We took our time packing and getting ready to leave T or C and Riverbend Hot Springs.  The first leg of our trip to Patagonia was only planned to be 120 miles day one.  The wind the day before was significant but had eased quite a bit for our departure.  Packing seemed to be a bigger job than it really was, we had been sitting for four months so I guess we felt a bit out of practice.

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View album HERE then click any picture for slide show.

Well we were soon ready to roll, I had arranged get a hand measuring out height for bridge clearances and that was a short stop before we hit the I-25 super slab.  I had guessed pretty close, we were 13’ on the nose.  Very good to know for sure.  Our trip to City of Rocks was uneventful and included a stop in Hatch for more of Gilly’s Chiles.  The wind was picking up and when we arrived at City of Rocks it was blowing pretty good.  There was a cold bite in the air and it kept us from seeing much of the park.  Like so much of this area, the ancient volcanic activity combined with time, wind and rain take credit for this mystical place.  Right in the middle of rolling foothills is this outcropping of huge boulders. They once were a mound of ash.  It is amazing to think of the changes over time and what is yet to come for places like this.  Next time we are here, weather permitting, we will be spending more time outside and hiking among the rocks.

Day two, a longer travel day & landed in AZ20140202_115602.jpg

Getting a good nights sleep and heading out ‘early’ the drive to Kartchner Caverns was long but very enjoyable.  The views and scenery in this part of the country would be hard to get tired of seeing.  It is just beautiful country.

There are tourist traps along the way of course and of course we have to stop once in a while.  Signs for one started about 150 miles before we reached it.20140202_135132.jpg

The THING, it was.  We stretched our legs and got back in the rig pretty quick, but we can now say we were there.20140203_100816.jpg

We get to Kartchner Caverns SP and this is the view out the back window.  I did unhook and level because we only have a 70 mile trip the next day.  It is about 3:00PM and we are in no rush.  Our plan had been to see the caverns but decided to hold off because it is so close to Patagonia and we will be right back in the area here for some exploring during our stay at Patagonia.  Good decision as we found out later that entry fees are waived for SP volunteers.

Patagonia Lake SP

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View album HERE then click any picture for slide show.

So day three gets here and we arrive at Patagonia Lake.  We report to Pat and find out he and his wife have been volunteers at Palatki also, and whereare they headed from here?  Grand Lake in CO., we will be neighbors, within a mile of each other there!  Wow what a coincidence.  Pat and Keven are great folks, we quickly get down to all the orientation stuff that sets the stage for what we will be doing while we are here.  Pat seems to be a well organized manager and detail oriented.

There are a number of volunteers here, one couple have recently purchased a house nearby and hosted a pot luck dinner the fourth night we were here.  There were about thirty folks there and of course we can’t remember all the names.  Most of these folks are avid bird watchers and they spend a lot of time guiding groups on the many trails in the Sonoita Creek nature area.  The bird migration is just starting and some folks say we will get the ‘birding’ bug.  Rhonda may get it but I doubt I will, if I see a bird and want to know more about it, I can look it up.  We have seen a good number of deer and hope to see a mountain lion.  This is a small lake and the only body of water for miles around.  The wildlife here is abundant.

A good amount of my time will be spent piloting the pontoon boat.  We had ten cruises Sunday!  Tough job but somebody has to do it…

We ordered inflatable PFDs for the Sea Eagle, looking forward to that package delivery.  We can’t use the eagle without PFDs and the bulky vests will be no fun for sure.  I will not be surprised if we don’t need to get a decent waterproof camera soon after the maiden voyage of the eagle.  Any suggestions anyone?

Our internet connection is spotty, the booster helps some but we have sprint and the booster can only boost if there is a signal to work with.  For data, that is not always the case.  I may be getting a Verizon hot spot from Millenicom soon.

Well that is the story, stay tuned for the adventures ahead.  There is no shortage of really neat stuff to see and do in this area.  We are getting our bearings and will be making plans soon.

Till next time, remember TurnWhenTheRoadDoes.