The morning of our departure, and just about every morning of late, the rising sun paints the clouds and sky with gaudy, glorious color. Good karma.
Here's a sight you don't expect to see in the desert. A huge houseboat taking up the entire road. We had to pull over and wait for the convoy to pass.
At the little town of Sonoita we decided to take the back road to Bisbee, going south past Parker Canyon Lake and Coronado's Monument. First, we took a little detour through Elgin and Arizona's wine country. On this Thursday morning, all the wineries were still closed, so I still can't vouch for Arizona wine.
It's a good place to stretch the legs and take in the incredible views from the high point. In the parking lot was some of the high-tech equipment being employed by the Border Patrol to watch for smugglers and other illegal border crossers.
The signs tell the story of Coronado's exploits in the San Pedro Valley, looking for the Seven Cities of Gold in the 16th century.
|Coronado Monument, looking southeast into Mexico.|
As we drove north in the valley looking for the cranes, we could see some flights of them in the air, and finally spotted a large group feeding in a fallow field. There may have been a few thousand, but this pales in comparison to the number of these birds normally present in February. It's been so warm and dry that many of them have possibly started moving to their northern summer grounds.
Across the road in a pasture filled with sheep were huge flocks of lark buntings and yellow-headed blackbirds. They would all rise occasionally en masse, then settle again. My photos of both these scenes are pathetic, but, they're what I have.
Cafe Roka just down the street from our inn. A jazz trio entertained while we savored fresh and innovative entrees and a complimentary choclaty dessert. In the morning, it was back to Tucson, via the beautiful drive through Tombstone and St. David. Despite the disappointment of the birds, it was, as always, a wonderful trip!
|Looking back toward Bisbee|