Saturday, November 16, 2019

Vineyards, birds and ghost towns

Thursday, November 14
We had a late start today as we didn't have too much planned. We took a drive west from the campground down Hwy  toward Sonoita. This area has tons (well, at least seven) vineyards and associated wineries. We had planned to taste a few, but they wanted $10 to taste and bottles to buy started at $26! These are very small wineries with an average of roughly 25 acres. That covers up to 15 varietals so the batches are pretty small which I guess explains the high costs. Sorry not for us.....unless that was for a case!

Hwy 82 west

Elgin road

Little hamlet of Elgin


Wow, gotta sell a lot of wine to pay for this place. Kief-Joshua Winery.

Some smoker!

Not just wineries here. The odd brewery too!

Pretty countryside.

So we get home and what do I spy sticking out of our trailer tire? Yep, a screw. This can't be good.

So I crawl under the trailer, check the tire pressure and's still at 110 pounds. No air leaking. So I pull out the screw and air leaking! Turns out it was just a little fella that went into the tread sideways and not through the cords. I'll be keeping a eye on the tire for a while just in case it starts to leak, but so far so good!

Friday, November 15
We heard Ramsey Canyon was a good place to spot birds. The last time we tried to go there the parking lot was full so today we got there just at 9 AM which is when they opened. We found a parking spot and took a nice half mile stroll through the woods. I took a further half mile walk up the side of the mountain. Yikes, it was a tough walk. This was a very nice area but birds?? Hardly saw any. They've all gone south (??) for the winter.

The leaves are at peak color now.

Old 1902 cabin.

A pair of what might be woodpeckers,

Huge Cottonwood and an Arizona Cypress on the right.

A tough walk up.

The overlook to Ramsey Canyon.

Sierra Vista in the distance.

Lots of these little Couse Deer. (pronounced 'cows')

Alligator lizard (female I think)

.....and the male (I think)

Wild turkeys.

This is a Mexican-peeping White Wing (lol!)

Saturday, November 16
We didn't go too far today, just a short ten mile drive east. We went to the ghost town of Fairbank along the San Pedro River. They didn't have a lot to look at, but interesting, and we were all done in about an hour. We had heard about one other interesting site to see, the Presidio Santa Cruz de Terrenate. This was just across the river. About a mile and a half to the parking lot......and then a three mile hike round the desert....under the sun.

Fairbank was a busy town in the 1880's. This was the closest rail stop to Tombstone which itself was in the midst of a mining boom.

Old house

Commercial building. Used until the mid-1970's.

Old train bridge. There were a number of railroad routes that criss-crossed this area. 

Schoolhouse built in the 1920's after the original wooden one burned down.

Stable on right. Outhouse on left.
 Across the river was the site of the early Spanish fort, the Presdio Santa Cruz de Terrenate. Built in 1775 it was only occupied for five years before it was abandoned due to nearly continuous Apache raids. 80 men and two officers were killed during this time.

Model of the fort.

Road from Hwy 82 to the parking lot and trailhead.

Trail through the desert. Easy walking.

Rail bridge near the fort.

Rail bed forms part of the trail.

Made it. Now a half mile loop through the site.

San Pedro River Valley. Another rail line went through here.

The Spanish used this area to cultivate crops.

Remnants of the adobe walls

Some reconstructed walls.

Old foundations.

Red Tailed Hawk

The road home.

Tomorrow, Sunday, we head up the road about twenty five miles to Benson. We really enjoyed Quail Ridge RV Park and we would definitely stay here again. In fact the whole southeast part of Arizona has been great. We'll be back. 

Our site. #120.

We did get a couple of nice sunsets in the last couple of days.

Thursday night

Saturday night

.....and that was Our View From Here!


  1. We followed highway 82 a few years ago and loved that road. $10.00 to taste?!! That's ridiculous, can't imagine most people would pay this prices! Beautiful drive, thanks for taking us along!!

  2. You are having a great trip and seeing lots. You are the historians of us bloggers. :) We also visited Fairbanks when we were at Quail Ridge. Safe travels!

  3. Thanks for showing us an area we have not been yet. Lots of interesting things.

  4. You are definitely leaving no stone unturned as you visit all the Historical Sites.
    Be Safe and Enjoy your next adventure.

    It's about time.

  5. $10.00 to taste...that’s almost a box of wine! 🤣 Thanks for the tour and safe travels.

  6. Seems a lot for a taste of wine.
    We enjoyed that area a great deal. You are certainly documenting the areas you travel for those that are coming for a visit. We like Quail Ridge Park as well. Tons of Canadians there anytime we've been there. Safe travels.

  7. Yup $10 to taste would turn us off as well. Lucky break with the trailer tire! The Ramsey Canyon hike will go on my list of things to do, and wow the Thursday sunset was fantastic!

  8. Nice tour of the area. We have paid up to that when we have been with friends at a wine tasting but then we did get a glass to take home...:)