Willcox, Arizona – April 2023 – Historic Railroad Avenue

The town of Willcox grew up because of the railroad, and it’s primary business street (for 2 blocks) is Railroad Avenue. The old passenger depot is now city hall.

There are a couple of pieces of memorabilia outside the building, as well as a small exhibit inside.

A vacant train car sits across the street with a ramada over it.

The town dates from the late 1800s.

Most of the buildings date from the early 1900s.

The town’s most famous son is Rex Allen, the ‘Arizona Cowboy’. Rex was a singer and actor along the lines of Roy Rogers. If you do a search for him you can find him doing a great version of Tumblin’ Tumbleweeds, complete with a green rhinestone suit.

The Willcox area has 15 wineries surrounding it, as well as huge pecan and pistachio farms, but in the end Willcox was, is, and will always be a railroad town.

Tucson – April 2022 – Catalina State Park

Catalina State Park is one of the most popular hiking locales in all of Southern Arizona. The scenery is spectacular.

A few wildflowers are still in bloom.

Saguaros can live over 150 years, but even when they reach their end, they are impressive, and provide habitat for wildlife.

The Canyon Loop Trail starts out by making your way across a wide wash where you will get your feet a bit wet.

After climbing out of the wash you make your way back towards the mountains for a mile or so, passing a variety of scenic landscapes.

Eventually you make the turn and start heading back, with most of the return route through the washes.

And if you are a beagle the perfect ending is a quick dip in the cool water of the creek.

Green Valley, Arizona – April 2023 – Canoa Ranch

Canoa Ranch is another of those massive Arizona ranches from yesteryear that are now parks/nature preserves. The ranch features a number of buildings, including the main hacienda.

Many of the buildings were to support the ranch operations, including bunkhouses for the vaqueros, kitchens, and more.

The day we visited they were having a small market.

The ranch has numerous trails around the grounds and an onsite pond. The volunteers who work there are more than happy to share their knowledge of the ranch and it’s history.

Tucson – April 2023 – Variety of Mt Lemmon

A beautiful Sunday was the perfect time for a ride up Mt Lemmon.

First stop was Rose Lake, a reservoir high enough in elevation (7000′) that it is in a Ponderosa Pine forest.

A view from Windy Point. Even though it is only about 1000′ in elevation lower than Rose Lake, the look is very different.

Once you drop down below 4000′ you see the Saguaro and Brittle Bushes in bloom.

Elgin, Arizona – April 2023 – Flying Leap Vineyards

The area around Willcox, Elgin and Sonoita Arizona have a climate and soil conditions similar to California and Argentina, as they are over 5000′ in elevation resulting is ‘not as hot’ a climate. As a result there are more than 15 wineries in Sonoita and Elgin alone, and another 14 in Willcox.

We stopped by the Flying Leap Vineyard near Elgin for some tasting and a tour. While it is too early for the grapes to be growing, it is still a picturesque setting.

Not only does Flying Leap make wine, they also make spirits, and the nice people at Flying Leap showed me around.

The facility has separate tasing rooms for the spirits and the wines.

You are more than welcome to wander around the facility.

They are very dog friendly!

While there are many tasting rooms in the area, a stop at Flying Leap is highly recommended.

Tombstone, Arizona – April 2023 – People of a Parade

The town of Tombstone is like many other small Arizona towns, except they have a dirt main street full of tourists shops, and a plethora of tourists coming to see ‘the old west’, at least the version that Hollywood made.

One of the highlights of the town is the worlds largest rose bush/tree. To celebrate this once a year they have their Rose Parade, which is nothing like Pasadena or even Portland. In true Tombstone most of it is the old west look, with a dose of patriotism.

There were multiple color guards.

The workers from the Bird Cage Theater checked out the scene.

Many of the Tombstone regular actors took part.

Dorothy and Friends were there! Not sure where they have been all these years.

A motorcycle preacher.

My personal favorite participant, whom I believe we saw in the Pet Parade in Tucson a few weeks ago.

These young ladies were part of the community church group.

The parade was sponsored by a women’s club in Tombstone, who specializes in dressing up like the late 1800, early 1900s.

Dorothy is looking for a ride out of town.

Superior, Arizona – April 2023 – Spring Bloom at the Arboretum

The Boyce Thompson Arboretum is the oldest and largest arboretum in Arizona, covering almost 400 acres. A picture perfect, 75 degree Sunday in April was a great chance to check out the spring blooms.

A Texas Mountain Laurel (according to Google Images – which educate me each time I do a posting like this)

An unusual pairing, a barrel cactus and daisies.

The blooms of an aloe plant.

An Organ Pipe cactus

A Yucca in bloom.

The Clevenger House was built in the early 1900s, using the canyon as one of the walls for the house.

The Palm Grove

A mountain aloe

It is amazing what can grow on the rocks of a cliff, with as little rainfall as this area gets.

We ended our tour with this hummingbird doing it’s thing.

Globe, Arizona – April 2023 – Sniffing Out More Wildflowers

A perfect weather Sunday was a great reason to go sniff out some more wildflowers.

The Globe area is proud enough of their wildflowers they have a festival the weekend of April 7th and 8th, but we visited the weekend before with a return to Peridot Mesa on the San Carlos Apache Reservation, about 20 miles east of Globe.

The surrounding mountains appeared to have ‘streams’ of flowers running down them.

The native plants add to the atmosphere, mixed in with the wildflowers.

A sea of flowers, without the crowds.

Pinal County, Arizona – April 2023 – Highway 177

There are lots of scenic highways in Arizona, most far longer than the 31 miles of Arizona Highway 177. The road runs between two small towns, Winkelman and Superior.

While most of the route is very scenic, it does run along the massive Ray Copper Pit (no photos – why ruin the scenery).

The good news is the rest of the route have views like this.

The road drops more than 1000 vertical feet going south from Superior. It is a popular route for motorcycles, as we passed about 50 motorcycles going northbound in the 30 miles.

Many of the hillsides were covered in wildflowers on this early April day.

Once you reach the Gila River basin you find numerous fields of green.

A short line railroad runs up the valley from Winkelman, and ends our great ride along Arizona Highway 177.