21 March 2006 Tuesday

Chiricahua National Monument, AZ. We caught the shuttle van to the top of the mountain and filled the last two seats open. We talked to the ranger for a few minutes and laid out a route for us to se the best formations along a one day hike. We marked out a nine mile hike. We saw lots of the strangest formations!  We ran into a crew from the Southwest Conservation Corps and the Park Service that were cleaning up and rebuilding some of the trails that have eroded.  They were using some pretty serious buckets and pulleys to move rocks from one area to an area of trail that needed shoring up.  They were doing a great job on this trail!  The park has named several formations, but others allow you to use your imagination.  After hiking a loop called “The Heart of the Rocks” Trail, we ran into some horses on the trail. (There’s a concessionaire that does trail rides in the park.) At first we were behind them, but they wanted us to move in front. So we were hiking fast down the mountain in front of about 8 horses, and we didn’t stop much for photos.

When we left Chiricahua, we headed south to the Mexican border towards Douglas, AZ and Aqua Prieta, Mexico.  We stopped for a minute in Coronado National Forest for the night.  Again we’re greeted with the sign about smuggling and illegal immigration.,   Again, we didn’t see anything going on, except for a couple of others camping.

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