Sunday, March 6, 2011

Wilcox, Az. & Chiricahua National Monument

Mon, Feb. 28th - Wed, March 2nd
Leaving Mesa on Monday, we spent the next two nights in Wilcox, Az. We had a nice Texas BBQ lunch in this old train car. Right across the street was a plaque that said the youngest Earp brother, Warren, was shot and killed right here in the Headquarters Saloon on July 6, 1900.

A couple doors down we went to the Rex Allen (Sr.) Museum and Wilcox Cowboy Hall of Fame. You have to be older than dirt, almost as old as me, to remember Rex Allen and his horse, Koko. Rex was in 39 episodes as the Frontier Doctor and did over 100 nature films for Disney. Koko co-starred in 30 motion pictures and traveled over half a million miles with Rex. Entrance fee was $3.00 per couple.
This is one of the displays. They also showed one of his movies, which was kind of fun to sit down and watch. There was all kinds of memorabilia of old western stars such as Roy Rogers, John Wayne, Ronald Reagan, Johnny Cash, Elvis and Rex's sidekick, Slim Pickens.
Right across the street there is a memorial to Rex and his horse. Koko is actually buried there. Next door to Rex's museum is a museum for Marty Robbins. It cost us $1.00 each. Marty is actually from Glendale, a suburb of Phoenix, but his fan club president was from Wilcox, so she put his museum here. Marty was the first country singer to get a grammy and wrote over 500 songs and had 14 #1 hits.

We camped at the Elk's Club campground which was right on the edge of town. I decided to go for a little hike out in the desert. As luck would have it, I stumbled upon the old city cemetery. I thought, how cool, I can get some neat old pictures.

As I was wandering around, I came across the grave of Warren Earp way back in the corner. Some conscientious citizens had put up a very nice grave marker for him. Most of the other markers were tipped over or broken.

Wednesday we headed up to Chiricahua National Monument and Mountain Wilderness Area to do some hiking and exploring. It was a beautiful day and the scenery was great.

There was snow, but it was so nice we didn't even need a jacket.

It was known by the Apaches as "The Land of Standing Up Rocks". Near here is Cochise Stronghold where the Apaches hid out from the army and it is believed the hidden tomb of Cochise is located.

As usual John is waiting for me to catch up. I am always so busy taking photos, but I just can't help it when the surroundings are so incredible.

All the snow made me miss all the wonderful ski trips I used to go on with friends and family. I hope I get a chance to go again sometime.

I just love hiking wilderness trails.

No wonder the Apaches could hide out in here.

Within the National Monument is Faraway Ranch. It was originally homesteaded by a couple whose son was an engineer and was in charge of the CCC building the 17 miles of hiking trails here. The heirs turned it into a guest ranch and eventually donated it to the park in the 70s. You can see the cement pond they built behind the house where they pumped water up from the creek, so guests could swim. We went on a ranger guided tour of the house which is exactly as they left it with all the original furnishings and possessions including a quilt on the bed from Sweden that was a wedding gift to the couple that originally homesteaded here.

More tomorrow,

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