Turning the wheels towards New Mexico, we had three more short visits in mind before leaving Arizona: Whitewater Draw, Benson and Willcox.
Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area is a great place for solitude and viewing sandhill cranes. We stayed here last January recuperating from our exhausting month+ managing a Christmas tree lot in nearby Sierra Vista – blog post HERE. It was a little busier this time around. Several other campers were already in the parking lot but we found a spot to set up. The daily masses of sandhill cranes in and out of the wetland is always amazing to see and hear. They have a very distinct bugle (or honk, if you will). From this location, we took a couple day trips in to one of our favorite towns, Bisbee. They have a great coffee roaster there and we needed to resupply. It’s easy to kill a day just walking up and down the narrow streets filled with shops of all kind and cafes for every palette. A town right next to Bisbee is Lowell. The town feels like you have stepped back in time. The vacant shops are all vintage, as well as the vehicles that line the street. It’s a fun little place to wander as well.
Bisbee, Arizona Photos
Lowell, Arizona Photos
As we moved to Benson, we stopped in Sierra Vista to have the shop that installed our hitch for towing the Honda fix a problem whereby the hitch wasn’t stowing away properly. It was a fairly simple fix as the articulating bolts had just gotten too tight. They loosened them up and we went on our way. The bolts are huge and I didn’t have a socket that big.
Benson was mostly a three night stopover (SKP Saguaro Co-op RV park) to dump tanks and get some laundry done. We did make it into town one night to a favorite restaurant for gourmet Mexican fare – Mi Casa.
Last stop in Arizona was another wildlife area parking lot in the proximity of our intended destination – the Chiricahau National Monument. We only stayed in this spot two nights. Yes, it was free but it just wasn’t that appealing – a dirt parking lot with walking trail access to the Willcox Playa wildlife area. It is also right next to a state highway and we didn’t like the idea of multiple day trips into the national monument leaving the RV all alone. There is a campground in the national monument but it was full up and very tight quarters!
Our single day trip into the monument left us wanting to come back when we could explore the trails without 30 mph winds! Very interesting geology here – reminded us of the Alabama Hills area of Lone Pine, CA.