Cochise Stronghold: Turn Back the Clock

I first went to Cochise Stronghold when I was 11….and that was a long time ago.We used to go out there when we visited my grandmother in St. David, Arizona; the (then) public road was right by her home, and from there it was about a half hour drive to the foothills of the Dragoon mountains, where massive piles of boulders make up the stronghold. It’s a very magical place.

I had a chance to revisit the stronghold today. One of my mother’s brothers, Thomas, lives in St. David and is very familiar with the area; the once public road out to the mountains is now private, and has a security code. The layout of the small forest service roads in the mountains is different due to human/drug smuggling that occurs in the area. So having a guide sure helped; also along for the ride was my mom and my brother Eric.

This is a view near Council Rocks:

I immediately remembered “shark rock”:

There are many, many metates in the area. Long before the Apaches lived in the area, ancient Mogollon peoples were a part of the land.

Here’s a great photo of my mom and her brother:

And here’s a shot of me, Eric and my mom:

And here’s another lovely photo of my mom; you can see in the background that the rocks in the background would be a very effective place to hide:

There’s also a ruin of what I believe was once a Butterfield Stagecoach station and inn; there’s even less left now than there was 30 years ago, here’s yet another shot of my sporty mom in front of what’s left of some of the walls:

I got a mug shot in front of the old adobe bricks, too:

It was a great day, not too hot this morning, and a long drive out there and back to Tucson; and when I got home, a huge storm hit, the strongest I think I’ve seen here. I think a microburst hit my neighborhood. Power poles are snapped just a few blocks away but I luckily have power; however, my palo verde tree was uprooted and currently sits at a 45 degree angle in my yard:

This would just be a big tree-removal bill, normally, but the top of the tree is resting against my electric power line. I’m hoping the power company will come out tomorrow and make this situation safer; no doubt I’ll have to pay to remove the tree. While it’s hard to see in the photo, about half of my fence blew down as well; the panels are now propped up so I don’t see the rentals to the north of me.

It’s always amazing to me how the summer skies here can be blue as a bell in the morning…..and then by 5:00PM you can be caught up in a frightening storm.

My friend and neighbor Bruce, who has a reliable rain gauge,  told me we got 2.25 inches of rain in less than an hour today. Wow. Just 2 miles away, 3.65 inches in an hour was reported on the news.

Believe me, 2.25 inches is more than enough.