Saturday, March 6, 2010

Cochise Stronghold

We drive over to Cochise County in the Dragoon Mountains and saw one of the most spectacular sights we have ever seen - Cochise's Stronghold. When Cochise was on the run he and his band of merry men hid in the mountains high over a large canyon and had complete control for a long time over the soldiers that were chasing him. On the way there, just past Dragoon, we saw another dust storm starting and a dust devil forming. We are very happy to report that we were probably a couple of miles away at the time and it was not coming our direction. The canyon is rocky, hilly and full of thorns and cacti. The walls are gigantic rocks going up seemingly forever. Tactically, this was a perfect spot to draw an enemy into. The canyon goes into the mountains for approximately 20 miles, with a US Forest Service dry camping campground at the end of the road/canyon. The campground is beautiful and surrounded on three sides by high rock walls. We saw why Cochise used this area for his stronghold. He had a ready-made place to camp serviced by the US Forest Service at the end of the canyon and it even included primitive restrooms. What military commander could ask for more? Carol tried to tell me that the campground was not here in the late 1800s but, who knows for sure, huh? Carol, Sunny and I ate our lunch at a picnic table in this CG. The high walls were difficult to see through the leaves of the trees but there are there. It is eerie to try to think what the soldiers saw when they entered the canyon and made their way through it. Besides the rugged terrain, snakes and other predators, there was a formidable enemy, Cochise! Must have been terrifying! I have run out of words to describe the sights we saw today. One rock formation on top of the canyon even looks like an Indian Chief with his feather bonnet! The raw, rugged beauty of the canyon were simply awesome! Oh, and we found another Roadside America attraction - a Dinosaur guarding a McDonalds in Benson, AZ. How cool is this?

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