Wednesday, March 31, 2021

MORE Trials and Tribulations ...

 HOME SWEET HOME!!  I always seem to be in a hurry to get from home to home.  Next time I'm going to stay in each rest spot TWO DAYS!!  I'm exhausted, mostly from the stress of pulling a trailer bigger than my horse trailer, which was BIG and included living quarters.  

I'm sorry to say this stop at Orange Grove RV Park wasn't the greatest.  Instead of my usual spot farthest from the traffic (which I forgot to ask for), I'm SURE I was 15 feet from the freeway.  Add to that the hustle and bustle, including the yelling, of many new RV owners screaming at each other while trying to get parked.  

Of course even though they were staying only one night, they put out the water hose, the sewer hose (25 feet long), along with every bucket and flashing light set known to man.  All I ever do is plug in my power.  

Sleep wasn't in the cards.  I usually stuff pillows in the windows to silence the noise a tad, but the window is three feet by five.  By 6:00 am I was ready to pull out.  This is a first .... two dogs who hate each other in the SAME CHAIR!!

I was pretty nervous about hitting all that construction in Bakersfield on Hwy 99, but lo and behold it was COMPLETE, at least going North.  The Southbound lane was completely stopped for miles.  Woohoo .... I sailed right along at 55 mph.  

When Madera finally came up on the map, I was again surprised to see THAT construction was done, although you would never know it by the shape of the highway.   

I counted my chickens too soon.  Suddenly there was a sign that said SPLIT LANES.  Oh no ... I know what THAT means.  Chicken Little starting screaming in my ear!!  The concrete barriers appeared on both sides with barely enough room for my TRUCK, let alone that huge trailer.  

Although I desperately wanted to look in the mirrors to see exactly where the side of the trailer was, I didn't dare take my eyes off the road for even one second.  The speed limit was 55 ... I was down to 40 in a flash.  I'm sure the truck drivers appreciated that, but I'm here to guess there was barely 12 inches on each side.  NO KIDDING!!  I held my breath the entire way.  At last it widened up a bit and I got up to 50 mph, but it went on for miles!!

Finally I felt the normal rutted holes and rough patches of the OLD freeway and the trial by fire was over.  BIG sigh of relief.  That's when it hit me!!  It's a good thing there isn't any Mister around.  I never did find those socks and I wore this shirt for TWO days.  Add to that I forgot to put soap in the rig, and where the heck is the deodorant???  I did find my comb, but you sure couldn't tell after three days of wind!!

The next trial loomed big.  Backing in to my driveway.  It's a long back with a sweeping curve, just before skimming through a ten foot wide steel gate at an angle to the back fence.  Even "I" had to laugh at the carnival.  I bet I pulled forward five times trying to get it straight.  This will take a LOT more practice.  

Finally inside the gate ..... now figure out the controls and unhook.  At least I remembered the chocks, but don't really know which tires to put them on.  I got the front jacks down and the truck pulled away when I hit the hitch height button so it would remember that exact height.  

BLINK BLINK BLINK ... and OH NO!  It's RED!!  I tried everything, but nothing would make the red light happy.  NONE of the buttons would work.  Finally in frustration I called Bill Richards who does walk throughs for Grand Design rigs in Canada.  The poor guy is going to be sorry he gave me his phone number!!  

At any rate, I finally found a sticker that said to hit the RETRACT ALL button to clear the blink.  I'm afraid .... so afraid!  Bill said it wouldn't hit the ground, but it might go very low.  Finally in desperation I hit the button.  The blinking stopped!  YAY!!!!!   And then it leveled itself.  I can't tell you how elated I was!!  Hopefully Bill doesn't change his phone number, but at least now I know he's 3 hours later than me so I don't call him at midnight.

And so we are home without incident.  It's a good day.  Even Miss Jessie thinks so since she finally knows where the door is!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Two Days Down, One to Go

 First off, thank you Bill for the advice.  Yes I knew I probably should put the front jacks down.  I just didn't really want ONE MORE THING that I had to remember or think about!  LOL

We left Quartzsite pretty happy campers since there was no wind and the weather was fabulous.  Even so, I kept an eagle eye on my gauges.  When I was 16, obviously many MANY moons ago, my dad let me drive the big BUICK to San Francisco.  I really didn't pay attention to the gauges until we saw smoke coming from the engine.  The water hose broke.  I got raked over the coals for that one, so now I'm a "gauger".  

On the first leg I got about 10.5 miles per gallon.  More than I expected.  Not that I needed to fuel up, but when it's there, I partake.  Trouble was it took 5 minutes to get $5.00 of fuel since their pumps weren't working.  

By the way, diesel was $2.29 when I came though this station in December.  It's now $3.95 a gallon in case you were wondering.  So WHERE is our fuel oil coming from?  Don't tell me it's summer rates because no one travels through Arizona in the summer and I  have never seen the rates this high at this station.

It took me 25 miles to decide to bypass Lake Havasu City.  I was even in the left lane to go straight ahead when I saw the sign.  TRAFFIC DELAYS 1-2 hours.  All the trucks were turning right, so that's what I did too.  

I think this is before Lake Havasu City.  One of these days I'll find my easy-to-use camera.  Breakfast was on the road, an entire box of crackers I ate to calm my nerves.  Breakfast of Champions!!

The hill out of Havasu was no problem at all.  The hill going into Needles was a killer.  Surprisingly, we cruised right along at 50 mph without overheating or having any problems.  YAHOO!!!

In Needles, the wind was zero.  I celebrated a little too soon however.  By the time I got to Barstow it was 18 mph as I fueled up again (you know, just in case) and 26 mph by the time I got to Boron.  Lucky for me it was a headwind, which kept me in third gear almost the entire way.  

By then I was sore and achey with tension, but I just kept driving, hoping by the time I got to Tehachapi it would let up ..... and it DID!!  Seven hours later I pulled in to the Orange Grove RV Park.  

Somehow this is not how I envisioned the seating arrangements in the rig.  I ended up on the floor while the kids got the cushy heated seats.  

The oranges are all gone, but in their place are beautiful blossoms and the wonderful sweet smell that brings bees from all over the state.  

When I put the slide out this time, I was greeted with this "stick" falling off the top.  It's trim molding with a long strip of sticky tape on the back.  I've no idea where it goes.  Guess I'll just keep it in case I need a little extra.

So far the beautiful blue light under the steps no longer works, nor does the porch light.  I'm very happy however that the fridge is working VERY well.  Now if I can just remember where I put my Advil and socks ... I can't seem to find any socks!!!

Yes, I put the front jacks down!  Thanks Bill .. I need all the help I can get.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Oh What A Trial

My thoughts during the last 24 hours.  The STRESS!!!!  I hope I hook this thing up right.  So much to remember.  Better check my list to be sure I got everything.  Half the stuff that usually rides in the RV will now have to be in the truck.

I'm running out of room.  Breathe ............... just breathe.

Okay, almost there.  Gosh Jonathan, you barely fit through the door of this cage.  Yes you're a pretty boy.  Disco disco kitty kitty.  I really need to get going.  Mirrors ... check.  Jacks ... check.  Back up mirror ... followed by a lot of very bad words.  NO SIGNAL.  I tried everything I could think of.  No luck.

Guess I'll call LazyDays.  RATS!!  Its Sunday, but thank goodness someone answered the phone.  I need a Tech guy please.  PLEASE LET SOMEONE BE THERE ON SUNDAY.  My plan was to leave in 15 minutes.  Hope he calls back quick.  

I'm now freaking out BIG TIME.  Okay ... load the dogs, but I can't catch Cooper.  My little buddy, I know all my stress is being picked up by you, but we need to go.  I chased him around the house.  Finally they are in the back seat.

YAY ... he's calling!!  From Florida?????  This will sound silly he says but start your engine and turn on the headlights.  Not on AUTO but ON.  Okay ... ding ding ding ... the camera came on.  Apparently the camera is wired to the lights on the trailer which do not work unless the lights switch is in the ON position.  Good thing I have two cigarette lighters because I have four things plugged in to them, which you can't see due to the pile of stuff on the front seat.

Big deep breath Nancy ... we are OFF.  Fifteen seconds down the road, more really bad words.  I set the alarm but I did NOT close the garage door.  I frantically called Patty and Dan to come to my rescue.  Good grief, I didn't even get out of the driveway!!!

Please no wind ... please no wind.  Apparently it worked because the only real wind came from a 45 foot RV screaming along at 80 mph.  I got a bit of fish tail with that one.  The big trucks didn't bother me at all.  I kept a really close eye on the gauges and we seemed to do just fine.  Come on my little truck ... you can do this!!!

The trip went flawlessly, except for all the new routines weight lifting the dogs in and out.  I suppose I'll get used to it sooner or later.  I pulled in to the RV park at Quartzsite, praying for a pull through.  Nope ... but I got a back in on the very end.  Instead of a 90 degree turn, it was only about 45 and I made it on the first try.  Woohoo!!  I didn't even have to unhook my truck.

Getting the puppies in and out of the trailer is a pain since I have to lift them up the steps, and of course they are both going opposite directions.  Except for that new gash on the back of my hand where Jessie bit me, we are surviving.  Jon settled in very quickly.  

That was the good news.  The bad news was the trailer door wouldn't close.  The adjustments on the steps had to be made to lower them so the door would shut.  The porch light and the step light don't work, no surprise, but the AC runs, microwave works, although that hot dog wasn't as good as I expected.  I even got the satellite TV to work.

There was no sleeping since I forgot to put Jonathan's heat lamp on the cage, which woke me up at midnight.  I turned the heater off about 1:00 am because the roaring jet woke me up.  SO --- we are doing good, heading out for fuel soon and I'll be back on the road.  Wish us luck!!!

Sunday, March 28, 2021


It was a beautiful day ... sunny with a little breeze, unlike the Vail Gale blowing pollen everywhere.  Elva and Jerry are parked in Tucson for a family visit, so they stopped by to see my new rig.  This is a picture from last month when I visited them.  

We first met where every good RV'er hangs out ... at the laundry in Yuma!  That's Jerry in the window taking the picture!!  I first discovered them on Facebook because not only was the name Jerry Shannon familiar, but he looked like the owner of Shannon Pump ... a cattle ranch mainstay.  Turns out I was wrong.  Different Jerry Shannon.  No matter, we hooked up and have become great friends.  

Although I'm leaving today, I was lucky to contact Elva, Jerry and Doug Laning for a visit.  Of course Yuma came too!  Now you KNOW Jessie would not be having this, so she and Cooper are locked away in the bathroom.  Yuma had the run of the house and made good use of all those idle hands that rubbed his back.

 The talk centered around my truck and whether or not it would make it over the hills.  Jerry is a long time excellent truck driver, not to mention RV's and pickups, and I learned a lot.  To make it even better, he promised if I got in trouble somewhere, just to call him and he would show up to help.  You can't ask for more than that!!!

I also have to give it up big time to Mr. Chance who always answers my dumb questions and comes up with solutions to my problems.  I'm very thankful for the help all of you give me.

Back to our visit, needless to say when Yuma snuck back to the back room, Cooper and Jessie came unglued.  After my visitors departed, Cooper spent 30 minutes following every step Yuma took in the back yard and around the house.

So this morning I'll be loading up the last of the kids.  It's a good thing I ate most of what was in the freezer because the dog's food takes up the entire space.  No worries, I left four hotdogs in the fridge for lunch and dinner, two days.  That should get me home.

I did have an offer from friend Cyndae to fly in to Tucson and ride home with me.  Trouble is she would have to lay in the back with the puppies,  There's WAY too much stuff taking up all the room on the passenger side.  Add to that sleeping on the dinette table area, about 5' square.  PLUS, I would have to pick her up at the airport at 10:30 at night.  That's WAY past my bed time with the chickens.  Next time I'll call her sooner.

The worst part of this trip will be BACKING into a spot at the RV Park in Quartzsite.  They didn't have my pull-through spot available.  UGH!!!  NOT looking forward to THAT!!  Wish me luck!!!  I'm OFF!!

Saturday, March 27, 2021

The Jello Jiggles

Sounds like an 80's soap opera.  Anyone watch any of those crazy shows?  I have to admit I watched Days of Our Lives on and off for years.  Back then you could go a year without watching and be caught up in the first five minutes of the show.

You know I'm a worry wart.  I checked the weather several times considering my Tuesday Departure date. The winds weren't looking good at all, so at the last minute I jiggled the jello to Sunday.  I'm leaving Sunday for sure.

The sequel ... The Jello Jiggles Again ... came late last night when the winds between Needles and Barstow got up above my comfort level.  This time it was pineapple cucumber.  That didn't really sound all that good.  Why am I going that way?  Because the entire freeway from Indio to the base of Cajon Pass is completely under construction with lanes that seem like they are six feet wide.  I was on the verge of shaking the jello again like an earthquake to Thursday.  Thursday looks good.

Lucky for me, THIS morning's predictions show the way is clear for Sunday after all, so thankfully I don't have to partake of this strawberry CHOCOLATE jello.  Yucky poo!!!  Of course that may change by tomorrow morning!!

In the meantime, I've been trying to catch up with Elva and Jerry Shannon who are in the area visiting some of Elva's hundreds of cousins who live nearby.  I have so few cousins you can count them on one hand.  I'm so happy they are coming by to see my new fifth wheel.  

Since Doug and Yuma are close by, they are coming around too.  It's a PARTY!!!  Hopefully I won't be serving up any Jello.  

The good news is ..... I know it's just because I'm leaving ..... the mask requirement for Arizona has been lifted, along with a second caveat that the cities and counties cannot put that requirement back in place.  Individual stores can of course, but I won't be going to those.  WE ARE FREE!!!  At least if you live in Arizona.  

It's time to get packing.  I'll let you know if a tornado hits the jello!!!!

Friday, March 26, 2021

Chicken Wars and Crushed Wings

 Just when I'm about to leave a location, I start thinking about all the stuff I want to do to fix things up.  That of course lends itself to rushed applications and impulse buying, helped along by watching HGTV design shows because there's nothing else on the tube.

I wandered off deep in the heart to Hobby Lobby, with a thought of doing another Chicken Wars taste test along the way.  Meet Wendy's chicken sandwich.  This time I stayed away from the "spicy" version, which was probably a mistake.  

It appeared to be a perfectly round piece of chicken, which harkens to pressed chicken.  The tomato was good, the lettuce wilted and the crust not the least bit crispy.  Still, compared to Popeye's at a 10, I would give this a 7-1/2.  The spicy might have had more flavor.

Their bun wasn't all that tasty ... it wasn't grilled ... but they gave me enough fries to make up for it.  Too bad they desperately needed salt and another five minutes in the fryer.

However ..... their Sprite actually tastes like Sprite instead of some watered down chemical thing.  Top that with a 2 for 1 chocolate chunk cookie and I completely forgot about the fries.  Sadly, when I got home to eat the SECOND one, instead of chocolate, it was a tasteless sugar cookie.  They got an F on getting the order right.

After watching more shows of one to two hundred thousand (that's $100,000.00 to $200,000.00) remodels  which were never going to happen in MY house, I hammered twelve nails into the wall to hang my newest purchases in the bedroom, three of which I already had.  

It was made difficult by the sloping ceiling so I couldn't really hang anything straight.  Thus the extra nine holes in the wall.  It's okay, they are small and no one will notice.  That's my favorite Gila Woodpecker.

Just for the heck of it I checked the front porch for Jon's new cage, which wasn't supposed to arrive until today.  YAHOO!!  There stood a big box.  Now THIS is a CAGE!!  Made like they used to in the old days when I raised exotic parrots.  Yes, just another pastime in my past.

Once I made sure it fit, I began the coverings with towels, rugs and blankets to hold in the heat.  Jonathan is particularly susceptible to cold due to his past illnesses.  The feed cups weren't near large enough, so I took those out and began to install ones from his other cage.  

Naturally I dropped the old cups on the floor behind the chair.  I was lucky enough to reach those.  I was NOT so lucky when I dropped that wing nut.  Even with my longest pair of tongs, I couldn't reach it without opening the chair.  

I stuck my hand behind the back and leaned in to grab the nut when the chair slipped down the entire way, grabbing my arm and pinning me to the wall.  OUCH!!!  MY WING IS CRUSHED!!  I'm not kidding, that hurt!!  The worst part, I'm kneeling on the chair and there's no way I could get it back into the upright position and release my arm!!   At least I had the nut in the clutches of my tongs, but I couldn't retrieve my arm.

At last I was able to move one foot to the floor and push, relieving it's grip.  I was super careful the rest of the time to be sure I didn't drop anything ELSE behind the chair.  It took two hours to install the feed bowls, add another perch and the worst part .... try to attach the swing to the roof of the cage.  

I couldn't get my two big arms through the cage door to hold the heavy wire tight enough to crimp the ends.  I should have just thrown the swing away, because to add insult to injury, I now have a huge hole punched into the palm of my hand.  

I finally put the cage on the floor and came inside.  I would like to find a way to bungee it to the counter, but I'm too beat up to think about it.  BECAUSE I've looked at the weather predictions and now am freaking out about the WIND that is going to be dogging me my entire trip back to California.  

At what point do YOU keep driving or stop ..... 20-25mph wind?  If it gets to 30, I'll be parked on the side of the road somewhere.  Trouble is, the only time it appears to lessen is at midnight.  Oh Boy!!  Driving in the dark!!!

Thursday, March 25, 2021

It's Time For A Checkup

 Sometimes you just have to go to the doctor.  Oh not me, I'm hunky dory, but my faithful truck had a drip-drip-drip that was bothering me more than her!  

Not long after I bought this place in Arizona, new neighbors moved in upstairs, meaning up the hill.  They did a quick overhaul on the house and yard that brought oohs and aahs from all us neighbors.  Come to find out, they own a truck/car repair shop in Tucson AND they have an RV.  That alone was a good recommendation.

I stopped by one day when I caught them outside and asked if they worked on diesel trucks.  Yes they do!!   I'll be there bright and early in the morning.

Let me just say THESE guys know what the word SERVICE means.  Since I had no transportation, they took her right in, even though every bay was full.  I also asked they check the brakes.  She has 112,000 miles on her and I've never replaced the brakes.

One hour later they let me know the oil plug had been leaking, so they replaced it, along with a little oil.  They checked my brakes and they were 80% all around.  With THAT MANY MILES?  I was shocked.  

Here comes the best part EVER!!  The bill came to $34.33 and I was out the door.  That's pretty cheap for the relief I got from knowing I'll be pulling a trailer with good brakes on my truck.

Mr. Chance said I should quit dragging my foot out the door to stop.  I should actually be using the brakes.  Two things ..... they don't make trucks like they used to and I have a game I play.  When you are driving back and forth two hours to Yosemite National Park every day for work, you have to do something to pass the time.

My favorite game was to see if I could go the entire way without using my brakes.  Back in the day we all had manual transmissions, which made it a little easier.  I still play that game to this day.  I try to see just how far I can go using the engine to slow down instead of always hitting the brakes.  The good news is I haven't hit anyone or anything  ..... YET!!!  

That's what happens when you're single with no one to talk to!!!  

Amazingly, just as I pulled in the driveway, FedEx pulled up behind me.  Gosh ... that was nice of Camping World to let me know when they would arrive.  I handed over the broken generator and he was gone in a flash.  One less thing to worry about.

I haven't been picking up much on my game camera.  Everyone seems to have disappeared.  It's no surprise since the weather has been so weird.  Freezing cold, snow, 80 degrees, freezing again.  Yesterday the August monsoons came into town soaking everything.  Boy do I love the smell of a really wet desert!  It also helps to hold down the pollen which has been off the charts.

This guy seems to have been in a really big hurry.  Maybe something was chasing him?  By now we are usually inundated with gamble quail, morning dove and bunnies.  So far they have been few and far between.  They must be up at the Chance house chowing down at their feeding station!!

I've got several errands to run today, so I'll be off to deep in the heart.  But first, I'm fascinated by the conversation Cooper is having with the coyote just outside my fence. 

 It seems they yip to notify other members of their family of their exact location, usually because they have found an interloper in their territory.  This guy may have been the interloper.  The long howling and group howling is always started by the alpha male and female, telling everyone they are a big family and this is their territory.  Fascinating stuff the talk of coyotes.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Roses and Chicken Wars

 After resting up from my epic journey across half of Arizona, I took a walk on the wild side in my back yard.  I say that only because you have to be constantly on the lookout for snakes.  Wasn't I surprised to find not one, but TWO of my rose bushes were blooming.  No snakes this time.

Most blooms weren't all that pretty, but this one stood out.  Of my five bushes, two have sadly passed away.  I think this one is part of the largest rose tree in the world which lives in Tombstone.  You too can own a piece of it ... they take cuttings and sell them very reasonably.  I guess I'll have to make another trip to Tombstone to pick up a couple.  Oh DARN!!

The next big fix ..... Jon's transportation to the trailer and back now has a handle.  Mr. Chance took on the job after I complained my fat fingers wouldn't fit in between the wires.  It's perfect and will make it so much easier to move him around.

The next project came pretty much for the same reason.  Moving critters in and out of the fifth wheel can be a big pain.  I had read in several locations that RV Lock was a good one and easy to install.  They just didn't know "I" was going to try.

I finally got up the courage to give it a shot.  I got the old one off easier than expected.  Wasn't I surprised to find styrofoam inside the door.  After several tries, I finally got half of the new one in the hole.  At least it fits!!

Getting the second half on was another story.  It took me a few tries and twenty minutes looking for lost screws that actually blew 20 feet away in the wind.  It took a few tries to change the combination before trying to program the key fob.  Yup ... you can open it by combination, key fob or the keys, just in case the batteries go dead.

Batteries??  They forgot to mention that part.  In fact, there are NO directions on how to change out the batteries.  Let's just hope it lasts a long time!!!

As you may know, or maybe not, there are chicken wars going on.  Every fast food place is advertising they have the best chicken sandwich on the planet.  Okay, I'll bite!!  My plan is to stop at every place I can find advertising same and see just WHO has the tastiest one.

This is Popeyes, only because I've stopped there before and thought they were VERY good.  Might as well test it a second time, just for good measure.  Yessirree THIS is a good chicken sandwich.  Almost the best, which it would have been had I not ordered the SPICY one.  Woohoo!!!

I downed a few of their Louisiana French fries trying to sooth the burning pain!!  I'm a wimp when it comes to hot food.  They get a "A" for their fries.

With my mouth on fire, I made a beeline for home.  Too bad I had to drive right by Freddy's, who makes the best frozen custard on the planet.  The turtle sundae was calling my name.  "I can soothe your burning mouth with my cold yummy custard".  

Okay ..... and I drove up to the front door.  Luckily they were open for business.  I'm here to tell you it worked!!!  There's nothing like caramel and chocolate sauce covered frozen custard to soothe the soul and the hot sauce burn.

I was completely miserable for the rest of the night.  In fact it all made me have the worst nightmares ever where I'm yelling like crazy but no one can hear me because my mouth won't open.  It was the spicy chicken I tell you!!!!

Next up ... double and triple checking my truck for the trip to California.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

I Think I'm Lost

With the first defeat of not finding Fort Bowie due to the horrendous nature of the road, I continued on my chosen path around this valley that seemed as big as all Arizona.  My route looked rather short as I perused the map, but driving it was another story altogether.  I told myself .... SELF!  At least it's paved and I have lots of fuel.  

Surprisingly out in the middle of nowhere, there were a few farmhouses here and there.  Noticing however that all three of those cars I passed were going in the opposite direction, gave me pause.  I had gone so far I think I crossed over into California since the time on my watch said 2:00.

At long last I spotted a sign for the Chiricahua National Monument.  A few miles down the road at the mouth of a canyon I passed the National Park entrance.  The road narrowed until it came to the Visitor's Center which was packed with cars.  I think I'll pass.  I did notice lots of signs saying no vehicles longer than 24 foot.  

As I drove up the canyon, the road narrowed again.  The scenery was getting better and better, but there was no place to stop and take pictures.  There were several small turnouts, but they were all on the far side of the road with not enough room to turn around.  I kept driving.

All I could think of was these mountains look like Indians still standing here tall and strong.   Wouldn't it be cool to ride my horse through this canyon!!

The canyon narrowed even more and just when I thought I would top out on the mountain, there was another canyon.  Sadly, we all know what happened to the Indians in this area.  They fought for food and resources with the Spanish, and just when they thought everything would be okay, here comes the pale people who killed indiscriminately.  

Great Chiefs roamed these hills with names like Mangus, Cochise and Geronimo.  Initially they got along with the white people because their real enemy at the time was those across the Mexican border.  By the time the gold and silver miners showed up, war broke out everywhere.  We all know what happened after that.

There are many cool rock formations, but with no place to park, I didn't get many shots.  The National Park was established in 1924 to protect the hoodoos and balancing rocks.  There is a small campground here, but you must have a tent or a very tiny rig.  

I kept going, thinking eventually there would be a place to turn around.  The road got even narrower as I tried to keep my truck from hitting the rocks on the side wall.  Around the back of the mountain, the cliffs dropped off dramatically.  

At last the road (still paved) ended in a very small circular parking lot.  I skinnied in front of a pickup truck, but had to get so close to the bushes, I couldn't get out.  With no other parking prospects, I squeezed across the console dragging my camera behind.  

This is the first sight you see.  Watch your footing as it's steep with lots of shale to slip on.  I was headed down when a gentleman said the view was much better from up top.

I skirted around some huge boulders, climbing up on top of one to find this view.  The picture doesn't do it justice.  This has to be one of the best sights in Arizona next to the Grand Canyon.

The hoodoos are amazing to see.  There are trails leading off the mountain top, but I didn't wander down any, thinking it was already 2:00 and I had a long drive back.  Come to find out my watch was playing tricks on me.  

This pictures shows the mountain with half of the soil washed away, leaving the solid rock formations.  No wonder the Indians hung out here.  There's water and animals for food ... that's all they needed.

At last I headed on out to the highway, not sure which way to turn, I spotted this old school house near Ash Creek.  So far the only information I have been able to locate is the creek has Apache Trout.

THIS time I checked my watch it was still 2:00.  What the heck???  Okay, I'll take the long road home instead of going back the way I came through Willcox.  

I drove and drove and DROVE!!  Where the heck does this road go??  I was sure I was in Mexico!!  Maps are deceiving.  It looked like a short jaunt across the valley.  It was NOT!  I thought I must be lost.  There were no road markers or signs anywhere!!

I did not pass one single vehicle nor see any evidence of humans.  At long last I spotted this angel/eagle flying something or other in the sky.  It's a sign!!!  I'm either going to die or I'm going the right direction.

At LAST!!  Civilization, or at least one really old bar with a few trucks parked out front.  This looked a little familiar and I finally saw a sign for Dragoon.  THAT I know!!  At long last I made it home after a 7 hour driving day.  

My advice is to go see the Chiricahua National Monument and return to Willcox on Highway 186.  Be sure and take lots of food and water and plan for an entire day's jaunt!!!  I for one, will be going back for some hiking.