Part II of the Magic of the Chiricahuas…

Saturday, January 13th, 2007

What happened to Tucson!… somehow I am in Anza Borrego… what a feeling!… I always feel something different when in California, I cannot pin point it, it is just different, like being in a different Country. But I never finished the Chiricahuas… On my way back the sunset was a memorable one, Old Faithful was beaming… do you like that play on words?… She had her rays on toward the skies, that moment made it all worthwhile… it was magical… all alone on this road back to Wilcox. I was thinking, maybe that was the reason I had left that afternoon is such a hurry… The Chiricahuas are called the Land of the Standing Rocks, it is a “sky island”, for 8 miles up the concentration on the road is a hard one, if you can do it with a driver and switch driving on the way back, that would be the way to do… and then again you will still loose some sights as every rock is so different going one way and coming back the other way. Wilcox was warm when I left, at the end of the short ride as we started the 8 mile climb up the Mountain, the temperature dropped and again it was time for the heated Gerbings. There was a discussion a while back about what would be the most important after market items one should have when riding. I finally figured out now that it is a heated jacket… no vest… a jacket where your arms also stay warm. One can do without a GPS, loud pipes, Valentine 1 (Radar Detector)… you name it. But not my Gerbings! No… I am not affiliated!… maybe I should! We got lucky that the traffic was to a minimum, just a few cars, giving me ample time to ride slow and observe all the different shapes, sizes and colors… from 5124ft we had a climb to 6178ft. The Apaches called these pinnacles “standing up rocks”, I always thought, wrongly that as the volcano erupted millions of years ago, well these rocks flew in the air and came down to rest as they are today… Wrong! Their origin actually began 27 million years ago when the eruption, I was half right! from the Turkey Creek Volcano spewed ash over 1.200 square miles (3.100 square km). These super-heated ash particles melted together, forming layers of grey rocks called rhyolite. Cooling and uplifting created joints and cracks in the rhyolite. Zillions of years of weathering by ice wedging, and erosion by water enlarged the cracks, the weaker material was washed away leaving behind what is seen today, an endless variety of spires, balanced rocks and other shapes. From the start to the end of the loop you cannot help notice the different ecosystems, four in total, which is so unique to the area… and when I lived here a couple years ago was one of the reasons it drove me to this path. I had a chance to speak with many researchers, residents staying at the Research Center for a few weeks, and the amount of interests are enormous. So we never made it to the top. The black ice was very much present, there was not much sense starting to skate the rig off the shoulders as the drops… well, I would not be here to write about it. Spectacular views, as when you reach the top you can see the other side of the Mountains, and a 360 degree view… next time! The descent was as pleasant and I did end up taking too many pictures, someday I will again post just a Photo Gallery. Met up with the UPS man at the bottom parking lot when I walked Spirit a bit, and we talked about his job!… and his great route… wondering if the beauty of it all is still something he looks at, or… takes it for granted as some of us might with many things offered in our life on a daily basis. I guess that is one of the aspect I like about my life right now. Almost a daily change in my surrounding, in the weather patterns, and even from State to State I have to confess a different almost Civilization… I can tell… There is not much comfort in our daily life, not physical anyhow. It is not uncomfortable either, we move… never quite standing still. The comfort is in the mind, the comfort throughout the days, now that we have fallen into following the path of this Journey. As someone write to me the other day, which I felt was very profound “I am at Home in my own Soul” I truly am… So yes, we are in Anza Borrego, much more massive Mountains that I remembered, Borrego Springs in the middle of it all, population about 2000. Tomorrow the off road adventures will begin… All I can say by what I haves seen so far… you want some off road riding…come here. One has the freedom to camp “anywhere”! I saw small villages of riders every mile or so… 2 wheels, 4 wheels… just racing the dunes, the mountain sides… it is truly Dirt Riding Mecca! Till next time… be well… Ara & Spirit

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One Response to “Part II of the Magic of the Chiricahuas…”

  1. Macrobe Says:

    Wow……Fantastic country. One interest that captivates me on my travels is the local geography. We can’t see or watch how the landmarks were formed, but there around us lies testimony of history that we as humans in our short lifespan can only try to imagine. We see the results after hundreds, thousands of years, after drastic and subtle changes. It presents time in a different perspective that few can comprehend.
    Our lives are truly but a speck of sand in a vast ocean of time, and there, here, are the offspring of forces that we can only read about or imagine. Yet we are so obsessed and immersed in our own little microcosm we lose sight of the big scheme. Father Time and Mother Nature conspire to confuse us and we are blind.

    I hope to go to that area soon to see for my own eyes and experience it.
    Thanks for sharing all that, Ara.

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