Okay, unlike Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, the innkeepers did not set out in search of Cibola – the fabled Seven Cities of Gold, but instead, packed a picnic lunch and went exploring in the regions south of Tucson. Jeremiah Inn’s innkeepers enjoy suggesting off-the-beaten-path explorations for our guests and Wednesday, August 12, gave us the opportunity to check out some ideas.
Driving through the beautiful grasslands to Sonoita, AZ and then on to Fort Huachuca was a peaceful 1 1/2hr trip. After getting our visitors’ pass to enter the U.S. Army Fort Huachuca, we headed toward the birdwatching area called Garden Canyon. We enjoyed our picnic lunch and a hike into the hills of the canyon. Caution: neighboring black bears think this is also a pretty area and have left their droppings on these trails.
We explored some of the public parade ground areas of the fort, home to the Buffalo Soldiers and in operation since 1877. At 5000 feet elevation, it was a little cooler than Tucson.
Leaving Fort Huachuca, and traveling south through Sierra Vista, we made our way to Coronado National Memorial, situated right on the US/Mexico border. We drove up the steep and winding unpaved road through Montezuma Canyon to the Montezuma Pass Overlook – elev. 6575ft. Summer storms were beginning to build in the valley and the overlook is magnificent. Taking the 1/2 mile (very steep) hike to the summit is well worth the effort and the approach of the storms and rain made it even more thrilling! We were wind whipped and wet by the time we reached the top, but as is true of most Arizona summer “monsoons”, the event passed by quickly and we were drying off as we returned to the truck.
After enjoying “Wednesday Fajita Night” at Ricardo’s Restaurant in Nicksville, AZ, we headed back to Tucson, marvelling in the beauty of an Arizona sunset.