southern arizona leisure travel van tour – day Six

On day five of our Southern Arizona tour, we stopped by the Empire Ranch National Historic Site, located on AZ State Route 83. The Empire Ranch has survived over a hundred years as a working cattle ranch, it was founded in 1876. Today there’s still cattle grazing on the ranchland. However, the buildings and land have been donated to the Beau of Land Management, Las Cienegas National Conservation Area.

Come along as we explore this amazing historic site and then continue our adventure to Patagonia Lake State Park, one of the most popular state parks in Arizona…

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The views from the road coming into Empire Ranch.
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The area around Empire Ranch is still being used as open range.
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The land looks dry and brown right now, because this is the dry season for southern Arizona. In July the monsoon season will begin changing this to lush green grassland.
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More views from the road to Empire Ranch.
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Off AZ State Route 83 north.
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This place has such a special and unique beauty.
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Cattle still graze the land of Empire Ranch after 145 years.
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Views from the ranch.
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Views from the ranch.
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The invasion of LTV’s begin!
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LTV owners – Jim & Linda Douglass walking the grounds of the Empire Ranch.
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Before we leave Empire Ranch there will be ten Leisure Travel Vans in this parking lot.
LTV owner – Jim Douglass entering into the main house of the ranch.
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LTV Owners – (front) Linda Douglass, Jim Douglass, (back) Paula Rakestraw inside the main house.
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Part of the cooks quarters.
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The bookkeepers quarters.
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How would you like to wash your clothes with this apparatus!
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This cold mangle was used to press linens, no ironing or dry cleaning out here in the wilderness of the southwest!
This particular cold mangle was brought in from somewhere else.
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LTV owners – (From Left) Paula Rakestraw, Donna & Dave McCowen, and Maggie Hogan in the breezeway of the ranch hand quarters.
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A short hiking trail through the grounds of the ranch. The trail winds through very large and very old Cottonwood trees.
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LTV owners – Mary and Jon Williams hiking the Heritage Discovery Trail at Empire Ranch.
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LTV owners – Jon and Mary Williams dog, Jackson in the corral at the ranch. He looks like a happy pup!
The Vail family was the first family to own and live here at Empire Ranch in 1876.
The Boice family took over after the Vail family.
Two of the more recent families that owned and operated Empire Ranch.
LTV owner – Linda Douglass reading about the history of Empire Ranch.
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These warning signs are everywhere on the ranch, including inside the house.
A picture in the main house of the dinning room back in the early 1900’s.
Some of the toys the children played with while living on the ranch.
The modern kitchen of the 1960’s.
Sounds like my kind of lifestyle!
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The road, route 83 south from Empire Ranch. We are on our way to Patagonia Lake State Park.
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I love a straight road!
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Sonoita and Elgin are along the way to Patagonia.
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These aren’t real, they are statues along the road through Sonoita.
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More views from the road, now state route 82 west.
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Patagonia – watch your speed here, you will get a ticket and it won’t be cheap!
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More pics from the road to Patagonia Lake.
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It won’t be long now!
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We made it to Patagonia Lake! It’s only about 45 minutes from Empire Ranch.
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Here’s the Leisure Travel Van crew at Patagonia Lake!
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Our campsite at Patagonia Lake.
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LTV owners – Tony Rhodes and Maggie Hogan at Patagonia Lake.
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Patagonia Lake. Photo by LTV owner – Mary Williams
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LTV Owner – Jon Williams at Patagonia Lake
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Patagonia Lake and the surrounding area, has fishing and is considered a great place for bird watching.
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Patagonia Lake. Photo by LTV owner – Mary Williams
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On one of the bird watching trails at Patagonia Lake – no it’s not a bird. It’s a bullfrog!
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Patagonia Lake. Photo by LTV owner – Mary Williams
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Some of our LTV owners went on a hike at Patagonia Lake.
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LTV owners enjoying the great outdoors!
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The views around Patagonia Lake.
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The road (AZ State Route 82 west to Nogales.
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Patagonia Lake is just a hop, skip, and a jump from the border town of Nogales.

Empire Ranch and Patagonia Lake were a big hit on our tour of southern Arizona. Next time we lead a tour of this area we plan to spend more time here. In the next post we will explore Rio Rico – our home…

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