Imagine this: LeRoy riding an offroad vehicle. Anyone who has known us for a long time will say, so what? What else is new? HOWEVER, this time it’s a four-wheeler, not a dune buggy, and there are no sand dunes in sight, just the Mexican border. Does that paint a different picture?
On Thursday last week we drove to Patagonia with Ron and Carol Young to meet up with a group from Mountain View RV Park in Huachuca City. We stayed there last year in February, so we enjoyed renewing acquaintances from that time. It was a gorgeous day and we rode Polaris ATVs through wonderful desert terrain all day. (The long sleeves were for sun protection, definitely not warmth!)
We rode through tall grass prairie, desert shrubs and cactus and a national forest, so our view never stayed the same for very long during the 6 hour ride.
The canyon ride took us past ranches and retreat centers and many “wouldya-couldya” houses–would you love me, could you live with me in a house like that? Most of them, the answer would have been a definite NO on my part! They were way past being fixer-uppers.
Part of the tour was a look at our tax dollars at work.
The welded steel serves the purpose of stopping vehicles from making their way into the United States, but the multiple wire fence does little to deter humans, it seems to me. We saw numerous places where the fence had been permanently stretched and/or cut to allow individuals through with relative ease. Our guide told us that the trash we saw had just “blown in” to the areas where we saw it, but interestingly enough it was mostly discarded water jugs and bottles, along with some clothing. Our newscasts this weekend talked about desert cleanup being done and they attributed those items to (we will be politically correct here) “international desert travelers”. The eyes of the border patrol were never far from us all day and many times we could see them, too!
One interesting stop was a somewhat distant look at the house used in filming John Wayne’s “McClintock”. Only the outside of the house was filmed. The rancher didn’t like movie actors and they were not allowed inside! The original owner left the property to his children and since they could not pay the inheritance tax, the federal government took it over. It is not open to the public. Even at a distance, though, you can almost see John Wayne tossing his hat toward the roof!
We rode through open range most of the day but after lunch we saw cows all around us, skinny and long horned. LeRoy says they look a lot like the cows he saw on his mission trips to Mexico and not at all like the fatter, sleeker ones we’re used to seeing.
After our last stop at the border near Lochiel, we took trails that led through more mountainous terrain, past Camp Washington and Duquesne, just shadows of their former selves. The houses we saw appeared to be more of the summer cabin variety, with a broad definition of “cabin”, all the way from a small shanty to nicer houses. This one had an unparalleled view!
Just as we were getting back to more civilized roads, we met some unexpected vehicles headed toward the ATV trails we were leaving. There were three of these big Harleys. Since the trails wouldn’t have done them any favors, we convinced them to turn around.
We spent money for the ATV ride, bought dinner on the way home (what, you thought I’d cook?) and filled the car up with gas. But 71 miles under blue skies, with enjoyable companions? Priceless!