Friday, January 7, 2011

Chiricahua National Monument

This morning we drove 85 miles to The Chiricahua National Monument. With most speed limits at 65mph to 75mph, drives like this are quick and easy here in the west. It will be hard to slow down when we eventually drive in the east again.

The Chiricahua National Monument is a misleading name for a park that is actually more than 9000 acres. Not really a monument as we think of one, the park is a variety of canyons and peaks filled with balanced rocks, grottoes, organ pipes, columns and other rock formations. While much of the park can be seen from your car, more of it has to be explored on foot by way of a network of steep, rocky trails. One of the best hikes is 7.5 miles long which we weren't prepared for and could have been risky due to the snow and ice from last weeks' storm. We did manage to hike 2 or 3 miles and learned that hiking at an elevation of almost 7000 feet is very different from hiking at or near sea level. We both found ourselves quite winded after climbing back out of the canyon to get back to the car. We may come back again for a longer hike once the snow melts and we are better prepared with a pack filled with food and water. You are very much on your own here, and the trails are not always well marked or recognizable. Getting lost, tripping, twisting an ankle and rattlesnakes are all real possibilities in terrain like this.

We ended the day with gumbo and a taco plate at Rodney's. This restaurant is an icon here in Southeastern Arizona. A must do if you've got a big appetite while in the Willcox area. Rodney loves to cook, and it shows!

My sister said we have to see the apple pies at Stouts Cider Mill here in Willcox. I see why, they are huge! Ten pounds of apples goes into every pie, OMG!


  1. Well both those places are going on my list do in Wilcox. Where is the Cider Mill? is it Stout's?


  2. I'm no phychic but I do see a 10 pound apple pie in our near future:))

  3. Yes, it is Stouts. I couldn't recall the name last night while doing the blog.

    Let us know if you need some help with that pie. We'll bring the ice cream!


  4. Hi Martha & Terry
    Just picked up your blog from Al's blog tonight. We're also in Benson (at the Escapee Park) & after reading your blog tonight, I think we're going to have to make an eating trip to Wilcox! Our blog is

  5. I've heard of "mile-high" meringue but "mile-high" apple pie...I'll have a scoop of ice cream with mine.
    Fabulous pics! Putting this place on my list.
    Blessings, K

  6. mmmm,hot apple pie and maybe a slice of cheddar to top it off, or maybe ice cream, or maybe just pie.....

  7. Have you been over to the Cochise Stronghold to hike?

  8. Kelly,
    We have not been to the Cochise Stronghold yet but intend to. Our agenda today includes a farmers' market, art gallery and "True Grit" in Sierra Vista.

    I forgot to mention that the taco plate at Rodney's is really a platter-$5.95 I think. Rodney is a real character.

  9. Do you happen to know what days/hours Rodney's is open... looked on line but not stated and phone # out of service...

  10. With "Wings over Willcox" beginning on the 12th, I'm sure he'll be open for all the people that come to town. I think he lives on the premises, so he may open whenever he has customers.