Friday, November 15, 2013

Chiricahua National Monument

Interesting Building
Friday, November 15, 2013, Chiricahua National Monument - 0 miles, 4,329.8 For the Trip

I woke up with a stiff neck & headache; I guess the cold of the other day isn't done with me. After breakfast wrote out Christmas cards for my daughter & family as well as granddaughter Valerie's 6th birthday card. They are in Botswana, so it takes quite awhile for them to get there. Hopefully they will make it on time!

I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and do something. I received some email from a Escape Forum reader named Kenneth who is sailing in what I suspect is warm waters asking if I was planning to visit nearby Chiricahua National Monument. Since I try to see as many National Parks & Monuments as possible, I took him up on the suggestion. It is about a 60 mile drive from Douglas on good 2 lane (and mostly empty) roads. Along the road I found a wonderful old building I had to stop at for a photo or two.

The monument had a fire in 2011, and heavy rain this year that caused flooding of many trails and the campground. Most of it is fixed at this time - one trail is still restricting horse travel.

Since I wasn't quite up to par, I didn't do any of the hikes, although Heart of Rocks Loop was awfully tempting since there is a striking balanced rock along the trail. An 8 mile round trip, so I passed it up. I took the scenic drive through the monument. Lots of interesting rock formations, many of which can be seen from the road. There are a few pull offs so I took a few photos, but there is much more to see. I tried for a panorama at Massai Point, but Photoshop let me down - it just could not seam together the images. It was cool (the monument is 3000' higher than Douglas, and very windy. More of today's photos at LakeshoreImages.
I took a loop through the campground. Very pretty campsites, although you can still see the damage done by the flood. There was a Casita in the campground, so, of course, I took a photo. On the way out of the monument I talked with the volunteer at the visitor center about the campground. While it looked like the flood would have destroyed many of the campers, they had plenty of warning & got everyone out before the water arrived. The stream goes through the middle of the campground, with a steep "dip" rather than a bridge over it. If you are camping on the opposite side from the main road you will have to wait till the water goes down before leaving.

After driving back to Douglas I stopped at Walmart & purchased a heating pad. It did wonders for my neck! Dinner was simple, a couple of ham sandwiches, chips, and coleslaw.

Until tomorrow -

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