The US is crisscrossed with major highway systems designed to move us quickly from place to place. The downside of traveling this way is you miss so much of the beautiful and interesting places that there are to see.
We’ve been hunkered down in our favorite winter park in Benson AZ since November. This is a small town and not exactly a mecca of tourist activity. But, it is convenient to so many great places to visit and explore. And now that we have this crazy virus thing everywhere, we won’t be moving anytime soon.
In my mind, I’ve pictured the desert and a dry, dusty, baron place devoid of anything other than cactus and rattlesnakes. The reality is exactly the opposite. It’s a vibrant lush environment teeming with life. There’s a number of varieties of cactus most of which flower in the spring. Wildflowers carpet the hillsides with bright yellow, red, and orange. If you’re lucky, you might see deer, antelope, javelina, mountain lion, bighorn sheep, and even a black bear! (who knew!) There are wild horses too but not easily found.
The mountains have over 3000 mines dating back to the 1800s which have been abandoned. Many of these still have some of the old equipment and structures. There are also abandoned homesteads some of which still have the furniture in place.
Visiting and enjoying the mountains and deserts is not the only thing you can do off the beaten path. So instead of focusing this post on one specific topic, I thought I would share some of the other places and sights we’ve enjoyed here in the southwest.
( click on any image to enlarge)