My Journey

Ghostdancer.....sadly I agree with you completely.....tobacco just sucks.....

gethigh.....good to hear.....thanks.....

Continuing to retrace our previous route, we pulled into Tucson the following afternoon. I had a few things that I needed (and still need) to get done here. First on the to do list was to drop off a big, fat check to my investment company that I picked up on my way out of Yuma. And the reason I had this big, fat check was that my big, fat Renegade motor home had sold. Yep.....what a load of stress relief that was.....

Next on the agenda was to purchase a new phone since the iPhone 7 finally died. I went with the Galaxy S9+ due to it's superior camera with dual lenses and its ability to zoom. I really enjoy posting here and hope to increase the quality of my photos. It's going to take some time to make the switch I think. Expedition Portal does not seem to like this phone one bit.

Anyhow we spent Saturday in downtown Tucson on 4th Avenue watching people getting ripped for St. PATRICK'S Day. I couldn't quite figure out why so many guys were wearing dresses that day.....

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Sunday morning started with another car show which was also on 4th Avenue.....

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Then it was off to the airport to pick up a friend. I'll have a travel buddy with me once again. Sometimes that's a good thing.....and sometimes, well.....

I mentioned that I just purchased the new Samsung Galaxy S9+ so I'm trying to play with the dual lenses and see what I can do. Unfortunately I have to resize all my photos to lowest resolution to post here. A few samples from an evening walk near downtown Tucson.....

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Next on the agenda was addressing the issues with the Jeep. I had hoped that returning to Yuma and giving my Baja mechanic 8 days to repair it would be adequate. It wasn't.....so I dropped it off at a shop in Tucson to see what the heck was going on. To make a long story short, the $1,500 rear axle that he installed was no good. And if that wasn't bad enough, it turned out that he used the wrong set of gears as the front axle are 3:55 and he used 4:11 gears for the rear axle. Fortunately I didn't put it into 4 wheel drive.....

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So now we had a few more days to kill around Tucson.....we headed for Coronado National Forest, just to the east of Tucson. After maybe a 20 mile drive we found ourselves a great spot with killer views overlooking the city of Tucson.....
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The evening was spent outside watching the sunset over the Tucson valley.....

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I tried to get some pictures of Tucson all lit up during the night with the moon shining above but no luck there. Really loving it up here.....
 
JD.....thanks.....

It felt so good to get into some back country living again. We were up early with plans to hike to the top of Reddington Pass to have a look to the east. But we never made it there. We came across a trail and decided to check it out. A short walk down the trail we came across this sign.....and it really peaked our interests.....

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Turns out that there's a beautiful stream in the canyon to the south of us......

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It'd been 8 days since we left the canals of Yuma, so we spent the morning exploring the creek bed and wondering about that sign that said "DANGEROUS WATERFALL".....we really wanted to see that. We asked around with no luck so in the peak of the afternoon sun, we returned to the creek to bathe.....

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Hanging around the campsite later in day, I noticed an informal trail running towards the canyon. Of course we checked it out and came across this.....

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Now the question was how to get there (of course). A Google search of the area showed us the route and late in the afternoon, Tanner and I were on our way.....

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Unfortunately we didn't make it to the waterfall that evening. It was getting late, an unexpected meeting with another hiker that recommended I not take Tanner further, turned us around. Apparently the last quarter mile is quite steep.....

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We finished our day with another beautiful sunset sitting by a campfire.....
 
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azken

Observer
Hope everything continues to level out for you..quite some ordeals..looking forward to continue reading your posts.
 
azken.....everything is going great these days. Selling the Renegade motor home was huge, and the Northern Lite truck camper is working out perfectly. Soon I'll have a nearly rebuilt Jeep as well. I'm having these guys in Tucson do a ton more work.....

Brian.....glad you're enjoying.....thanks for chiming in.....

We started out our third day in the "forest" with a hike to the "summit" of Reddington Pass. From our campsite you'd think it wasn't going to be much of a hike. Well, that was wrong thinking without a doubt. We ended up with a 6.5 mile round trip hike.....poor old Yukon.....still this morning she has trouble moving. No spectacular views up there.....

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We stopped by the creek on the way back to cool down.....

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It never fails to amaze me the way a Retriever can find a ball just about anywhere.....

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In the afternoon I decided to have some alone time so I made another go at the waterfalls (Tanque Verde Falls). It's a pretty good scramble through the boulders.....

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Right before the falls are 2 steep sections on fairly slippery rock. A fall would definitely ruin one's day. But it was well worth the work and the risk.....the falls and the pool below were simply amazing, the water almost as cold as ice.....and yes, I did go swimming.....

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Since there's no scale to the pictures, I'll tell you that they're really high (Google said 80').....

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And then it was another evening sitting by a campfire watching the sunset.....

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And this morning's sunrise.....

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Still waiting on the Jeep.....the shop called last night and said something about the steering linkage falling off, and finding mud in the rear axle (?), and so I just wait.....

UPDATE.....just off the phone with the shop.....the Jeep will be done by close of business today and we will finally be back on the road.....I've got some big plans for the remainder of 2018.....
 
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hscoots

New member
hi Jerry,
I normally don't post here, only just read other's experiences. Took me few days but went through all your pages, but thanks for documenting your travels. I also have 2 dogs(although nowhere patient as yours) and glad to see you taking them out for adventures, also sorry about Montana. I see you were in Nepal in 2015. I reside in US now, have been for a while, but am originally from Nepal. I was in Nepal for my brother's wedding when the earthquake came down and everything shutdown pretty much. Reading your airport experience is pretty funny, its always the norm that flights are delayed, no point going in on time. They are in process of expanding the airport however.
Anyway looking forward to more of your posts. If you pass by Utah sometime, say hi. :)
 
hscoots.....thanks for the invitation ! What an incredible country Nepal is and I have so many fond memories of my travels and the wonderful people that I met in Nepal. If not for my love of dogs, I would return in a heartbeat. Thanks for posting.....

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I generally try to live by a rule of not traveling after 3:00 p.m. as it's not always easy to find that free spot to overnight. But I'll say I was super excited to finally have the Jeep repaired so it was 5:00 p.m. when I departed Tucson and headed east. After a short time on the interstate, we headed south and back into Coronado National Forest. It didn't take long to find an acceptable spot for the night..... a roadside table, a small parking lot, and 2 grave markers (now that was unexpected).....

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Woke up to a beautiful morning sky.....

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Out on our morning hike, approximately 200' beyond our campsite, we came across a forest service road that led us into the mountains and then onto the Arizona Trail. We got a good 4 miles in....

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We were back on the road with a late morning start and soon entered Sonoita, Arizona. Man.....this is some incredibly beautiful country.....it seemed as though we had left the desert behind but we only saw from the windows of the truck, and I'd wished afterwards that I'd hung out here a bit, but I had Tombstone, Arizona on my mind. So many people in Yuma said I had to see Tombstone (honestly, I thought it sounded stupid).....a whole section of the town built to resemble an old cowboy town.....what the heck, I went for it.....

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Maybe this guy was the most interesting sighting in Tombstone and I swear I have no idea how he fits into the whole western town scene.....

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Suffice it to say.....I still think that Tombstone is stupid (unless of course you're a child).....

Next stop.....the border town of Douglas, Arizona.....

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We arrived in Douglas, Arizona just in time to catch the staff at the Visitor Center. When I mentioned that we planned to overnight at the local Walmart they immediately insisted that I stay in their lot. We checked in with the police station next door and set up camp. What a nice gesture and such a difference from the welcomes that I'm encountering in so many towns.....

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Douglas is like so many old towns that you pass through in the states these days. Once there was a thriving business community built along the main street, but times have changed, and businesses have changed with the times. Now its strip malls and fast food restaurants that flourish, and the main streets are dying. Douglas may be one of the finer examples of this. It seems as though most buildings are vacant.....for sale or for rent.....

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I walked up and down main street (actually G Avenue) more times than I could count. Always so empty and it almost seemed like I'd took a step back in time.....

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We had lunch at a small cafe named the Blueberry Cafe. I chatted with the owner and she said that after 9 months of operating she had yet to make a profit.....but she was still hopeful.....my food and drink were fantastic.....

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Everyone in town said that we had to check out the Gadsen Hotel, built in 1906. It's been restored to it's days of glory and was truly beautiful.....

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Saturday night ended on a sad note as we took an evening drive outside of town. It's been quite sometime since I've seen so many emergency vehicles at one time. Unfortunately a border control agent was hit by a car travelling at 55 mph while he was patrolling on his ATV. I saw his body on the road and it was a tough one to see. This morning I was told by the town police that he's still alive.....

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Douglas is a friendly town, but now it's time to explore beyond it.....
 

Grenadiers

Adventurer
Small town America started dying decades ago, long before Walmarts nailed that coffin shut. Think back to the first Ben Franklin stores, other dime stores, JC Penney, etc. All contributed to the creation of the myth of small-town America. Then toss in the aging and dying demographics of towns like Douglas, stores close. Then, rural America votes...........thinking it will all come back. Nope. Unless of course, using the railroad analogy of days gone by, if there's a reason for people to stop in these towns to shop, drink, stay, etc., you have a tourist destination. Arizona is a great example of how this can happen. However, the 'base' economy needs to be there so the little cafes can survive on local business outside of the tourists. My guess, your cafe doesn't have more than just the old people in town who buy coffee, nothing else, read the paper, stay for hours. My wife and I owned a very rural destination restaurant along the Mississippi River in Wisconsin for 10 years, and had plenty of these so-called customers that loved the ambience, but apparently, left their wallets at home~! However, didn't matter, we did very well, retired at 58 after selling the place. I'll never work a restaurant ever again~!
 
Grenadiers.....I always feel bad for small restaurants and the like when I pass through. I seem to order more than I want, and tip big.....my small way of saying thanks.....and trying to make a small difference.....

Across the border from Douglas, Arizona is the Mexican border town of Aqua Prieta.....

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My Google searches told me that there isn't much to see on the other side of the border, but that didn't stop us from trying to find something interesting. But Google searches seemed to be right on.....we didn't see much here.....

There was another stop at a street vendor in the park for a Sunday afternoon lunch.....

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A beautiful church viewed from the center square where we had lunch.....

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Interesting to see that people made their home in railroad cars (notice the dish on top).....

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We spent two days in Aqua Prieta, Mexico walking the streets and then it was time to move on. From Douglas we drove northeast on Arizona Route 80.....

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We did a little hiking on a forest service road in the Pedregosa Mountains.....


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We continued northeast and finally after nearly 3 months spent in Arizona we crossed a state line and entered New Mexico.....

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The drive along Route 80 was spectacular, and leaving Arizona, the seemingly always blue, clear skies, and the desert behind felt very good. As we travel east both the skies and the land change immensely, and the weather as well. After a brief time on Interstate 10, we headed northeast on New Mexico Route 90 and climbed to over 6,000' in elevation into the Burro Mountains. We found ourselves a secluded spot in the Gila National Forest, right on the Continental Divide, to camp for a night or two, and get some hiking in.....

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Ashton

Newbie
Ooooh, yall are in my home lands! So many wonderful spots there. If you get a chance, go up to the Gila Hot Springs and spend the ridiculously low price to camp there and enjoy their amazing (dog friendly) area.

Silver City is a nice little town, great scene 'down town'. The Toad and Tranquil Buzz (off the main drag, on Yankee St) are two of my favorite spots. If you end up there for a while, April has the Tour of the Gila (an intl bicycle race) and the blues festival later in the summer. Glenwood is about 60 miles from SC, and has hot springs, great camping and hiking and some neat very small town vibes.

My home is in Gila... not much to see there, but there is a great place called Box Canyon... very open and usually secluded during the week. The Gila River (you crossed a couple times in AZ, i'm sure) runs nice and calm through the area (though run off may have changed that!). Closer to Silver City is the Dragonfly trail, near Ft. Bayard Historical park. The campus of WNMU has some great sporting events, a couple small museums and a theatre (movies and plays are put on regularly during the school year). My alma mater, go Mustangs!

The area is saturated with police types, we have too many departments in the area. City, county, state, border, federal agencies and the campus police. They can be a bit assholish to out-of-towners, as a large part of their budget comes from tickets. Follow those speed limits, especially in town, and you should be fine.
 

Ashton

Newbie
Oh, and I wouldn't be a good host if I didn't mention the small colorful (mostly red) trailer on the highway side of the downtown bridge. It serves some of the best mexican food in town (and in the area), ran by two wonderful abulitas (grandmothers). I go there every time I'm home. The torta lingua is amazing.

There is also a dog park up 12th street, just below the college. Don't know if your roo's like that sort of thing, but it's there and a nice space to let them run free. Also, you would be well served to go check out Pinos Altos and it's history (as well as the Buckhorn Saloon). Some great gold rush (and earlier) historical sites and buildings up there.

The pink church, as locals call it (St. Vincent Parish) on Market St is an awesome piece of architecture, and is easily walkable from downtown and the museums around there. It also happens to be right around the corner from the first house I ever occupied in Silver City, and another apartment I lived in for a time.
 

Ashton

Newbie
Oh, and last but not least... if you end up in Gila, NM (just down the road) look for Airport Mesa Rd. There is a great boondocking spot at the top of the mesa that looks northwest... great for sunsets and general views. Also, sits right above the valley where my house is. We don't mind people there a couple days at a time and if you can deal with the open grazing land around you, it's a pretty awesome place to be.
 
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