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Time to start east

View Nomad life 2020 on Oceansview's travel map.

Hit the road early on Saturday to start the trek back east. Put another 528 miles on the car bringing the total to 8170 so far to end up in Winslow, AZ.

Since I was there, I stood on a corner.

Milo was also very happy that there was a dog park in town. He got to run around after being in the car all day.

The town of Winslow is a nice little stop along the historic Route 66.

The world's smallest church, dedicated to veterans.

Grand Canyon

The goal of this stop was to visit the Grand Canyon. Anything else would be bonus. The Grand Canyon has been on my bucket list for quite some time. And for all the hype....it lives up to it. Spent most of my first day in the area at the park. Went to several of the look out points along the Southern Rim starting from Mather Point and heading east to Desert View Watchtower.

The views along the way were magnificent and I wish the camera would do the colors and depth more justice...but alas I only use a cell phone.

The Desert View Watchtower was built to look like a period piece but was actually built in modern times. The internal structure is steal while the outside was constructed in true form from the time period. No modern tools were used on it and the result is very authentic looking.

Leaving the park, I decided to try and see a few more things while the sun was still up. I planned to stop at Route 66 ghost town, but ended up pulling over for Walnut Canyon. Its a smaller canyon that has some cliff dwellings. Sadly, Milo couldn't go down the trail to the dwellings, so we just looked from above.

I was losing sunlight and wanted to hit the Meteor Crater and see what killed all the dinosaurs. Made it 45 mins before they closed. Sadly did not get to spend much time in the museum inside, but focused on being outside.

Largest fragment of the original meteor found.

Nice NASA contribution to the exhibit

View over the landscape...nothing but flat for miles until the meteor hit.

It was a very full day and felt happy to see yet another National Park and continue to check off bucket list items. Heading back for the night just in time so see the true colors of the desert. When I think about the desert I picture brown with the occasional green tall cactus sticking up. However, spending time in the desert at sunset and sunrise allows all the colors to come out. There are pale greens and yellows that really pop against the light brown ground and other scrub brushes. I know it doesn't do it justice, but I tried.

I was staying in a state park, Homolo'vi. It is the site of two native American villages of the Homolo'vi people that dates back to the 1300s. One of the oldest preserved sites. Was amazing to see some of the footprints of the buildings and even a partial wall.

Staying in the park was really nice, but I knew it would be short term based on the temperatures. Both nights dropped below 20C and we would wake up to Milo's frozen water bowl.

Monday morning, we got up to strike camp and get to warmer weather south.

Kartchner Caverns

I really like staying at State Parks over private campgrounds. Happy to find Kartchner Caverns State Park with the bonus of a dish washing sink. This may not sound like a big deal, but having a separate large sink with instant hot water to wash the dishes every day makes life a lot easier in the camper.

Tombstone and Fairbank

First day after work, decided to head to the nearby famous Tombstone. They've kept it "authentic" with a dirt road that no cars are allowed on and having several of the same businesses and other ones named after the infamous residents.

The historic Courthouse had really nice lighting due to the storm that was rolling in.

There were other parts of town that looked original but not maintained as well off the main strip.

Thought it was amusing that there is even a fake Tombstone, in Tombstone...that's about the epitome of commercialization,

As I left the town to head back to camp, I stopped to look over the landscape. It really made me wonder what type of grit it took to see this vast emptiness and decide to want to live here. Folks had to be pretty tough, sleeping on the ground and finding food and water. I don't think I would have made it considering my penchant for soft beds.

As I drove back, I saw a sign for Fairbank, historical site and decided to pull in. I'm glad I did. It was a true ghost town that has been preserved for history.

There was even a trail to the cemetery. Milo and I needed to stretch our legs, so off we went on the hike.

This is probably the only cemetery I've been to that didn't have a single headstone. The time period of the town was 1881-early 1900's . It served a rail town closest to Tombstone, but after the mines shut down in 1886, the town declined.

Walking along the trail, with no one around was a little haunting, but the blue sky was just breath taking.

Saguaro National Park

As the country got a new President, I decided to use my afternoon to see more nature. I headed over to the Saguaro National Park so see some of the iconic cacti. One reason mastery of the English language is so hard...cacti, but octopuses. Anyway, there was a nice one way 8 mile loop around the park that afforded several pull off areas for photos.

Starting down the path, it was clear many cyclists used the trail, but clearly needed a warning for part of it.

The different types of cacti also amazed me. Growing up ignorant of the dessert, I thought they were only green, tall with weird arms. They are really diverse and beautiful.

Gilded flicker and Gila woodpecker excavate nest cavities in the cactus for a home leaving these holes. Other birds will use these spaces for homes after the woodpecker abandons it.

It also became very clear that Milo had never encountered a cactus before. He kept trying to get right up next to them. Even after pulling out a couple of spines, he would still insist on seeing them up close.

Coronado and Border Wall

The next day after work I decided to drive down to the border wall. I wasn't very far and I felt like I needed to see massive horrible structure. Driving down I made a quick loop into the Coronado National Park.

Its very pretty, but the sun was starting to dip, so I didn't spend much time there.

I drove towards the border town of Naco and Bisbee. Driving right up to the last turn around spot before crossing the border I cried looking at it.

As I left I took a few more shots from a distance. It just sits there like a giant scar on the landscape. Blocking natural migration paths for animals and destroying the land.

Leaving the town did afford a nice backlit view.

And I even got to see a road runner finally! They sure do blend in!

Heading back to camp I decided to take a break from the same food I had been eating all week and got drive thru homemade quesadilla. Delicious. If you're ever in the area, make a stop at Camino Cafe.

Kartchner Caverns and Sky Island

The last full day in town, I finally got to visit the caverns. It was the only opening all week. Learning about the giant sloth that was found in the cavern goes to show how it changed over time. Unfortunately, could not take any photos inside but it was beautiful.

I took advantage after work to do one last drive of the area up Mount Lemmon. Its called the Scenic Drive to Sky Island and allows you to travel from the desert landscape up to pines. The views were great and I mostly enjoyed the view while driving the winding road and only stopped on occasion for photos.

Arizona was a nice place to visit. I highly recommend it and will be back since I didn't see everything.

Time to find a new view!

Posted by Oceansview 18:17

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