Up Madera Canyon there remain a few cabins, along with a pair of gift shops and a couple or three bed and breakfast type places.
The fact that there were any buildings left at all actually surprised me. Back in the early 80's or late 70's the Forest Service went to cancelling land leases when the original leases were running out, and forced the owners to not only loose the asset value of their cabins, but bear the expense of tearing them down to boot. I believe something over 50 cabins/homes were removed.
I'm kind of ambivalent about that... I'm for protecting what wild areas we've got left; and this canyon is a beautiful, special place... but, when you look across the valley and see the "Dumps" from three huge pit mines, and read about the contamination of the ground water from the tailings ponds... but then see cabins in the woods torn out because they are negatively impacting the land and other folks use of it... I can only say; "Huh?" It would appear that fairness rides along with the size of your bank account and political power.
Just another example of those gross imbalances I get my feathers all fluffed up about! :)
So anyhoo, when we came back here for the first time since '85 I expected to see nothing of that left.
We went up to one of those guest setups. This'un is called;
|*Santa Rita Lodge, Madera Canyon*|
They've put out a bunch of bird feeders and a lil' fountain to pull in the birds for folks to watch. You can get a multi-page fold up sheet in their gift-shop that lists all the birds they've seen or you can see in the area...
Not much good for a bird watcher like me... All I know 'em by is there's a RED one... and there's a BLUE one! ;) guess their actual names ain't so important to me as just knowin' they're flyin' about somewhere... and that wild things still exist.
It's a pretty nice sunny spot on a cool spring afternoon. Benches have been scattered all down one side for all the achy boned, grey haired feather hunters to sit in the sun and enjoy a lil'... ahem... wild time. ;)
Just sittin' in the Arizona sun, watchin' the gymnastics of free flyin' neighbors is actually a fairly pleasant time... even for a guy who leans toward tripple digits on two wheels. ;)
If you're visit is timed right... you might even run across one of those lil' Coatimundi fellas. There'us two of 'em playin' around while we did our sun soakin'.
One got down on the ground to raid the seed dropped from the bird feeders... but it quickly skittered back into the trees when the birds spooked from something...
There's lots of other feathered visitors in the canyon... I'm just too slow on the shutter finger to catch most of the little ones... them little buggers flit and flicker faster than I can even find 'em in the viewfinder!
Back at camp we'd had a nice walk in the morning... before these guys drove us out with their unending buzzin' at every opening on the rig!
... and every marker light... You can't sit outside mid day... they won't leave a fella be! (Pun intended!)
You have to exercise a lil' care in Arizona where these things are concerned... They have a dog or person or two every year go over the great divide... sent along by an Africanized swarm... I've no idea how you tell the difference... so I just mind my manners!
Sunsets have been pretty tame... and to tell the truth... when the sun goes down, with us being a bit higher altitude... we retreat inside. ;)
Today, it would seem to be a day of chores... the propane juuuuuuust ran out! :) So before the food starts goin' sour and the beer warms up... I'd better get after it!
Duckin' Bees and Javelina Hunters