All posts by terrycbarber

I am a disabled veteran, retired military and retired pastor. MaryAnn’s a retired special education teacher. Our next chapter, traveling the open road in a Leisure Travel Van.

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…

Southern arizona leisure travel van (LTV) tour – day four & Five (continued): Bisbee

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About 25 minute drive south from Tombstone on route 80 is the mining town of Bisbee, Arizona

Bisbee, like Tombstone has its roots in mining. Bisbee was founded in 1880 and is nestled in the Mule Mountains about 11 miles from the border of Mexico.

The mines in Bisbee produced gold, silver, copper and turquoise. In 1917 open pit mining was introduced in Bisbee to meet the high demand for copper during World War I. (Ref., Wikipedia)

The Copper Queen Mine ended all operations and closed its doors for good in 1975. Today the Copper Queen Mine has become a tourist attraction with daily mine tours of portions of the mine. There is a museum containing the history of mining in Bisbee as well as a historic section of the town. Come along as we explore Historic Bisbee…

All photos in this post were taken by the LTV owners on our tour.

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The Copper Queen Mine, Bisbee, Arizona
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Leisure Travel Van (LTV) parking in Bisbee.
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Part of the town of Bisbee nestled in the Mule Mountains in southeast Arizona.
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Bisbee sits on the continental divide.
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Copper Queen Mine
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LTV owners – Mary & Jon Williams taking the mine tour.
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Where the mine tour begins.
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Bisbee survives on historic tourism.
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LTV owners and leaders of the Southwest Roadrunners Leisure Travel Van Club -Towney and Wendy
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The town of Bisbee was named after Judge Dewitt Bisbee, one of the financial backers of the Copper Queen Mine.
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The mine tour.
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The honey wagon! Toilet used by the miners working deep under ground in the mine.
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The train used to bring ore out of the mine.
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LTV owners – Marge & Bill Coakley taking the Copper Queen Mine tour.
City streets of Bisbee.
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LTV owner – Paulette Rezendes taking the mine tour.
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LTV owners – Cynthia & Ed Doyle on the Copper Queen Mine tour.
Storefront in downtown Bisbee.
Open-pit copper mine closed in 1975. This open-pit mine is over 900 feet deep.
The road around the pit mine.
A tribute to our military at the edge of the open -pit mine in Bisbee.

Bisbee also has a hotel called the Copper Queen Hotel, built between 1898-1902, it has been said that the hotel is haunted. I can neither confirm or deny this claim. However, MaryAnn and I did spend a few nights in the hotel back in 2009, didn’t see any ghost…

Southern Arizona Leisure travel van Tour 2021 – Day Four & Five: tombstone

On day four of our southern Arizona tour we visited the infamous town of Tombstone. Known for the notorious, “Shootout at the O.K. Corral.”

Reenactment of the shootout at the O.K. Corral.

But how did Tombstone get its name? Well, there are two versions to the story:

Version one – A prospector and scout for the U.S. Army headquartered at Camp Huachuca, Ed Schieffelin, was searching the wilderness in southern Arizona for any mineral deposits suitable for staking a mining claim. At the time three people had been killed by Indians in the area, when a friend and fellow Army scout, Al Sieber, told Ed, “The only rock you will find out there is your own tombstone.” When Ed Schieffelin filed his first silver mine claim in 1877, which became the largest productive silver district in Arizona, he named it “Tombstone.” The town of Tombstone was built right above the mine that produced $40-$85 million in silver bullion. The town of Tombstone grew from 100 people to around 14,000 in less than 7 years. (Ref., Wikipedia)

In version two: Ed Schieffelin was hired by the U.S. government to survey the wilderness around the Army Camp Huachuca. As Ed Schieffelin was leaving Camp Huachuca one of the guards (perhaps it was Al Sieber) at the gate yelled out to him, “The only thing your going to find out there is your own tombstone.” (Ref., Terry C Barber)The rest is history…

The mining operation came to an end when the silver mines penetrated the water table under Tombstone in the mid 1880s causing catastrophic flooding of the mine. The mining companies made significant investments into specialized water pumping facilities, but a fire in 1886 destroyed the water pumping facilities making it unprofitable to rebuild the costly pumps thus ending the illustrious silver mining operations in Tombstone. It is said that there’s still plenty of silver to be had in those mines, and that now the town of Tombstone is slowly sinking into the old mine, fractions of an inch a year…

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LTV owners (From Left) Kerry & Maureen Johnson and MaryAnn Barber on the streets of Historic Tombstone. The Bird Cage Threatre was a very popular brothel in Tombstone.
The wooden steps leading upstairs to the working girls were worn almost paper thin by all the male customers during those nine years.
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Tombstone was exactly the kind of place history and Hollywood portrays it to be – full of lawlessness and debauchery.
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One of the many show reenactments in historic Tombstone. This particular show is advertised as hilarious! It lived up to its advertisement.
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LTV owners (From the left) Me, Jim Douglass and Kerry Johnson. We were thrown in jail for spitting in the street. Not really.
Friendly place!
I was shot down in my prime by the Sherriff for spitting in the street! MaryAnn is saddened by my demise…
Stage coach rides in Tombstone.
The more accurate version of the shootout. The gunfight actually occurred in an empty lot on Freemont street.
Our LTV’s look sooo much better then that big honking class A, don’t you think. This is RV parking in Tombstone.
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The infamous Boot Hill Graveyard.
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Boot Hill Graveyard.
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Interesting epitaph.
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1882 was not a good year to be living in Tombstone, most of the headstones were marked death in 1882.
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A very peace loving, family oriented town.
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OOPS!
Great epitaph for an American hero! At Boot Hill Cemetery.

The event known as the “Shootout at the O.K. Corral actually didn’t happen at the O.K. Corral, it happened a short distance away in an empty lot on Freemont street. Some of the underlying tensions that caused the shootout were political, stemming from the Civil War, 1860-1865. (Ref., Wikipedia)

The mining capitalist and the towns people were largely Republican from the northeast and many of the ranchers (some of whom participated in criminal activity) also known as the “Cowboys,” were Confederate sympathizers and Democrats. (Ref., Wikipedia)

The famous shootout consisted of Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan Earp and their friend, Doc Holiday against a band of outlaws called the Cowboys. The Cowboys included: Ike and Billy Clanton, Frank and Tom Mclaury, and Billy Claiborne. The shootout occurred after months of threats from the Cowboys upon the lives of the Earp brothers and Doc Holiday, then on October 26, 1881 it all came to shooting…

The outcome: Virgil and Morgan Earp – wounded, Doc Holiday grazed by bullet, Tom and Frank Mclaury and Billy Clanton killed and buried in the Boot Hill Cemetery in Tombstone.

In our next post day four of our tour will continue in Bisbee, Arizona…

southern Arizona Leisure Travel Van Tour april 2021, Day Three

On day three of our tour of Southern Arizona we stopped at the Chiricahua National Monument in the southeastern corner of Arizona near the New Mexico border. With temperatures in the low 70’s and clear blue skies, the views from the top of the mountains were breath taking! These mountains are covered in Hoodoos that remind me of the Bad Lands of South Dakota.

The Chiricahua Mountains were the home of the Apache and the hide out for Geronimo during the Apache Wars of the late 1800’s. It’s easy to see how Geronimo and his band of warriors were able to hold out here for such a long time while the United States Army continued to pursue them.

In fact just east of the Chiricahua Mountains near the New Mexico border is a monument that commemorates Geronimo’s final surrender on September 6, 1886. Geronimo’s surrender marked the end of all Native American resistance in the United States.

Geronimo and his warriors were then taken by train to Florida where Geronimo was held until his death, which was not part of the agreement in the terms of his surrender. One of Geronimo’s warriors, a man called Massai escaped from the train and returned to the Chiricahua Mountains. One of the trails at the top of the Chiricahua’s has been named after him – “The Massai Trail.”

MaryAnn and the Traveling Pups at the Monument commemorating the surrender of Geronimo. Picture taken in May 2020.
The monument commemorating the surrender of Geronimo on September 6, 1886. Picture taken in May 2020.
The Chiricahua Mountains are about an hour drive southeast of Wilcox, Arizona in the southeastern corner of Arizona near the the New Mexico border.
The road to the top of in the Chiricahua Mountains.
Some of the rock formations (Hoodoos) seen from the road to the top of the Chiricahua Mountains.
More from the road to the top.
These rock formations, caused by erosion are seen throughout the Chiricahua Mountains.
From the road to the top of the Chiricahua Mountains .
Some of the topography of the surrounding area in the Chiricahua Mountains.
Southeastern Arizona is made up of ranch and farm land with scattered mountain ranges called, “sky islands.”
Topography of southern Arizona.
The road into and out of the Chiricahua Mountains. April through June is the Dry Season here in southern Arizona which is why everything looks so brown. In July the Monsoon season begins transforming southern Arizona green and lush.
More of the road into and out of the Chiricahua Mountains.
The road to the Chiricahua Mountains.
Route 186 from Wilcox, Arizona.
Picture from route 186.
“Sky Islands” throughout southern Arizona are surrounded by high valley ranch lands. Picture from route 186 south of Wilcox, Arizona.
The road to the Chiricahua Mountains.
Foot hills of the Chiricahua Mountains.
Chiricahua Mountains from route 186.
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LTV owner – Jim Douglass from an overlook in the Chiricahua Mountains.
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LTV Owner – Paulette Rezendes in the Chiricahua Mountains.
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LTV Owner – Roland (Tai) Taitano
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Views from the top of the Chiricahua Mountains.
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Picture from the top of the Chiricahua Mountains.
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LTV Owners – (From left to right) MaryAnn Barber, Linda Douglass, Jane Taitano, Roland (Tai) Taitano, Jim Douglass
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LTV Owner – MaryAnn Barber in the Chiricahua Mountains.
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From the top of the Chiricahua Mountains.
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LTV Owner – Tai hamming it up. In the background: (left to right) MaryAnn, Linda, Jane, and Jim.
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The effects of erosion causing “Hoodoos” in the Chiricahua’s. It reminds me a lot of the Bad Lands in South Dakota.
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These rock formations can be seen throughout the Chiricahua Mountains.
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Hoodoos
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Picture from one of the many hiking trails.
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More from the trails.
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Views from the road to the top of the mountain.
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Picture from the road, route 186 into and out of the Chiricahua Mountains.
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Chiricahua Mountains.
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I love seeing straight roads that seem to go on forever!
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There are many of these straight roads throughout southern Arizona.
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Views from the road.
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Did I mention I love straight roads.
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More from the road in southern Arizona.
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Can’t resist a straight road.
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More views from the top.
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Harris Mountain perpetuates the name of a pioneer family who died at the hands of the Apaches in 1873.
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Harris Mountain as seen through a zoom lens at the top of the Chiricahua Mountains.
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LTV Owner – Kerry Johnson on the Massai Trail in the Chiricahua’s.
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LTV owners discussing their adventures in the Chiricahua’s.
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At the top of the Chiricahua’s.
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A rock formation that looks like the head of Cochise – a famous Apache Chief that lived in this territory.
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The head of Cochise.
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Faraway Ranch located in the Chiricahua National Monument founded in 1886.
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Faraway Ranch.
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The view from Faraway Ranch.
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The history of Faraway Ranch founded in 1886 by the Erickson family.
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We stopped for lunch at the Faraway Ranch before continuing to the Ghost Town – Fairbanks.
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Fifteen of our twenty four LTV Owners group at the top of the Chiricahua Mountains.

From the Chiricahua’s the Southern Arizona Tour will continue on the “Barber Road” to Tombstone and Fairbank. We will take a look at the Ghost Town – Fairbank in the next post on our way to Huachuca City, Arizona…

southern arizona leisure travel van tour – Day Three (continued): Fairbank Ghost town

Fairbank is located about five miles west of Tombstone, Arizona near the banks of the San Pedro River. The town of Fairbank served as the train depot for the mining/cattle ranches of Tombstone. Anyone coming to Tombstone by train in the 1800’s had to get off the train at Fairbank and then travel by stagecoach/wagon or horse to Tombstone.

All supplies going to Tombstone also came through Fairbank, the cattle from the ranches and ore from the silver mine leaving Tombstone came through Fairbank as well.

The area around Fairbank was settled in 1881 and the town of Fairbank was founded in 1883. The town was named after a Chicago investor Nathaniel Kellogg Fairbank who had partially financed the railroad and was the founder of the Grand Central Mining Company which had an interest in the silver mines in Tombstone (ref. Wikipedia).

The last resident moved out in 1972 and the post office closed shortly afterwards, giving the town back to the coyote, javelina, and cottonwood trees. Today what is left of the town of Fairbank is located within the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area.

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Located a few miles west of Tombstone, Arizona on AZ Route 82.
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Fairbank, AZ in 1890. (Photo taken from Wikipedia -public domain)
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Fairbank in 2014. (Photo taken from Wikipedia -public domain)
Street signs in Fairbank.
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We didn’t hike the trails.
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On the trail to the Fairbank cemetery. (Photo taken from Wikipedia -public domain)
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A sad commentary for a human life. (Photo taken from Wikipedia – public domain)
Street signs installed by a nonprofit organization called, “Friends of Fairbank.”
LTV owners from left: Maggie Hogan, Paula and Nathan Rakestraw
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Original Outhouse.
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Original Outhouse, I bet this place has some stories to tell… (Photo taken from Wikipedia – public domain)
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Post Office in Fairbank. The last place to close its doors in 1972. (Photo taken from Wikipedia – public domain)
LTV owners Jane and Roland (Tai) Taitano
The most mature LTV owners of our group – Dave and Donna McCowan. Age: Upper 80’s-low 90’s and still traveling!
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Dave and Donna McCowan’s LTV
MaryAnn and the Traveling Pups at Fairbank.
San Pedro River valley
On route 82 in the San Pedro River valley
The road (route 82) from Fairbank to Huachuca City, AZ.
Views from the road.
Photo taken from route 82 going west from Fairbank.
Route 82 west of Huachuca City.
Photo from route 82 west.
Route 82 west from Fairbank.
Route 82 west of Huachuca City.
Route 82 west. Have I ever mentioned how much I love a straight road.
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We stopped for a couple nights at RV Resort just north of Huachuca City, Arizona.
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We are an impressive group when we all pull into an RV park together.

While we stayed in Huachuca City, we spent day four of our tour visiting Tombstone, Bisbee and Sonoita/Elgin area before moving on to Empire Ranch and Patagonia.

Southern Arizona Leisure Travel Van Tour 2021: Day One & Two

The people on our Southern Arizona Tour 2021. From the back row, left: Me, Gordon, Nathan, Ed, Cynthia, Kerry, Tai, and Jane; Second Row from left: Bill ( Marge not available for picture), MaryAnn, Maggie, Tony, Paula, Maureen; Front Row from left: Jon, Mary, Suzy, Dawn, Dave, Linda, Jim, Paulet, and Dany

Consensus is that the first day of our tour was a success! We didn’t lose anyone and everyone had a great time exploring the Saguaro National Park and the Colossal Cave Mountain Park, both located fifteen miles east of Tucson, Arizona.

Here we are in Casa Grande with the Traveling Pups the day before we left for the Southern Arizona Tour.

We’ve stopped for a two night stay at San Pedro RV Resort and Community Campground in Benson, Arizona. While in Benson, some of the people in our group will explore nearby Kartchner Caverns while others hiked and did some bike riding in Kartchner Caverns State Park. We also toured the Amerind Museum and Cochise Strong Hold National Recreation Area and did some bird watching.

Our caravan of twelve Leisure Travel Vans (LTV) lining up to begin our tour of southern Arizona.

This time of year, April through June, Arizona is in its dry season. Temperatures in the low 50’s (Fahrenheit) at night and low to mid 80’s during the day. Perfect weather for rattlesnakes, so everyone will be on the lookout for these not so sociable creatures, especially since they’re a little on the grumpy side just becoming active after the cold winter months here in southern Arizona. Come along and witness the beauty and splendor of southern Arizona…

Saguaro National Park East
Saguaro National Park
Saguaro National Park
Saguaro National Park
When cattle were introduced to this area, they were instrumental in spreading Mesquite trees – causing a massive reduction in the number of saguaro in the park.
Saguaro National Park
Cholla also known as Jumping Cactus
Leisure Travel Vans driving the 8 mile loop through Saguaro National park East
The road to Colossal Cave
Colossal Cave Entrance
The view from Colossal Cave
The view from Colossal Cave
Gordon, Cynthia (back to us) and Suzi next to Gordon and Suzi’s LTV
The parking lot at Colossal Cave
Some of the LTV owners and their LTV
Three LTV’s approaching the entrance to Colossal Cave. Photo by Paulette Rezendes
Photo by Paulette Rezendes
Photo by Paulette Rezendes
Gordon’s parking job at Colossal Cave Mountain Park
Our first stop for two nights, Benson, Arizona
Our first RV park. This park is in Benson
Our LTV’s parked at San Pedro RV Resort
San Pedro RV Resort
Our campsite at San Pedro Resort
We visited the Amerind Art Gallery and Museum while in Benson
Amerind Museum
LTV owner Roland at Amerind
MaryAnn at Amerind
We ate lunch in the picnic area at Amerind.
Small State Park at Kartchner Caverns

Each night at San Pedro Resort Community we gathered together for food, fun and fellowship. The next stop will be to The Chiricahua Mountains National Monument…

Southern Arizona Leisure Travel Van Tour 2021

We are leading a group of 22 people in 11 Leisure Travel Vans (LTV) on a twelve day tour of southern Arizona.

In preparation for the tour, we’re in Casa Grande at Palm Creek RV Resort to meet up with the rest of the LTV owners going with us on our tour.

Our campsite in Palm Creek, Casa Grande. We had to use two 25 foot water hose and an additional 30 foot extension cord two reach the water and electric hookups.
There’s actually around 45 other LTV’s here at the park right now attending a Southwest Roadrunners LTV rally.
Our personal palm tree.
The entrance to the Palm Creek RV Resort
The front gate.
The traveling pups are excited!
In preparation for this trip we gave our Tiny House a bath.
This is my better side.
MaryAnn didn’t know I took this picture.

Follow along for the next 14 days as we travel through the back roads of southern Arizona with 11 other LTV’s and 22 other people – 24 counting us. The tour starts Saturday morning…

FDR’s Little White House, Warm Springs, Georgia

We visited Roosevelt’s Little White House in May, 2019 where he passed away from an aneurism on April 12, 1945, while sitting at his desk having his portrait painted. Check it out…

A very interesting gem in the back country of western Georgia. Definitely off the the beaten path.
It’s a state historic site, not a national.
President Roosevelt came here seeking relief from Polio, a disease he contracted as a child living in Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada.
MaryAnn is getting tired of me taking her picture.
MaryAnn walking toward FDR’s Little White House where he spent a lot of time not only running the country, but running World War ll.
This is the desk FDR was sitting at when he collapsed and died of an aneurism.
He was having his portrait painted at the time of his death, it was never completed.
FDR’s bedroom.
His bathroom, right down to the role of toilet paper that was there when he died.
FDR’s dining room.
The room FDR died in and the desk he used everyday.
FDR was a member of the Masons.
His wheel chair and shoes.
MaryAnn walking the grounds at the Little White House. Every state is represented by a stone replica of the state and its flag.
MaryAnn walking up to the servants quarters.
Guest quarters.
The Little White House.
One of FDR’s cars.
Another of his cars.
MaryAnn on the grounds at the Little White House.
I was born in Ohio.
I met MaryAnn in Texas in the military. MaryAnn is from New York.
We live in Arizona.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt came here to the hills of western Georgia for the hot springs seeking relief from the ravishes of a childhood disease. He brought electricity and the telephone to this area of Georgia as well and built a nearby hot springs fed Olympic size swimming pool for other children and adults stricken by Polio to also seek relief from this horrible disease.

This was a good place to visit, hard to find – we stumbled upon this place while on our way to Shiloh, Georgia to see one of MaryAnn’s many cousins. If you are ever in western Georgia, make sure you stop at FDR’s Little White House…

News from the homefront

MaryAnn found this beauty in our garage over the weekend. It’s the second time in a week we’ve come across one in our garage.
He’s about four feet long and not happy we are here.
We tried to encourage him to leave the premises but he refused to budge. In fact he got quite belligerent about it. He made it clear that he wasn’t going anywhere!
So he left me no choice. For the safety of MaryAnn and the Traveling Pups I had to physically remove him from this world.

On a brighter note we had some upgrades done on our Tiny house in preparation for our upcoming spring and summer adventures.

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We had the original battery DC inverter/charger, solar monitor, and house batteries replaced.
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Had to make some small modifications to the storage bin in order to make room for the much larger new inverter/charger.
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We had the entire house rewired so that all the outlets inside and outside are DC inverted. We no longer have to be plugged in at an RV park to use the microwave or coffeemaker.
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Had to make some modifications to the battery compartment for the new lithium batteries as well. This is the battery compartment.
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Old AGM batteries on left, new Battle Born Lithium batteries on right.
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Twice as much power for twice the length of time for three times the amount of money.
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These Life Line AGM, maintenance free batteries just couldn’t cut the mustard after two years of use.

We replaced our 1000 watt smart inverter/charger with a Victron 2000 watt smart inverter/charger and rewired the rig so that all outlets inside and outside are now inverted to battery power. We also had to replaced our solar monitor since the original monitor didn’t have a setting for lithium batteries.

We can now run the microwave off the house batteries and charge our Ebikes with the house batteries, and MaryAnn can use her coffeemaker without being plugged into AC shore-power as well. This is huge for us since I had to ban the high voltage coffeemaker from use whenever we were not plugged into AC shore-power at an RV parking lot.

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Southern Arizona sunsets.

We have 400 watts of solar on the roof and a diesel generator underneath our rig. Now we are ready for serious wilderness camping completely unplugged from the world!

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Southern Arizona from our backyard.

In April we are leading a group of 24 people on a 12 day tour of southern Arizona and in May we start a 2-3 month tour of Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. Everyone is invited to come along with us on this epic adventure! See you on the Barber Road…

yorktown, virginia

We visited the Yorktown Battlefield in June 2019. Yorktown was the site of the last major battle for America’s Independence from Britain in 1781. British General Cornwallis surrendered to American General Washington. The battle consisted of the British and the Germans against the Americans and the French.

Yorktown, Virginia
Visitor Center at Yorktown.
The monument at Yorktown.

The Battle at Yorktown marks the completion of America’s independence from England and the freedom to embark on it’s own journey as a sovereign nation. From here America has become a testament as the greatest nation of democracy and freedom in the history of the world.

It seems fitting America won it’s independence in the same place it all started, one hundred seventy four years earlier in 1706 at Jamestown, Virginia. It’s a tragedy that on April 17, 1861, eighty years after the victory in 1781, Virginia would vote for secession from the United States over states rights to govern themselves and the Civil War that followed.

See, we really were at Yorktown.

The Yorktown Battlefield Monument commemorates the Victory over the British and the eventual independence and freedom from Britain. The 13 women holding arms on the monument represent the 13 original colonies and their commitment to unity. The words under the 13 women says, “one country; one constitution; one destiny.”.

Commemorating the treaty/alliance with the French to help us win the war for independence from the British.
A beautiful testament to victory over tyranny, oppression and the beginning of democracy – “We the people…”
Lady Liberty at the top of the monument.
A very inspirational place, it seems fitting that America won it’s independence in the same place where it all began in 1607 – Virginia.
A marching band made up of youth marched by us celebrating American freedom and victory at Yorktown.
MaryAnn made a few new friends.
To give a little perspective of the size of the monument, MaryAnn is standing at the base to the left.
A dear came out of the woods to greet us while we were visiting the monument.

The Yorktown monument is a place every American should visit as a reminder of where we came from and to reflect on where we are headed as a nation. I wonder if our forefathers had our current political and cultural climate in mind when they wrote the constitution and fought to give birth to The United States of America…