January 9, 2017 by
Filed under: Arizona 2016 

On Wednesday morning we left Bisbee and continued southeast on Hwy 80 toward Douglas and the Mexican border. We didn’t have a firm plan for the day. The “itinerary” called for a visit to Chiricahua National Park on Thursday morning to catch a tram up to a trailhead and then hike back to park headquarters, a trek of 10 miles or so. There were two issues with plan – the weather forecasters were calling for rain and we had to be there to catch the tram at 8:30AM. This was a bit inconvenient since the nearest motels were in Willcox, a 45-minute drive away and we aren’t voluntary early risers. We decided to go and check out the park. We didn’t have much else to do or see anyway.

Just west of Douglas we turned north on Hwy 191. A few minutes up the road we were stopped at a checkpoint operated by border guards. We had seen another one north of Tombstone and presumed it to be a second line of defense in the war on illegal immigration, before the new Great Wall is built. The guard took one look at us and said we could carry on. He didn’t even ask us to pop the trunk, which disappointed me a little for some reason. We obviously didn’t fit the profile as “coyotes” or whatever they call the people-smugglers.

We found Chiricahua and were amazed when we parked at Massai Point. Luckily we took some photos before a weather system moved in and obliterated the scenery. The stone pillars were created by volcanic activity and erosion. I won’t try to explain it further. If you’re interested, ask the Great Google.

Massai Point

The land of “Standing Up Rocks”.

Pillars of stone.

Stacked rocks.

Leaning precariously.

Despite the rain we decided to hike the Echo Canyon trail, approximately 3.6 miles past stone grottoes, a forested valley, a creek, desert and various cacti.

Ron under a rock.

Leaning on a friend.

It was a great hike and a good decision. We drove to Willcox for the night and woke up the next morning to a terrific rainstorm. Hiking was out of the question that day.



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