Wednesday, December 9, 2020

A Ride In the Shadow of the Santa Rita Mountains

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

We will leave here in the morning and head west and honestly we are not exactly sure where we will eventually land. The only thing we know is it will be somewhere in the desert and we will be boondocking. Yesterday we took a ride over to Tombstone and did a walk up and down Allen Street. It was really quiet. The only other time we remember so few people walking around was when we were there in the evening. I do have pictures but they will be in the next post.

December 4-6, 2020

Nothing to exciting going on around here. I have been getting two packages ready to mail out before we leave here on the 10th. Last year I did really well getting everything wrapped for Christmas and left at our kid's homes. This year I tasked our daughters with buying the gifts for the grandchildren. They know a lot more about what their children want.  I do still like to send a small, okay large, box out. So that is what I have been doing. While I was doing that Tom went out and cleaned the windows and we can now see out without the streaks from when he washed the Stinger "B".  Next project, which we both have been putting off, is to get the sun/tint film off the windows. It is bubbling up and honestly distorts our view. 

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Today I decided to put up a few Christmas decorations. I know we will be moving in less then a week but I just felt like we needed a little Christmas Spirit.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

We decided to take a ride over to an area our friends Melissa and Lyle mentioned, it is off of AZ-93 just west of the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area. This ride took us near the Kentucky Camp and we rode with the Santa Rita Mountains to the west of us. It was a lovely ride with views to match. 

So the problem for me with this new format, besides the whole uploading pictures issue, is as of today it will not let me write a caption under the picture. I can still write under the pictures it is just more convenient to just click the  "A" and write. If anyone has had this issue and knows the solution I would appreciate your input. 

We have left Quail Ridge and our headed west on AZ-82.

The Santa Rita Mountains in the distance 
with lovely grasslands in between.

Sonoita welcome sign.

Another metal sculpture just north of Sonoita on AZ-83

Heading North on AZ-83

Turning left off of AZ-83 we are headed west 
on Forest Road-92

We saw what looked like a couple of camping spots not far 
down the road it looks like you need a pass to stay here.

Then we say this sign. Good to know.

The road was not awful but at times 
was like riding on a "washboard".

The grass is a beautiful golden color

and we are driving through open range.

Even though we could see a gate ahead we chose to 
check out straight ahead first.

Not much to see here. There was a sign on the gate saying, 
This site is part of a global network of places recognized for 
their outstanding value to bird conservation.

Boulder Crest Retreat first opened in Virginia in September 2013 as the nation’s first private wellness center in the country serving service members and their families. Earlier this year, BCR acquired the space for their Arizona project. The Arizona Facility opened in December of 2017.  BCR Arizona is committed to improving the well being of our nation’s Veterans. They focus on physical, emotional, spiritual, and economic health ensuring Veterans have the opportunity to live lives of passion and purpose.

Both locations offer free, short duration high impact programs based on the science of post-traumatic growth. The Arizona location is on 130 acres of land and features five star lodging, an archery range, horses, a labyrinth, a tipi, hiking trails, playground, fishing pond and a walled garden. It is located within minute so the historic Arizona National Scenic Trail. Therapeutic activities include archery, equine therapy, horticulture, culinary therapy, journaling, yoga, and meditation.

These retreats are open to combat Veterans (defined as anyone who deployed to a war zone) from any generation and conflict. They welcome active-duty, reserve and National Guard service members, as well as Veterans and their families.

BCR hopes to revolutionize a model of healing that integrates evidence-based therapies, a safe, peaceful space to improve physical, emotional, spiritual and economic well-being for our nation’s combat Veterans and their families. (Information found on the Internet.)

Apache Springs Ranch is nestled in the high-desert wilderness of the Santa Rita Mountains, deep inside the Coronado National Forest. It is ideally suited as a gathering place to reconnect with ourselves, nature and each other. Groups of 12-30 guests regularly use our ranch as a place to host multi-day events offering healing and renewal. (Information found on Internet.)

Standing by the fence I could see several horses grazing.

Next we turned onto Gardner Canyon Road.

The Santa Rita Mountains in front of us and 
the Apache Springs Ranch was on our left.

We stopped here so I could take a picture. It looked to me like 
there was water at the bottom of the hill so took a walk down.

We stood there a minute and decided to turn around.
It was definitely a hole filled with water and it was 
hard to tell how deep and not worth the rest of the ride. 

As nice as the walk down was

the only way back 

is always up.

There were a few of these along the road today.
I know it is a Cholla and I believe it is a Cane Cholla.

The ranch is now on our right and I took a few pictures.

None of which will do justice 

to its beauty and just how vast it looked.

Prickly Pear Cactus

What a truly beautiful place to spend some quiet time.

Heading back.

There are several large flat camping areas along this road.
They are all fenced in and most were occupied by hunters.

The sites were numbered and as I mentioned fenced.

Then we saw several Javelinas cross the road ahead.

Turning off of FH-92 we are on FH-163 and though the
road did get rough in spots not far down there were RV's
parked and camping.

For information about Santa Rita Abbey click here

Santa Rita Abbey is a Cistercian monastery, a school of charity and of the Lord’s service. They follow the Rule of St. Benedict with its balance of prayer, work and sacred reading shared in a monastic community.

It is a place where love of God, neighbor, and all creation come together in a life of prayer, sincere conversion, humble service, simplicity and joy.

They were founded in 1972 in the high desert of Southern Arizona, a land of wide vistas and large sky where our monastery nestles in the foothills of the Santa Rita Mountains.  The Abbey is a monastic place, a place in which the sisters’ simple life, their fidelity to silence, the sacred word, and liturgy offer a glimpse into a simpler way of life.

Individual retreats are offered:  they do not give spiritual counseling or talks.  Retreatants are free to attend the sisters’ liturgical services from the guest chapel, or choose to enjoy the peace of the Retreat House chapel, their rooms or the majestic outdoors. (Information found on the internet.)

I just liked this tree

and this one.

The mountains and the golden grass with dots of green
a perfect view.

Not far down we passed by several large flat areas for camping.

We reached the Kentucky Camp 

and the gate was closed.

After reading about the this place when I looked it up today two things come to mind. First one of us should have done some research before heading over there and second we should have walked down the road.  

Kentucky Camp is a ghost town and former mining camp along the Arizona Trail in Pima County, Arizona, United States, near the community of Sonoita. The Kentucky Camp Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been since 1995. As it is located within Coronado National Forest, the United States Forest Service is responsible for the upkeep of the remaining buildings within the Kentucky Camp Historic District. For more information click here.

I stood near the above sign and took the next four pictures of the views surrounding us. 

A little ways down FH-163 we saw this guy

and several friends who very nicely moved off the road
so we could pass by.

This was my favorite view of the day. 

At this point we did not know we had turned off of FH-163
and the road got a little rougher, curvy and headed downhill.

Then we were in the open going up hill.
Whenever I spot a Century Plant in the distance
I think of the first time I saw one. 
From a distance I thought there were birds on the branches.

Looking back over where we came through.

Then on our left there was this road with a sign saying 229 
this is when we realized somewhere back behind us we 
turned off of 163. Best I can tell we were on 
a grey line on our map that had no name.

Turning on to 92 we knew we were getting close to AZ-83.

Another one of the signs coming into Sonoita this one is
on AZ-83 as you are heading south.

Back on  AZ-82 we are heading home and 
we can see the mountains in the distance.

Close to Quail Ridge we decided to take a ride 

down Sands Ranch Road. It looked like we would ride up to 

the Whetstone Mountains. It dead ended here.

I did get a picture of the sun setting behind 
the mountains on the way back to AZ-82.

I wanted to run into the Dollar Tree so we continued on to
Sierra Vista. The ever present Aerostat Radar System.

It was our lucky day
 a second sunset behind the Huachuca Mountains.

I do not know about anyone else but I cannot believe it is December all ready.  We are into the third month of this Adventure and it hardly seems possible how quickly the time has gone by. 

We are glad you stopped by!
If you have time to leave a comment we would enjoy hearing from you.


  1. What a great way to start my day with all your gorgeous pictures of the desert.

  2. Yes you should have walked down the road. Kentucky Camp is where the miners stayed while working the mines in this area. There is a gorgeous old house with walk-around porch you can enter and sit for awhile. You can even make reservations to stay there or in the other cabin on the property. Cool place to visit.

    I have had the same problem with photos, but mostly in the uploading of them. For some reason it is now taking FOREVER!!!

    1. If one of us would have looked it up before hand we would have. I guess that means we will just have to take that ride again.

      I probably should not tempt fate but I am no longer having trouble uploading the pictures. I actually have been uploading 3 or 4 in the right order but now when I click on the "A" I get the words "add caption" but I cannot type anything. Which is slightly frustrating.

  3. I do love the Sonoita signs and markers.
    We've yet to see javelinas, such funny little things!
    Beautiful scenery, I love the ranch gates, we need one for the Ridge. Although the clay one for Apache Springs is my favourite.
    I can't believe it has been 3 months either!!

    1. From the little we could see of the Apache Springs Ranch from the road everything about it from the gates to buildings and grounds was beautiful.
      It seems like with each passing year time is picking up speed. Stay safe.

  4. Wonderful pictures that bring back a lot of memories. Wishing we were there.
    On the Old Blogger Format Every time you uploaded a picture the Caption menu was there. On the New Blogger Format you need to click on the Picture and a faint menu will appear showing Icons only. Putting your cursor over the letter "A" it will say "Add Caption".
    What I miss is being able to upload Bulk Pictures instead of One at a time.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    1. Thank you, Rick. Wish you guys were out this way, also.
      I truly hope at some point they are going to fix some of the stuff on this New Blogger Format. Though I will say, knock on wood, I have been able to download more then one picture at a time the last couple of blogs. The issue now is I click on that "A" and it will not let me type any thing. Take care.

  5. What a beautiful drive. You drive more in a day than I do in a week. I need to pick up speed. Hope you come to Ajo today. Beautiful weather ahead. Loved your pictures.

    1. It was a beautiful drive and next time we will walk into Kentucky Camp. I think we really missed out not doing that. Glad you liked the pictures.

  6. I love following along on your drives and appreciate the pictures and captions. Your decorations look nice and I'm looking forward to seeing where you land next.

    1. Glad to hear you are enjoying following along on our drives. It is always nice to hear that.
      Thank you. Once we land in the next place we will decorate outside.

  7. gorgeous pictures once again! Yes, this new blogger definitely isn't better!!! I can't believe you've been gone 3 months already! Enjoy your travel where ever you end up. I'd invite you here, but the temps are running 12 to 15 in the am and 40 something afternoon with the possibility of snow this weekend. (I'm hoping only because it's Christmas time)..xoxox

    1. Thank you.
      I know it was a surprise to realize we were into the 3rd month. Those temperatures do not sound inviting especially since we are here to get away from the cold. Though seeing you and Ken would help. I hope you get your snow. I will admit the one thing I do miss on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and only those two days is snow. Lots of Hugs!!!