January 31, 2021

A Little Trip To Tombstone

It is perfect weather this time of year with cold mornings that climb into the 50's by noon and hotter by the afternoons. Sunshine almost every day, not counting the storms last week, storms that we really needed. It will be a few months before Carr Canyon Rd is open again where I can drive the 9,600' climb to the highest peak on the right there. The dogs love it because they can hang out in the backyard for as long as they want without hiding in the shade. Consequently the past few days since my last post I have spent a lot of time out and about the local area with the camera left at home.

Walter is slowly backing up his wake up call earlier by the day, a sure sign that Spring is on the way. He likes to wake all of us up a little before sunrise. One good thing about that is I don't have to set an alarm and I have time to take the sunrise photos almost every morning.

Stella wanted to make sure all of you saw her alive and well. Most photos of her lately have shown her sleeping in one room or another, even outside. She will be 12 years old this summer but still enjoys her daily walks. Yes, she is a little slower getting up from laying down or getting down into the sleeping position but she has a supplement that helps her joints through old age. This coming August will be 6 years since I made the 4 hour drive down to Jeffersonville Kentucky from my home at the time in "the tropics" to pick her up. They were her 3rd home in her first 5+ years. I was soon to be her 4th home in her first 6 years.

Of course now instead of exploring the green grass field back in the tropics with Sadie, she has to defend herself sometimes from the two puppies Walter and Henry. They like to join up and attack her high and low when playing almost the same exact time, two times a day. I have come to her rescue a few times when I hear she needs some help.

After Henry woke me up the other night in the middle of the night puking (is there anything that wakes you up quicker than that from a deep sleep ????), I decided as I cleaned it up that his wood eating days were over. I won't catch him all the time but most of the time. I started the next morning by throwing every stick I could find in the yard over the fence in the land behind me. Things were much better on Saturday and Sunday.

The warmer afternoons had finally melted the frozen old rope bone seen in the upper right of the photo. I actually saw Henry have it in his mouth walking that direction on Saturday. So that is a good wood substitute. It was only in the 50's but the sun is still really hot and Stella enjoys her naps in the hot sun on the warm rocks. I think some people pay money to do the same thing don't they ??

By night time if I am sitting on the couch all three of them will get as close as possible and sleep.

I notice a tractor with a front loader on it the other day doing some work in the area that looks like a dirt road. Right before that is a very deep natural wash. Makes me wonder if the county is preparing for something in the future or if they even own the land. Or was it just general maintenance. It did look like a tractor the county uses but I am not sure about who owns that land.

After my return home today from my Tombstone road trip I opened the patio door for the hounds and the dog so they could enjoy the great weather. Then I heard something I had not heard since moving here in June 2019. Cows ... mooing. So I grabbed the Nikon off the counter, switched lenses to the 70-300mm and look what I found. This is past that road I just showed you in the photo before this one. It always amazes me how healthy horses and cattle look around here with a diet that is nothing more than high desert dead brush.

It was something I had been wanting to do for a while now but I was trying to fix a gas leak, so anything longer than a ten mile trip around town the past few months was not possible. I fixed that leak by having the custom made aluminum tank taken out and a stock vw tank put in. Mark's Auto Repair downtown did the install. Sorry, he does not have a web page that I can link.

So the plan for today was to take my 1959 VW Single Cab truck out for a 60 mile loop that starts north, then turns east on Hwy 82 towards Tombstone. It is the same course I take my sports car when I don't have time to do my 2 hour course. It's beautiful country out there and as you can see traffic is pretty light on an early Sunday morning. Although not too early. I had to wait for it to warm up beause when they installed the new bigger engine for the previous owner, they did not hook up the heater boxes. Why would you when the car was in Hawaii?? LOL. Sooo with those cold temps it is best I have found to wait a little before hitting the road in this truck since it does not have a heater.

With a 1835cc engine and dual carbs, it cruises easy at 65mph even in windy conditions. The small hills were not a problem either. It makes a huge difference when driving these anti-aerodynamic vw flat front ends, to have a larger vw engine.

I felt confident arriving in Tombstone early Sunday that I would not only find a parking spot close to town but also enjoy an early lunch at the Oriental Saloon or Big Nose Kate's. As I turned off Hwy 80 onto a side street to find my parking spot I realized two things were going to prevent me from lunch. One was my own fault. Some time I had taken my mask out of the vw, where a mask is kept in every vehicle. So I had no way to enter either place to eat lunch without a mask. Second thing was the town was packed with summertime like tourists ... blocks and blocks of cars and trucks parked bumper to bumper. 

I tried the courthouse area or even a block past that, nowhere to park. I had lost my appetite not only for food but to join a million people on the sidewalks to take any photos. I found this spot on the south end of town and picked up my only photo of the day in Tombstone. From here I turned around and headed north to the street that would take me to Charleston Rd and head back home.

Yes, those are the same mountains I see from the patio and that you see in my photos. Only this time I am over 15 miles away from town and another 4-5 miles to the base of those mountains. The old vw ran like new, had it's picture taken a few times while I was looking for parking and a few 'peace signs' thrown my way. I must say that the short time I spent in Tombstone made me forget everything going on in the nation today. Current events seemed like past history.

From that not much was done the rest of the day except we soaked up the sun in the backyard and ended up with a very long siesta that wiped out our late afternoon. So overall it was another good day living in SE Arizona and when you are retired every day can be just like this. I never forget how fortunate I am to live in this part of the USA.

Walter is snoring loudly as I post this tonight ... so that tells you it was another great day in the 'Wild West'.


  1. Loved the Stella photo and remember that I started following your blog not too long after you brought her home.

    Our three storms have passed through after leaving a total for the week of nearly 4 feet of snow. I am shoveled out. Weather looking good for the next week or so.

    1. It wasn't more than a couple of says after she arrived that she pulled herself up to bust out the screened window, 39" off the floor and only 16" high, then put her nose on the back of my leg while I was mowing the yard. I knew then she really was a professional escape artist just like the previous owner warned me about. Good to hear about your weather improvement. That's a LOT of snow to melt.

  2. WOW... we found your blog before Stella. I believe it was Winston who captured the heart and soul of my sidekick. And, now he tunes in for Henry Adventures. He wants a hound so bad but they are so big and heavy and I am just afraid it would not be a good fit for the little man. So I keep telling him to just keep an eye on Steve and the Hounds and the Dog and see how big Henry gets. He reminds me all the time, Henry and Winston look alike. Amazing how he recognized that from the first pic of Henry.

    1. He does look like Winston. I was comparing photos the other day at this age. Tell your sidekick that Henry is so heavy any more that I can barely pick him up.

  3. HaHa!!! YES! Nothing wakes you up faster! Never actually knew i could move so fast :) (made it to the wood floor)

    1. At least he had walked out of the carpeted bedroom and was heading for the patio door. Barely made it down the hallway before he got sick, luckily on tile.