When we're traveling in our high-profile, 33' 5th wheel, it's good to check the weather forecast the night before a road trip. We did and learned that high winds were predicted for the next afternoon. With that in mind, we planned to leave Ruidoso at about 7 am so we would arrive in Willcox, Arizona before the winds got too strong. We know from experience that high winds on I-10 where we'd be traveling can cause the freeway to shut down due to blowing dust. We didn't want to have to stop on the side of the freeway due to white-out conditions from a dust storm!
Wednesday, April 27: At 7:15 am, we pulled out from Midtown Mountain RV Park in Ruidoso. It was a very easy drive from Ruidoso to Alamogordo, New Mexico on a Wednesday morning.
Twice in Alamogordo, we passed by the World's Largest Pistachio! Twice we did not stop to take a photo. LOL. Here's a link to this attraction from atlasobscura.com: PistachioLand. Maybe you'd like to take your photo there.
We made good time to Las Cruces on I-25 and then onto I-10. The wind was blowing, but it wasn't bad during the morning hours. We passed the eastbound I-10 Rest Area at the top of the hill west of Las Cruces which has the beautiful roadrunner sculpture. Here is my photo of it from a trip in February 2020.
|Roadrunner sculpture at the eastbound|
I-10 rest area west of Las Cruces.
As the morning progressed, the wind picked up. We did have some wind with dusty air, but it was not bad enough to close the freeway. We were so relieved and happy we had left early in the morning.
|Scenery on our way to Chiricahua.|
Once we arrived in the park, we drove almost all the way to the top to the parking lot for the Echo Canyon Trail. We were early enough to find a parking spot close to the trailhead. Rick and Jan made good guides, because they live close enough to come here often.
Once we started the hike and got to the point where we could see into the canyon and see all the rock formations, Bob and I were hooked! The trail was relatively level at the top of the canyon, but soon we dropped down into the canyon where looking up at the rock columns and spires inspired us.
|A long-range view into Echo Canyon.|
|Scenery at the top of the canyon.|
|Jan, Rick, and Bob|
|Jan, Rick, and I are |
standing under a camel.
|This is a first look at some columns.|
|Do you even see Bob and|
Rick with all those formations
|Long shadows in the morning light.|
|Rock formations near and far.|
|Bob and Rick enjoying the view.|
|This is my smiley, happy face!|
|The trail winds through rock formations.|
|Soon, we'll look up at these rocks.|
|Jan and Bob in one of|
|The rocks seem so big now!|
|We walked amongst giants.|
|There were small |
|And there were large|
|Jan, Rick, me, and Bob are on Echo|
Canyon Trail at Chiricahua National
Monument in Arizona.
|Jan, Rick, and Bob.|
|We are now in the midst of these rocks.|
|Jan, Rick, and Bob with a rock|
|The big rock looks like|
Jabba the Hut from Star Wars.
|Rick and Bob contemplating|
|Jan, Rick, and Bob.|
|Jan on the trail.|
We kept on going down even when Rick said, "We could probably turn around now." Bob and I didn't want to miss anything!
|Orange hedgehog cactus.|
|A window to more formations.|
|We are almost to the bottom of Echo|
Canyon. Look at how high these
|Rick, Jan, and Bob|
in the bottom of
|This squirrel was overly|
friendly. We think he knew
we had good snacks.
At the bottom of the canyon is Echo Park. Rick and Jan told us it's better to hike back up the same trail we came down than do the full loop. So, that's what we did. Going up!
|We had our snacks at Echo Park in |
the bottom of the canyon.
|Looking at rock formations|
from the other direction.
|From here, we could see the Echo Park|
sign in the bottom of the canyon.
|This looks like Wall Street in |
Bryce National Park (sort of).
|The signs at the top of the trail.|
|A different trail to try another time.|
From the Echo Canyon Trailhead, we drove down and stopped to see the Organ Pipe Formation on the way to the Visitor Center.
|Organ Pipe Formation.|
|Organ Pipe Formation.|
|Beauty in front of the |
Organ Pipe Formation.
When we got to the Visitor Center, I stamped my National Park Passport book. Then, we went inside, shopped in the gift shop, and read the exhibits.
|Civilian Conservation Corps, |
the president's tree army.
|Chiricahua Apache history.|
|Geology - horizontal ribs.|
|Geology - tafoni.|
|Geology - surge beds.|
|How pinnacles are formed.|
|Chiricahua fox squirrel.|
When we finished at the visitor center, Rick and Jan had a special treat in mind for lunch. We headed back to Willcox and went to Coronado Vineyards. For lunch, we shared a charcuterie platter and Pistachio Crusted Chicken Skewers. Lunch was fun. We got to play with our food.
|Charcuterie board and crackers.|
|Coronado Vineyard restaurant.|
The evening was spent sitting in our 5th wheel and chatting. Tomorrow, we will go to Tombstone for the day, and then continue on to Queen Mine RV Park in Bisbee, Arizona.