The Birthplace and Home of Cochise

Trip Start Dec 24, 2010
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Trip End Jun 01, 2011


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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Sunday, January 30, 2011

While we were driving back from "birdland", I happened to see the sign pointing to a place that I had read about, Cochise Stronghold.  It's the birthplace of Cochise and is located in the Dragoon Mountains.  Cochise was born in the early eighteen hundreds and lived in the area and fought the Mexicans initially.  Later he was sent, along with his people, out of the area.  The two photos explain his life a bit and give a good history of the war years.  

We walked along a scenic nature trail where we learned more about the plant species growing in the area.  Many of the trees have leaves and are quite a surprise to us Northlanders.  One of my favorites is the manzanita, which has red bark.  The Spanish name translates to "small apples", since the berries of the plant do resemble them.  There are a few species of cactus, but mostly one sees trees and bushes well-leaved and thriving.  This area receives only about eight inches of rain annually, compared to Helena's eleven inches.  

The mountains are comprised of many large to huge rocks, smooth in texture and scattered in draws which drain into the creek.  This time of year, most creek and river beds are dry.  The "Monsoon" season here is in July and August when most of the rainfall occurs.  There are few culverts here.  The roadbed merely dips to allow the water from these storms to flow unimpeded.  A common sign seen states "Don't enter when flooded."  Sounds like common sense, but if one does drive into the water and his car stops, he is subject to penalties.

Tomorrow we'll venture 38 miles into the Chiricahua Range of mountains to the National Monument. We had originally planned on camping there, but due to the length of Shorty, were unable to.
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