This morning we drove from our BLM site near Fort Bowie to Chiricahua National Monument. We got up at 6am because we had signed up for the 8:30am shuttle that takes hikers to Masai Point for the 5 mile hike back to the visitor center. We managed to get there in time, and we were pleasantly surprised to find that the shuttle driver was Ranger Ross, whom we met yesterday at the visitor center at Fort Bowie. We were the only passengers on the shuttle this morning.
From Masai Point, we could see the vertical towers that made Chiricahua National Monument famous. The towers are eroded remnants of a 2000 foot-thick layer of ash deposited by the eruption of the Turkey Creek Caldera:
Masai Point is at 6800 feet, and there’s snow on the trail in spots:
Along the trail there are grottos where hikers can hike between the towers. This one has a massive tower remnant suspended between the adjacent towers:
Even in this dry landscape, pockets of water exist:
After returning to the visitor center, we drove up to the campground to shower and fill our water tank. From there we stopped at the Faraway Ranch, a homesteading site in the National Monument.
Our daughter tried ringing the chow bell:
Trish explained that these are saddle racks with the names of the corresponding horse painted on the cans above:
I found an old bike frame:
Pulling out of the campground there was a steep dip to cross a wash. The rear triangles scraped so much that the steel failed and was bent back:
From Chiricahua, we drove to Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area. For some time before this trip, I had been following a number of full-time RV blogs, and when I found something of interest, I would add that location to a Google Map set. This location was recommended by the Hochs and Paul and Nina of Wheelingit, so we decided to stop by. Whitewater is the winter home to tens of thousands of migratory Sandhill Cranes:
The kids got in on the action:
I’m photographing our son photographing our daughter:
We saw an egret as well:
Whitewater allows overnight parking, and we have quite a few neighbors tonight:
As the sun set, I spotted an Aerostat. Nice to know the government is keeping an eye on the border:
Tomorrow we’ll head towards Bisbee, AZ. See the trip map for details.