March 18, 2008

Madera Pass & Madera Canyon

Our plan was to spend a single night at Madera Canyon to do some birding before moving on to Life on Wheels conference in Tucson. Kim insisted we could save some time by cutting across the mountains through the "pass road".

I guess I should have known better when we approached all the warning signs, about being narrow and dropoffs. We get on this 4wd trail and it starts sleeting & snowing....which is AMAZING! since we just left short-sleeve weather a few hours before in Tombstone!

The road is very narrow, winding around the mountains with 100 to 400 foot shear drops off to my left. After what felt like hours, we arrive at the Canyon, only to be greeted by more snow and ice.

It was pretty certain that no birding was to be had at the site, so after attempting (unsucessfully) to back our trailer up the steep, icey campsite we decided to just move on to Tucson....

Tombstone - The Town too Tough to Die!

Well that's what the town motto is, and I guess it's true. The would be gold mine town of the 1800's that's best known for the famous gunfight between the Earp brothers and the "Clanton-Cowboy" gang is till there a major tourist attraction!
We were able to overlook the "commercial" aspects of the place and enjoy the rustic flavor....
most interesting was the visit to Boot Hill Graveyard, well the famous still lie!

for those interested in learning more about the shootout at the OK Corral, watch the 1993 Kirt Russell movie "Tombstone", we did the night before.....
Oh, and remember to allways pack your .44