Thursday, February 5, 2015

Dragoon Full Moon - Adventures in the Dragoon Mountains

How can I describe the beautiful desert in the Dragoon Mountains – the same mountains where the legendary Apache chief Cochise hid about 1,000 of his people in the famous Cochise Stronghold, a rugged, natural fortress that left them undetected from the white man for many years. It's pure magic: The full moon rising over towering pinnacles of rock formation looming Lord-of-the-Ring-like into the sky... Sunsets so colorful against the backlit grass that you think you are in the African Savannah... Waterfalls cascading into pools that, according to Eva, look like Martinelli's Apple Cider...

Our friends Brandie and Bradley hung out with us there, mountain biking, hiking and climbing, telling stories in front of the campfire, all of us searching for their tiny Chihuahua-pug Watson after he got loose from his leash (he returned to the safety of camp half an hour later, panting and smiling). This time has been my favorite so far. Sure, I'm overdoing it physically, pushing so hard that my cough and cold have returned, and being so active every day that the kids are starting to complain. (“Do we HAVE to hike again today?”) But we don't have much time left, and the weather is so beautiful, and we are getting a tan, and we are getting fit, and the rocks are so tempting,... 

Brandie hanging out with Eva

Steve's beard in need of trimming.  He trusts me with the scissors, foolish man...
Luke and I had some great bonding time when we hiked up to a place where hard-core climbers do their rope-and-carabiner-feats, dangling off cliffs higher than many skyscrapers stacked on top of each other.  I would never, never do this, but our crazy friends B and B love it.  Luke and I wanted to watch them, so we mountain biked and scrambled up to the area where the climbers start from. It was quite a workout, and I got to appreciate, once again, my second son's stamina, strength and great attitude.

Here are some pictures of a hike up to the pass, where the trail leads to the Cochise stronghold.  It was a magical hike, so very different than anything you encounter in the lush Pacific Northwest.  We found a creek with waterfalls, one of which Steve promptly had to sit upon with his naked arse.  This man of mine...

A week ago, we were stuck in Tucson in a rainstorm.  This area usually gets 8 inches of rainfall ANNUALLY, and in only two days, it received 3 inches.  All five of us were stuck in the RV, which was beginning to leak in two different spots.  While we set out bowls to catch the raindrops, Eva got a 24-hour flu with high fever.  After the rainstorm and Eva's fever were over, we watched the super bowl at a party in a RV park with a pool and lots of retired people who fawned over our children.  Many of them commented on how well behaved our kids are (huh), and gave sympathetic looks to Luke, who cried after the Seahawks lost.
So you see, we really, really needed some R and R after all this stress, and we got it in the Dragoon Mountains.
Now, we are off to the Catalina mountains.  Wish us luck that no more sickness strikes!

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