Welcome to Harold Hutchens who recently took a look at our blog and signed on as a follower. Glad to see you here.
The last few days have been extremely cold here in southern Arizona. The locals are certainly not used to these temps. It would fall up below 10 degrees at night and only reach low 30's during the day with high winds. On Tuesday and Wednesday we hung low and mostly stayed in the rig. We did go out to dinner one night with our friend Judy, whom we first met in Tennessee.
On Friday we drove over to Hereford and visited my cousin Muriel. We have so much to catch up on it must be really boring for Leonard to sit and listen - oh well!
This afternoon we decided it was time to shake the dust off and go for a ride. We headed out on Rt 90 from Benson. Our first stop was Kartchner Caverns State Park.
We thought about going into the caverns but two things stopped us: my foot is still giving me problems when I do a lot of walking but mostly what stopped us was the cost $6.00 to park and $25.00 EACH for the tour. We've seen enough caves and caverns so were not about to pay $56.00 to see another.
The guard did let us drive though the park (as long as we did not park the car). There looks to be a decent campground with full hook up. I think the sign said $20. a night. Not bad.
We traveled on down Rt 90 to RT 82 and headed west. What beautiful scenery. We were climbing higher into the mountains. On both sides were miles and miles of waving grass with mountains for a backdrop.
About 3.5 miles back the bumpy road we found the remains of the Empire Ranch.
The ranch was established in 1860. They were instrumental in the breeding and promotion of Hereford cattle. AHA! My cousin Muriel lives in nearby Hereford. I now see the connection. At one time the ranch was comprised of over ONE MILLION acres. It now sits on 42,000 acres of BLM land in the Las Cienegas Natural Conservation Area.
As you can see by the above picture, work is being done to restore the buildings. Many movies were filmed on this property. They include Red River staring John Wayne and later Red River staring James Arness. Also scenes from Oklahoma!, 3:10 to Yuma, The Big Country (one of my favorites staring Gregory Peck), Outlaw Josie Wales and a long list of other movies and tv shows including Bonanza.
After leaving the BLM area, the drive was mostly downhill. A few of the curves were door handle holders.
We reached I10 and headed back east to Benson. The total loop was 101 miles, including the side trip to the ranch.
Once home we made a quick supper of pasta with white clam sauce and threw in a few nice shrimp friend Judy had given us. Yummy!
Again, we are hearing the slide toppers flapping in the wind and feel the rig shake a little.
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