Even clicking the pics won't do justice to the beauty that surrounded me this morning.
As usual while I'm at Whitewater Draw I got up before sunrise and went for a walk to take some pictures of the Sandhill Cranes.
Another beautiful day in southern Arizona, low 80s in the daytime, 40s at night, and a desert-like humidity that makes tolerable just about any temperature.
I think I'm going to go to Tombstone tomorrow. Technically you're only allowed to stay at Saggy Bottoms for three nights, but I've never seen any indication that that's enforced. But there are very few Sandhill Cranes left, and I could use a new view.
Normally I wouldn't consider moving to a new place on a weekend since that's the busiest camping time of the week. Still, in this case, I'm going to the new $10 a night boondocking area near downtown Tombstone, and it's just a big dirt field with plenty of room for everyone, running out of space shouldn't be a problem.
I know many people don't like Tombstone because it typifies a tourist town with high prices, fake gunfights in the streets, and no reason to be there except a blurb in the local newspaper of a gunfight that happened over 100 years ago. And all that's true, but I can relate to it, and I'm actually okay with it.
Because if you think about it, how else is a tiny ex-mining town, in the middle of nowhere, 30 miles in every direction to decent shopping, with very few people living there paying property tax supposed to survive when all the town has going for it is memories of past fame and glory that nowadays nobody cares about.
There are little mining towns like that scattered all over the West. And, when the mines played out, the people left, and the town dried up and blew away, or the old wooden buildings caught fire one by one until there was nothing left but ashes. So how do you keep a town like Tombstone alive? Especially when you want to maintain the town's character so that Marriott hotels or McDonald's restaurants don't move in and take over?
Tombstone has managed to do that, but there was no way you could make everybody happy doing what Tombstone had to do. But they didn't have to make everyone happy, just enough people who were willing to whip out their credit card for a plastic revolver, a rubber Tomahawk, or a buffalo burger to keep the main street businesses alive and paying property tax.
I might talk about this some more tomorrow, since being in business in a tourist town for many years is how I made my living... If I feel like it, and I'm not too busy stalking the streets of Tombstone looking for that perfect snapshot.
I hadn't gone very far before I realized that it was such a beautiful morning that I couldn't stop taking pictures of the sky and Whitewater Draw even though it was getting light enough to see the Cranes.
Soon I had forgotten about the Cranes and became more interested in taking landscape pictures of this beautiful area I find myself in.
The Cranes were here but they were taking a backseat to the magnificent sunrise that was using up all of my attention.
I think the moon was full but I'm not sure. Nonetheless it was a beautiful golden moon that lit up the dark sky, allowing me to take pictures that otherwise would've been too dark.
Part of the time I walked on the dikes that go around some of the lakes. Other times I just walked through the fields enjoying the crisp morning air.
Finally it got bright enough to show more than just the faint outlines of Cranes as they flew past on their way to breakfast, but by then I was getting tired and hungry.
So after a couple of hours I made it back to my tiny home, tired, but not too tired to make myself some breakfast and a cup of coffee.