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2007: RV Vacation to Southern Arizona
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December 20, 2007: This morning I took myself to breakfast. Information at the RV park suggested Benson had several "40's" cafes and I wanted to experience a couple. I took myself to the Horse Shoe Cafe without Gwen because she fixed herself a healthy breakfast shake at the trailer. Click this photo to enlarge. There is a reflection on the counter of ceiling neon lights in the shape of a horse shoe. The Horse Shoe Cafe
By-the-way ... this is the day Gwen and I decided to stay in Benson, Arizona another week. We are having too much fun and there is still much to do and see. This means, we won't get to New Mexico. I have changed the title to the vacation pages to eliminate New Mexico ... that state will have to wait for another year.
The Horse Shoe Cafe The cafe was exactly as I had hoped. Good food, and a 40's atmosphere. As it turns out, the Horse Shoe Cafe was a place where a famous animal artist painted walls outside and inside.

The cafe has been in the same Benson family since 1936. I had ham and eggs with a homemade biscuit and homemade salsa. Gwen said she will visit the cafe with me tomorrow.

I also bought some used swivel skid wheels for the back of the trailer.

December 21, 2007: Gwen and I attended a resort computer class this morning then took ourselves to a movie, National Treasure. It was "OK". After the movie, we went window shopping in the Tucson Mall. Since this is the Friday before Christmas, the mall was very busy. We bought nothing, only walked the mall looking at all the shoppers. It's movie day
Saguaro Escapees RV park below with Dragoon Mountains to the right
Cochise Stronghold on the east side of the Dragoon Mountains December 22, 2007: Cochise was the famous chief of the Apache indians in the mid-1800's. His stronghold to hide from the US Calvary was in the Dragoon Mountains which are the mountain range taking a little more than the right half of the photo above. You are seeing the west side of the Dragoon Mountains and the entrance to Cochise Stronghold is on the east side of the mountains.
The Saguaro Escapees RV Park is pictured with the Dragoon mountains about 15 miles in the distance. From these mountain peaks, Cochise and his warriors could see the Calvary approaching for hours before they arrived. This was also where Cochise would mount his raids on the encroaching settlers. Click any of the photos to enlarge. Remember, if you get a magnifying glass shape with a (+) in the glass, click the photo again to enlarge to it's fullest. The photos below were taken during our hike of the Cochise Stronghold. There were 1,000 indians hiding in this mountain valley. 250 of those were warriors, the rest were women and children. You can imagine Apache families finding places to make a home and guard their safety at the same time.
Cochise Stronghold A wash in the Cochise Stronghold
Rocky trail in the Cochise Stronghold Overlooking the valley where 1,000 Apaches hide from the US Calvary, Cochise Stronghold
After our hike, we ended the day with a concert at the Escapees park from the park Christmas Choir and several soloists. If was an enjoyable concert. It was obvious the choir had spent many hours in practice. Yes, you can enlarge this photo too.
2007 Christmas Choir at Saguaro Escapees RV Park
December 23, 2007: We began this day with a worship service at the San Pedro Valley United Methodist Church, just down the street from the Saguaro RV Park. San Pedro Valley United Methodist Church
Reb's Cafe in Benson I was pretty hungry after the church service and was anxious to try another of the "40's" cafes in Benson. We went to Reb's Cafe where you can get two eggs, potatoes and toast for only $4. It was good food.
A gift from the folks at the Saguaro RV park Click to enlarge, Tombstone Courthouse
When we got home from Reb's Cafe, we found a package of goodies on our step from the park. I wanted to visit Bisbee again looking for some late Christmas gifts. On the way, we stopped at the Tombstone Courthouse to read some history of the area. The shop I wanted to see in Bisbee is the "Full Moon on Main" gift shop. I ended up buying a couple of late Christmas gifts here.
We finished up this busy day by eating at an El Paso Barbeque restaurant in Sierra Vista, Arizona. This is a busy city on the return trip from Bisbee to Benson. This was very good food with enough left over for tomorrow's lunch.
December 24, 2007: After a morning where we fueled the truck and refilled a propane tank to get ready for travel in two days. We hike into the desert behind the Saguaro Co-Op park. Gwen has built a stone arch. We hike further down the trail where Gwen finds a Yucca plant. Hiking in the desert behind the Saguaro RV Park
Yucca Desert Tril
D & G in the desert

We found an area where several hikers had made their initials with rocks. We decided to make some initials for Dale and Gwen.

This was also the day we gave a deposit to become leaseholders sometime in the future. All the escapees Co-Op parks are slightly different. This park has a long waiting list, we are number 430 on the list. The office staff suggested it will take as much as seven

years to become a leaseholder. We really aren't interested in a lease for ten to fifteen years, so we have plenty of time. Once a lot becomes available, a leaseholder must pay the full lease plus purchase the improvements to the lot. That will cost from $8,000 to $40,000 depending upon the improvements. The annual Saguaro Co-Op
maintenance fee is currently $500. So a leaseholder could live at this park for $500 plus electricity. When the leaseholder chooses to leave the park, ALL of the lease investment is returned to the leaseholder.
Space 45 December 25, 2007: This was a windy Christmas Day. Morgan and I took a couple of short hikes but most of the day was spent learning to do something new with my photos. I met Mike. Mike has a wonderful Webpage with many wonderful "Fullscreen Panoramic" photos.
Mike was away for the day so I downloaded some free software which has allowed me to make 360° photos, not yet as good as Mike's but I'll blame it on the equipment and software for now. If you click the Cameo photo above, you'll see my first 360° photo. Once loaded to your computer, use your pointer to swing the camera 360° to view the row where we have been parked at the Saguaro Co-Op park. Had I known how to do this during some of our hikes this last two weeks you might have gotten a better idea of this beautiful area.
The park potluck was at 2 pm today. We were assigned to table 3. Table assignments made it much easier and quicker to serve ourselves from the many dishes available from those providing them at table 3. Christmas Pot Luck
We've moved to North Ranch RV Park in Congress, AZ December 26, 2007: Today was moving day to North Ranch Escapees RV Park in Congress, Arizona. We had to drive through Phoenix to get here. I thought we would be on a freeway but instead, we were on a multi-lane road with stop lights about every half mile and they all seemed to be RED for us. We are here to visit a friend in Prescott.

View of Congress and North Ranch
December 27, 2007: We spent the day in Prescott, Arizona visiting our friend Dick. The view above is of the Congress valley with North Ranch on the far left and Congress toward the right. Click any of these three photos to enlarge. We took a driving tour of the Prescott area and walked through downtown. It was never above 27 degrees. Below is the Prescott valley. Dale, Gwen and Dick in front of Prescott, Arizona Court House
Prescott, Arizona
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