It's "Open Range" around here and that means "way open".
It may be "Open Range", but you'e better heed this Arivaca Stop sign.
One way to get around is on a Kawasaki KLR-650. Conditions change quickly here and having a motorcycle that can handle on the road and off the road conditions is the way to go. However, this is a tall motorcycle and with a 32" inseam, my feet *just* make the ground.
When you want to include the family.... take the soccer van. This 1990 Mazda MPV has a locking 4 wheel drive system that sets it apart from "all-wheel-drive" vans. The MPV also has steel skid plates on the engine, transmission and gas tank, not just a flimsy piece of plastic down there like the bumpers which suck and have since been replaced with a hunk of channel iron and 3/8 inch steel plating.
I will take this many places I would never take the KLR.
Arizona Pinstripes... what you get after a few trips "outback".
I use the Mazda as a ranch truck. Don't try this at home it will blow out your $800 rear shocks.
A new bumper, lights and top rack (not shown) will transform you Mazda into a serious contender for First Prize at the Overland Expo. (Economy Class)
When the sun get's low in the sky, things really start to light up beautifully.
Montana Peak - This is what the Border Patrol is doing with once barely passable roads. Last year, I would have only made it in the KLR, but his year even a BMW can make it.
This is a shot taken this winter. The colors are great.
This used to be a pretty good road to the Yellow-Jacket mine, but some decent rain changed all that. No prob for the KLR, but getting wet in the winter can bring on some serious hypothermia.
Got all the protective gear, but the life jacket
One of the many "tankes" along the way.
There are several varieties of deer to be seen.
Another stop to get through a gate.
Mexico just over the next hill.
A view towards Mexico from Warsaw Canyon
Much of the land is owned by the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, The Coranodo National Monument, the State of Arizona, Pima County Wilderness lands or other government entities.
Taking the soccer van offroading at Warsaw Canyon.
Arivaca's resident swamp. Amazingly (for Arizona), the water here is only around 60 years old.
It takes two to navigate the way to "Border Tank"
This is one of the pre-Border Patrol roads; passable, but challenging for a soccer-mom van.
The neck of an old volcano.... I think.
Now this is country living!
My daughter's dog Mitzi trail blazes, but occasionally checks to make sure we're still there.
Old hippies never die, they just turn into 55 gallon barrels.
After rolling some fresh cow pies, it's time for Mitzi's bath in Arivaca Lake. Large mouth bass live here so "Watch out MItzi!!!"
The Chihuahuas which are about three hours from our place.
This isn't really classified as desert as is evidenced by our honkin' big trees. Note that these are the winter colors in Arivaca
Bunches of deer around.
This is an example of the trash left by the folks crossing the border illegally.
End of the line for the MPV
Yep, time to walk
Seems like there are a lot of those stop signs.
More abandoned mining equipment
Dennis looks for a new winter home
Throughout the area are abandoned dwellings and buildings - some are a little spooky
This little critter was just out side the door of the Arivaca Library.
The Sasabe store on the border - Can you find Mike?
A drink with the Duke at the Sasabe Bar
This is the old border fence with Mexico on the right. The new one is much nastier.
This is a SBInet, "Action Tower" erected by the DHS/BP. It cost zillions of our tax dollars and will hopefully reduce the need for a bunch of young agents running rampant through the Buenos Aires Wildlife Refuge and my property in their over-sized trucks and ATVs chasing folks crossing illegally into the United States for one reason or another.
This is my version of an SBInet tower.
This is a closeup after a season of bad weather.
Another SBInet tower is the Solar Barbie Initiative, but it appears that somebody involved with the program didn't like this First Amendment expression and tore it down. I wonder what they think of "R.Mutt".... but again.... this ain't the Louvre.
There are a lot of aliens around Arivaca! Some are from Mexico... some aren't and the fence doesn't stop any of them.
This is a view to the southeast from our new homesite on the the New Brunswick
The Mazda and the Rock Star. We're preparing to build here with every just about ready to go.
The Border patrol likes my spot too. They can see for a long way and seem to be everywhere which is good if you drop your KLR in the cacti and need some pliers to pull out the stickers..
Ocetiel populates much of the area
This cutie was on my front porch.
This barn owl is just one of the visitors from BNWAR
September Green - From mid-July through September it rains in Arivaca. I got 19 inches.
Mine exploring is fun until your batteries go out three lifts down the hole.
This isn't a drill, this is it!
One of those old mines you aren't supposed to enter,.
The "Longhorn" is an institution here and one of the most photographed spots in the country. The food's good too.
Although not nearly as hot as Phoenix, it can get warm in the mountains.
It can get pretty dry too!
Our neighbors. Most of it is accessible to the public.
You don't really need a sign to view wildlife, but this is part of the National Trail system and just below our house. While I'm out bashing around on the KLR, my wife likes to take a walk here and identify any of the 10-zillion birds that frequent the area.
Before crossing the road.
Look both ways. A hapless tarantella. Suitable for “It ain’t my job” postings.
The desert? Not really. We're at nearly 4,000 feet so it's really "Sonoran grassland".
Although not up to date you can see that there isn't much private land in these parts.
We have a nice little house in Arivaca, but we're in the process of building a new one here. Surrounded by public lands like the Buenos Aries Wildlife Sanctuary, we won't be seeing any development anytime soon.... I hope.
Our front porch
Heading home on a smooth road with Babaquivari looking on.
Doug and Andy: Serious flight risks.
High security at the border. Note viscous dog.
Looking over Arivaca Lake
This area is lousy with deer... and deer hunters.
I've always liked this picture of palm trees in a snow storm; ah Arivaca
Lots of history in outback Arivaca
The Ruby Road from Arivaca to Nogales
The Apache Trail
Some tight corners here and it's all loose gravel and sand.
The Cascabell road behind Tucson; partly private, part county and all in pretty good shape... and beautiful.
More of the Apache Trail
Highway 77 to Globe
Just south of Globe
After a couple of beers at the "Drift Inn" with my rice grinder parked in the middle of a bunch of Harleys, I decided to stay at a motel with "Refrigeration"
The KLR with about three days of supplies: Tent, cot, stove, cooking utensils, bed roll etc. My Alaska plates and generally dirty and haggard appearance let me fit right with the locals in Globe.
Hmmmmm, I'm thinking that this is HWY 88 to Roosevelt Dam(?)
Lots of water in Roosevelt lake.
Note that the trees are under water on the lake. Since it was so full, water was let off down stream making the Apache trail quite green.
Australia? No, Roosevelt lake with lots of water in it.
Roosevelt dam after some improvements.
Downstream from the dam.
The Apache trail is in great shape, but there's more than a few very tight corners, loose gravel and sand mounds. When you go, go early to avoid being caught behind a pickup with a trailer full of jet skis.
After some 60 miles of gravel I was disconcerted by this sign.
This one is on the trail to Bear Grass tank in Arivaca; covered in wild flowers.
Madera/Box Canyons between Continental and Sonoita.
The backstretch to Tombstone.
Just before reaching HWY 83 from Madera Canyon on Greaterville Road
Farther up Cascabel Road
More Cascabel Road
San Pedro River Road
Just Outside Globe
Ruby road to Nogales with Montana peak in the background
Heading into Madera canyon with appropriate "Travel Caution"
Box Canyon Road
Heading west to Green Valley from Madera Canyon
Zac removes pesky spider from is helmet.
There are a lot of these out here. One follows the border and is off limits and the other.... the other? Who knows?
When you are on Forest Service lands the roads are marked and if you can read the itzy-bitzy writing on the FS maps, you might figure out where you are.
There are a few of these around.
Another cow. Suspicious but friendly.
In many areas the old barbed wire gates have been replaced with proper cattle guards.
An improper cattle guard.
This one is in Mexico and you can see my single track of indecision.
The roads can get a little rocky. Like flying and airplane, you have to keep up your (air)speed.
Tony braves the sandbox with a set of road-like tires. This stuff has been churned up by hunters and the Border Patrol so making this turn is.... challenging.
More rocks. follow the ruts.
Tires like these are best for roads like these.
Craft beers at the La Gitana once we are safely home. Tony can't see so well so he's using his telephoto lens to read the the label of is non-craft beer.
After a hard day riding around in the dust, a nice bath is welcome and this one is located outside in the fresh air.