Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Huachuca City, AZ (1/17 & 1/18/2017)

Coronado National Memorial was established to commemorate the Coronado Expedition of 1540-1542. While there is no evidence that Coronado's expedition passed through this area, the park offers a sweeping view of the San Pedro River which is regarded as the corridor that the expedition passed through on their way north to CĂ­bola and the mythical seven cities of gold in what is now New Mexico.  With 339 Spanish soldiers and more than 1000 Aztec warriors, Coronado made a large impression on the land and history of Southwest America, despite his failure to find the riches he sought.  He should have gone into real estate development.

The memorial, run by the National Park Service, is situated on the border with Mexico, thus requiring the constant vigilance of the Border Patrol.  The park includes the southern end of the Huachuca Mountains and Montezuma Canyon.  In addition to great views and extensive wildlife, there is a cave available for visitors to explore.  I had to pass on the cave because I didn't bring flashlights (two are required for entry).  Still, the drive over Montezuma Pass was reward enough for me.

At the beginning, mountains are small and covered with grass, but soon become more rugged.  Halfway up the pass, you can look back and see some of the switchbacks in the road, as well as some of the mountains in Mexico.

I saw lots of birds, but the red-tailed hawk was the only one willing to pose for me.  Even he didn't hang around long.

Clouds were still with us that afternoon, so there was a decent sunset.
The next morning I was out again and enjoyed a fantastic sunrise.  It was one of those where the entire sky was full of color.  No matter which direction I pointed the camers, there was a scene worth recording.

 Even the sunset that evening was pretty nice.

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