Friday, January 27, 2012

Ghost Towns of the Old West

I think it was about 7 years ago that I first visited the ghost town of Gleeson, AZ. I was taken back yesterday when I saw that the 1910 jail house had been improved. It appears a local historical society has added a fence and done a little remodeling to this cornerstone of the old Gleeson mining town.

This tongue in cheek sign sums up Gleeson's history of an ever declining population since its hay day.
Beyond the adobe ruins you can see mine tailings on every hill side. Judging from the size of some of these buildings there must have been some prosperity here for some folks.

It looked like was a store of some kind, but the lettering above the porch was too faded for me to make out.

More ruins of who knows what kind of stucture. Lots of Prickly Pear, Creosote Bush and some Yucca or Agave; the more time I spend here in the southwest the more I love this landscape.

After exploring Gleeson we drove north to the ghost town of Courtland, AZ. Although this building didn't have a sign it must be the jail house. It's funny how important these well built jails were to towns with a population of just a couple thousand people. I guess they were a symbol of law and order in a place where there wasn't much of either.

These towns fortunes rose and fell with the price of copper. I think the railroad bypassing this area didn't help either. When I walk around these ruins I can't help but wonder who these people were, how they lived and where they got their food and water.

One of the no doubt many mine entrances in the area. 'glad to see it well marked and fenced in. I saw a lot of these in Colorado this summer; they're especially dangerous there during the winter when they're covered over with snow.

'saw these two in a dry wash bed where there's something for them to eat.

This isn't part of the ghost but sits on Hwy 191 in Elfrida. Though there are many nice ranches and ag farms here, parts of Elfrida are looking a bit ghostly as well.

Our day didn't end so well. A stop at the Elfrida Library resulted in someone backing into our car while we were inside. At least the driver looked for us and gave us his insurance information, but now a trip to the body shop and a little paper work is in our future. These things happen.

Friday, January 20, 2012

New Antenna Installed

Two new followers signed on today; Fossildreamer and Jackie. We're happy you've joined us; please feel free to post a comment from time to time.

The new antenna arrived yesterday evening so now the moment of truth has arrived. I've suspected for some time our TV reception wasn't up to par, but this was confirmed when we were parked right next to The Bayfield Bunch who got about a dozen channels while we only received two (in Espanol BTW). After checking the distribution box, cables, etc. I learned that we got only two channels whether the antenna was connected or not. This really pointed to the antenna being the problem so I took it apart and found a circuit board inside which is definitely beyond my scope of repair. A new antenna head only, complete with the new fangled Wingman gismo was only $54.99 on Amazon, shipping included. 3 days later and an easy 5 minute installation, the moment of truth arrived; would it work? It sure enough did, now we have 15 channels! That's one off the honeydew list and I even got the malware virus off the computer too. Now, if I could just get the hood of our car to open then I'd be batting a 1,000. Before I give up I need to find find another 2008 Jetta so I can peak under hood and take a couple photos.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Donkeys get a Manicure

Turn up your volume and in 15 seconds you'll get to hear these two guys:

Today the farrier showed up right on time for her appointment with Sarah and Pancho.

She went straight to work and had all eight feet cleaned, trimmed and filed in less than an hour. I was surprised how docile the donkeys were; I think they liked the attention.

It seems the farrier and donkeys are well acquainted with each other. At one point it looked like Pancho was going to doze off he was so relaxed.

Pearce came in the motorhome last night and made himself at home, right in Charlie's bed. He's just a little too big for a Beagle bed though. Charlie didn't mind, all three dogs are all getting along just fine.

Today we welcome five new followers: Patricia Whitney Jones, Nan, Margie Anne, Rick & Kathy Rousseau and Kcgaz. Thank you all signing on, we appreciate your support.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sunny in AZ today

After a light rain fall Sunday night we woke up to this rainbow to the west of us. Unlike the northeast, rainbows seem to occur after nearly every rain fall here. The clouds here have been spectacular for days now but today was clear and sunny with no wind; just perfect weather.

In anticipation of the farrier coming tomorrow we needed to get Sarah and Pancho into their stall this afternoon, which went just fine without a hitch. Ever since we got here just a few days ago we've tried to befriend these two but progress has been slow. They're pretty shy and skitterish but I think we're making progress towards some kind of mutual understanding. Feeding them a few apples or carrots now and then has allowed us to at least meet each other face to face and make some physical contact. I was actually quite surprised today when I went into their side of the fence to repair a broken water line and they came over to watch me just a couple feet away for ten minutes or so.

Then there's Charley who we find atop the hay stack every time we let him out. A typical cat; go for the high ground and scope out the terrain below. He's a handsome boy, and BIG too! We're gettin' along just fine.

What is this? A new way to find truffles? or look for gold? No, this is the world famous Acme Gopher Eradicator. You have to understand, Jeanie and Ray have many beautiful fruit and decorative trees whose roots these darn gophers just love to chew on and destroy. So Ray invented this simple eradicator that does away with the little buggers by way of a little CO2.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Home on the Range

When I woke up this morning to another wonderful Arizona sunrise I couldn't help but feel a bit of sadness when I looked out at our new friends' The Bayfield Bunch's RV and realized they would be heading for points west within a couple hours. Though we only spent the last two days together going over the chores here at the ranch, it feels like we've known them much longer. I guess that how it is when you follow one anothers blog for a year or two.

A rare photo indeed; the whole Bayfield Bunch together in one photo, here at Jeanie's and Ray's ranch. There's lots and lots of great photos on their blog, just never a photo of all four of them.

Our dog, Charlie, took a liking to Al right away. No surprise here, Al seems to attract dogs like bees to honey. I hope the ranch dogs, Gleeson and Pearce, won't miss Al and Kelly too much after they're gone. I know The Bayfield Bunch will miss them.

One more check of the lights and they're good to roll. Hey, don't forget Motor!

Well it's not a Bayfield Bunch"Good Bye", it's "see you later"; we'll see them again when they return in about 5 weeks.

Lets not forget to welcome new follower, Sheila~ INUA Kennels. Thanks for signing on and joining our blog!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Brown and Ramsey Canyons

As many times we have visited Ramsey Canyon somehow we missed nearby Brown Canyon. That's the great thing about Arizona, you can't find all there is to see just by passing through. That's why we keep coming back!

Brown Canyon is actually on Ramsey Canyon Road, just a short side trip to the right on a well-maintained dirt road. The ranch was built around 1900 and is now a kind of museum and home to a network of hiking and biking trails.

There are many remnants from when this was a working ranch not all that long ago.

'found this curiosity inside along with the histories of many of the people that once lived here.

What a great spot this was for a ranch. I don't know what Sierra Vista was like in 1900 but this place offers such peace and solitude, it's hard to believe you're just minutes from downtown and Fort Huachuca.

'made a trip to Ramsey Canyon as well where we saw six Coue (miniature deer, pronounced "cow") in three different locations.

Martha found this, I guess it's a fungus.

We're still kicking the tires of the housing market here. This house is more our style:

Actually this is the remains of a house in Ramsey Canyon that was built to take in "The Grand View" pictured below:

I wouldn't mind finding a fixer-upper with a view like this, and it's next to a year round stream as well. I guess that's why 4 acre lots in Ramsey Canyon are $350,000.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Computer Frustrations and Beyond

Tonight we are happy to have two new followers. Welcome aboard Dragonfly and Laurrie Piland, we're glad you're following along.

If problems come in threes yesterday proved to be a classic example. In anticipation of moving I wanted to adjust all our tire pressures with the help of a small 12 volt 150psi compressor. After today's experience I am throwing this made in China compressor in the trash. After adding 5 lbs. to one tire I went onto the next. This time I let the compressor run for 5 minutes and yet it added no air to the tire whatsoever. After just two tires the compressor gets so hot that I have let it cool before using again. When I tried an hour later it blew its 30 amp fuse, which it does frequently. I put a new fuse in and it ran fine but still did not increase the pressure of the tire. This little thing just doesn't have what it takes to fill a 22.5" tire to 110 lbs. At this point I'm going to pursue filling tires off the RV's air brakes compressor which I didn't understand was possible when I bought the little 12 volt compressor last year.

With that problem postponed til another day I went inside and booted up our windows laptop only to have twenty windows pop up with the same message: " fatal errors, missing system files, etc., etc." or something like that. The message was clear to me; I'll be spending a day or more in my pajamas sorting this mess out. Then of course my second thought was why didn't I back up files more recently. Minutes later I had the computer booted up in safe mode or an earlier setup but guess what; there were no files or programs! It looked like a new computer; just Internet Explorer and the stuff you find in the control panel. Where did it all go? I checked the "C" drive properties which showed the hard drive still half full, so the files must be somewhere, right? Thanks to another computer (a Macintosh) I was able to go online and learn that the PC was infected with malware which hides files and does other nasty things. So far I've been able to make my files visible and copy them, but not all my programs work.

After a couple hours of stressing out with computer problems I wanted to get one more "easy" thing done. All I needed to do was check the oil in our car and change a couple connectors I use for the Brake Buddy. This was easy and went well until I closed the hood for the last time. After I closed the hood I realized I forgot to check one more thing. When I tried to open the hood, nothing happens when I pull the release inside the car. I think the cable broke under the hood at the latch. I did a Google search of 2008 VW Jettas with same problem but haven't found any good answers. 'glad I changed the oil last week. What I really need is to see another Jetta so I know what I'm looking for when I climb under the car with a flashlight and a long screwdriver. How do I get a closed hood open?

I'm sure glad our new digs are going to be peaceful and quiet. It looks like I won't be bored.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Visiting our favorites before going east.

With thoughts of heading eastward very soon we wanted to drive through one of our favorite parts of Arizona; Sonoita in Santa Cruz county.

The grassy pastures, mountain vistas and low population density make this one of the most scenic drives in all of southern Arizona. Today's scenery included a few Brahman cattle which we hadn't seen on previous trips. A lot of times I hop out of the car to photograph cattle, horses or whatever and they run the other way. These Brahmans just kept doing what they were doing or meandered closer to me.

It looks like I was lucky and caught a photo of a western round-up. These are actually life size steel silhouettes like the top photo.

We've also been checking out some of the real estate in the area. This REO, architect designed home was nothing short of magnificent, but at 2200 sq. ft we would get lost in it.

If the house above was too big, this was too small at 700 sq. ft. This was one of two similar houses on the same 5 acre parcel. The funky sun shades on the porches were pretty creative. Houses in Arizona can be conventional stud construction, adobe, slump block, hay bale, rammed earth or concrete block to name a few construction methods; the more we look the more we learn.