Now begins a new adventure. An adventure in place – but not really – because I always feel best when I light out for the Territory Ahead kind of like Huck Finn. I’m calling our new home Eldarica (el-duh-ree-ka)  for the sixteen pine trees we just planted.

There’s a hummingbird sitting on her nest outside my window. Barely 2 feet away and I try not to disturb her. She sits, flies away to where I do not know and then comes back. Now, there’s no way I’m going to remove any more limbs from that tree! A large Arizona cypress. It’s going to stay the way it is until she hatches her eggs or leaves because something happens. I have to let her do her job. The white thorn acacia that is now blooming everywhere must be nourishing her. Maybe this place will nourish me, too.

Can you see her? Smack dab in the middle of the picture on her nest.

We’ve settled in for the most part. I have my important kitchen equipment now and my desktop set up. I’ve made cookies in the oven. I’m making sauerkraut in the Kilner fermentation jar. I’m working on a story about yucca shampoo for Mother Earth News. The days are hot, the mornings and evenings cool and the nights cold. A gray fox barks outside our window in the dark. Early in the morning a western tanager alights in the mulberry tree and then flies on.

We decided to explore the Huachuca Mountains yesterday. The Huachuca’s are a mere 10 minute drive to the west of us. The highest peak is Miller Peak which is 9,466 feet above sea level. Its next-door neighbor is Carr Peak at 9,237 feet. There’s a road that goes up there that ends at a campground we’re told. The campground is at a respectable 7,200 feet and the road is passable when dry. So we go. It’s six miles and mostly one lane. For the first mile and a half it’s easy going.

Carr Peak is just out of the picture on the left. We’re headed for the top of that mesa on the left.

Pretty soon though it gets rough. Plus, there’s a big drop off nearly straight down into trees. A voice inside my head says quit but I can’t so both hands on the wheel we go slow unrelenting up, up, up.

North Yunga Road in Bolivia gives you a taste of what we experienced on the uphill climb to Carr Peak. I’m not kidding. We weren’t prepared.

I can’t take a picture on the way up because I can’t stop and certainly not let go of the wheel. No place to turn around either. Just keep on keepin’ on. We haven’t turned the trip meter on, so we aren’t sure how far we’ve gone or how much farther we have to go. Then we see a van coming down from above. It scrunches over to let us by and as we go past, waving thank you, we see the van is full of people. Are those people crazy, or am I? Then a Razr off road vehicle comes down the road, too, and passes us. Those people have the right idea! A van? A Toyota? No. A Razr, yes!

Finally, I find a slight turn out that is somewhat flat and let Marty have the wheel. We are closer to the “top” than we realize because there it is. Reef Townsite campground, thank God! The end of the road at Ramsey Vista CG is only a mile and a half further.

OK. Deep breath. Lunch time. Let the Toyota have a break.

Reef Townsite CG is nice and cool. No good views of the valley below because of the many pine trees. We think if it wasn’t such terrible road to get here this would be a nice place to camp. Site of an old mining camp. I wonder how those miners got their equipment up there in the mid 1800s before true roads. Burros maybe? Too steep for horse drawn wagons.

On the way back down, Marty goes in low gear and super slow. Great views.

Yes, you have that right. That’s the road we came up on in the foreground. The San Pedro River Valley out beyond with the Mule Mountains in the distance.
Ah! Mexico. It sounds so simple I just got to go. The sun’s so hot I forgot to go home. Guess I’ll have to go now.

When we get back down to the valley we decide to drive over to Tombstone and try the root beer.

All drunk. Homemade sarsaparilla. Say “sass-pa-rilla”.

2 thoughts on “Eldarica”

  1. Hi Renee, Nice story. So how many kinds of humming birds have you seen so far? There are at least 1/2 a dozen in that area. Some very striking in color.

  2. Ahh, what a great story, Renee! And a little James Taylor to boot. Would have been a white-knuckle drive for Susan and me to be sure, always thinking ‘It’ll be better around the bend.’ Reminds me of when Susan and I visited AZ during the 1974 (?) gas crisis. Sun settling west, gauge on empty, driving on the Ghost Town Trail to Tombstone with hope fading of a gas station with gas. Yeah, and had some of that Sarsaparilla the next day to celebrate our arrival in the town ‘too tough to die’. Am with you re: momma hummingbird. Keep the articles coming please. –Tom

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