & if I was forced (and I would have to be forced) to live in a city I think this one would be as good as any.  Located right at the foot of the scenic Huachuca mountain range this place has all the amenities plus it's picturesque location is only minutes away from mountain or desert wilderness.  It's a small city with an even smaller local town feel.  As I sat in the parking lot outside Frys I could look up at the looming mountains only a few miles away & see the warming sun glinting off the snowy slopes.  Reminded me of years ago when I did some downhill skiing & how beautiful the snow looked on the tree lined hills.  Today reminded me of the last time I swooshed my way down a long & fast hill on a fine sunny & warm spring day west of Toronto Ontario.  Yep, I think this Sierra Vista town is just about as good a place to be as any.


Motty & Patti are heading for El Paso in the morning so I hope we’ll see them again out here somewhere  on the highways & bi-ways of the wild & wooly west.  Ok, see ya later guys:))

We made some more progress on our new Delorme GPS unit today, or I guess I should say Kelly has.  We took it along to Sierra Vista this morning & Kelly was able to do some reading in the GPS manual & figure a few more things out.  We're slowly getting there.  I tried making a phone call with it this morning & was having a great conversation with something until Kelly told me it wasn't a cell phone & could not be used as one!!  Oh well, like I said.......I'm not the brightest crayon in the package:))



Well, I'm gonna wind this up, go get a crowbar & see if I can pry that new computer out of it's box & see if I can find the 'Start' button.  Maybe I can even tune in an old frumpy Star Trek episode or something.  Or was that on television years ago.  Oh well, here I go, wish me luck........................:))

GROANER'S CORNER:((  Old age is when former classmates are so gray, wrinkled, and bald, they don't recognize you anymore.




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

Friday, January 30, 2009



Being parked on a large slab of concrete is sure helpful in keeping the motorhome a bit cleaner. Four dusty boots & 12 dusty paws can sure haul a lot of the old west into the rig in a hurry. There was some kind of mining operation on this hill years ago with a bunch of concrete pads poured for buildings. The buildings are long gone but the slabs are still here making for a great boondocking spot. Even though we have a mat & doggy bed outside for Checkers on the concrete, she always manages to find a pile of dirt to flop in & laze the sunny days away. I call her the old dust bucket dog. AFTERNOON SIESTA FOR THE BIG DUST BUCKET DOG

It was nice to look out our window this morning & see 5 cows standing outside the rig looking back at us. Across the valley the sun was lighting up the Huachuca mountain range just west of Sierra Vista. Heard a couple of ravens somewhere nearby & the sounds of the cows moooooing down by the water tank sure made for a nice morning. The warming rays of the morning sun soon pushed the night's cold air off down the valley & we had the start of another beautiful day here in southeastern Arizona.

Broke my garden rake on some tough ground while making a new firepit but with a little duct tape & a band-it clamp I had it back in operation good as new. Kelly headed into Sierra Vista around 9:30 & I was sooooooo glad she let me stay here at the camp. Groceries, laundry, & of course, the shopping thing was just not up my alley. Plus, when your traveling like this in an RV it's good for each other to have their own space at times. So, it didn't me long to get a campfire going & haul out my favorite old western CD. Slipped it into the rigs CD player, cranked up the volume & stretched out on the lounge chair outside as "The Sons of the Pioneers" took me back to days long ago in the old wild west. Blue Shadows On The Trail, Ghost Riders In The Sky, Tumbling Tumbleweeds, Along The Santa Fe Trail, Red River Valley, Wagon Wheels, Moonlight On The Prairies, Peace In The Valley, Rainbow's End, Along The Navajo Trail, Empty Saddles In The Old Corral, Cool Water, I'm An Old Cow Hand From The Rio Grande just to name a few. And of course my favorite, Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie. The Sons of the Pioneers have a beautiful harmony & their rendition of this song is superb.

We are camped in the Tombstone Hills & the old west town of Tombstone is only about 3 miles over the hills to the northeast. While listening to these songs one wonders about the characters who lived & died there back in the 1800's. Charleston is just down the road with it's own wild west history as is other small ghost towns nearby. As I look out over the hills nearby I can almost see the riders on horseback making their way through the sage & mesquite along dusty trails between the ranches & towns. They may have passed over this very spot where I'm sitting here typing this. Cochise & Geronimo roamed these hills & the U.S. Cavalry was based about 9 miles from here at Fort Huachuca. This area is rich in American history, legends, ghost towns, & wandering spirits. Over the next month or so we hope to visit many of these places & with a bit of luck, maybe feel the legendary spirits of the old west .

Kelly made it back from Sierra Vista around 3:30 with lots of groceries, a new doggy toy for the gang, & a couple of new T-shirts for me. The T-shirts had been marked down 75% at Marshalls. Most of my T-shirts look like they've taken a heavy load of buckshot:(( They haven't:))


The temperatures started falling around 5 so we retreated indoors & that was about it for another day. No idea where we're headed to-morrow yet, but I hope it's another canyon hike somewhere.................. THE WHETSTONE MOUNTAIN RANGE

No, this is not a vacation.....this is a lifestyle:))


Tuesday, January 27, 2009



We are about 3500 feet above sea level here so cooler temperatures are to be expected. And cooler temps it was this morning when we headed out on our morning hike. Had on my flannel lined winter pants, T-shirt, 2 long sleeved shirts, & my lined army jacket. Kelly had to wear mitts & a knitted woolen hat. We could see our breath & there was some steam coming off the San Pedro river. EARLY MORNING SUNRISE

Decided to head out & see if we could find the few remains of the old mining ghost town of Charleston. Found a path on the southwest side of the river that didn't look to overgrown so off we went. It was a beautiful looking morning with the rising sun low on the eastern horizon. The well worn path led through tall grasses as we followed the San Pedro north. There was evidence that cattle were in the area as well although we never did see any. We could hear the twittering of many birds in the cottonwoods but they were hard to see. I don't have a good bird lens for my camera, but maybe someday. We could only imagine how pretty this must be when all the leaves are on the trees & all the tall grasses, green. The river itself looked very clear & clean. We got into some heavy mesquite underbrush in places but the path was easy to follow for the most part. Occasionally we would see things dropped along the way by the illegal aliens that obviously use this path as well. Socks, an old shirt, & other paraphernalia. At one point we found a complete backpack with empty water & juice containers inside. Tire marks in the dry wash sand nearby suggested Border Patrol!! ON THE TRAIL OF A GHOST TOWN

We finally reached a point along the river where it narrowed & a log was across the water. A fellow on the RV Net had said when we reached the river narrows, to head up the bank & hill to our west. It was a short steep climb & Kelly waited with the dogs while I scooted up onto a plateau with a lot of mesquite trees & underbrush. The large hills were in front of me about a quarter mile away. I followed a path through the brush & then it ended. It was obvious from looking around me that I was not going to find a few old adobe foundations in the ground. I felt I was probably close to the old ghost town but there was no point in going any further so I headed back through the mesquite & down the steep bank where the gang was waiting. We re-traced our steps back along the trail & followed the river back to Charleston road & our rig. We had been gone about 2 hours, the temps had warmed up, & with all our winter clothes on we were doing some pretty good sweating by the time we got back. IT'S THE OLD GROUCH HIMSELF

Around 11 as we were relaxing in our chairs & soaking up some sun we heard a vehicle pull into the parking lot behind us & head our way. When we heard the "Wooop Wooop" of a siren we knew the jig was up & we were probably going to have to move. It was the BLM Ranger & another fellow who looked like a bonafide S.W.A.T. team member. These two guys were carrying more firepower than what the whole Canadian Army has in it's entire arsenal. Guns, ammo clips, clubs, etc. etc. These guys were loaded for bear!! (and drug smugglers) As Canadians, we're not used to being that close to & seeing all that artillery. They were both nice fellas & just informed us that overnight camping was not permitted in that parking lot & we would have to move on. The BLM guy told us of a spot just up the road towards Tombstone that we could re-locate too.....and that's just what we did. Took us about half an hour to get things squared away, waved good-bye to the Charleston road parking lot & headed up the road.

Wow, is this new spot ever great. We now have a spectacular view of the whole valley to our southwest. Sierra Vista is laid out below us about 10 miles on the far side of the valley & nestled under the Huachuca Mountains. We can see for miles & miles all the way down into Mexico. The town of Tombstone is only about 4 miles east of us & the area we are in right now is called, The Tombstone Hills. At this very moment as I'm typing this I can look straight out our window & see the long horizontal ribbon of shimmering lights in the distance that is the city of Sierra Vista. Almost as far as the eye can see from left to right the lights resemble a long thin gold twinkling chain with flecks of sparkling red rubies, glittering white diamonds & pinpoints of emerald green lights thrown in for good measure. Reminded me of driving down from the mountains into Las Vegas one night back in the mid 90's. And above all this in front of me is the black velvet sky with it's own awesome showcase of stars. You will never see things like this sitting in RV Parks!!


We spent the rest of the day doing some cleaning & just basically sitting outside soaking up the view in front of us. Last week, Kelly had posted some questions about this region on the RV Net Forum. Several people from the area responded & that is how we came to meet Sergeant John to-day. John lives over near Elfrida & works at the Fort Huachuca Army Base in Sierra Vista so he commutes the very road we're camped near, twice a day. He had given us his phone number & said to give him a call when we're in the area, so to-day, that is what we did & John stopped in to see us on his way home from Fort Huachuca this afternoon. Nice fellow, retired from the Army 20 years ago but still active on the base in another capacity. John & his wife are RV'ers also & said for us to come on over & stay a spell if we like, so we just may do that later on.

Around 4:30 a white pick-up truck pulled in with an ATV in the back & two young fellows in the cab. They were going hunting back up in the hills & just stopped to say hello. Nice fellas. Just before supper another pick-up truck approached & stopped. A well seasoned older couple got out to see how we were doing. Nice folks & we had quite a chat. Turns out they lease this land & have a lot of grazing cattle they look after. They also have another cattle ranch up around Benson. Their son has the place across the road here. Sure is a lot of friendly folks in these parts.

We received an email to-night from the folks we will be ranch sitting for next month & they said for us to come on down this Friday. So, if we don't get blowed off this big hilltop by a roaring Arizona wind by then, we'll head over to the McNeal area at the end of the week. And, I might add, as long as we don't get frozen to this hilltop as well. Temps are dipping to well below freezing to-night......................................:(( CHECKERS LOVES TO BE OUTSIDE