December 26, 2013

12/13/13 - Coronado NM

We didn't start out this morning to go to Coronado National Memorial; it was just a little serendipity (sans singers*).

We'd gone to Bisbee, AZ, to check out the old mining town.  After lunch, we drove over to the Lavender open-pit copper mine and took a few pictures.  (That shadow in the bottom that vaguely looks like South America is water, proving that you can't always keep the rain from coming down** in the desert.  Oh, no!**)
I checked the map and saw that Coronado NM wasn't too far away from Bisbee.  When I told George it had a Visitor Center, he was up for it. One more park stamp in his passport book.  Neither of us had a clue what was there or what to expect.  Usually I research where we're going, but definitely fell down on the job this time.
This park is a memorial to Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, a Spanish conquistador who explored the Americas in the 1500s.  We'd visited DeSoto NM in Florida a few years ago.  Both Spaniards were exploring around 1540, although the ranger had to look it up when I asked.  They're pretty sure that Coronado came through the San Pedro River Valley on his way north.

Because we got there late, we barely had time to check out the Visitor Center, watch the 9 minute movie, and dress up in costume before they closed.  (They had mail too, but do you have any idea how heavy those linked chains are????  I could barely lift it; no way was I going to wear it!  George couldn't even get the helmet on.)  
We decided to postpone the drive up Montezuma Canyon to the Montezuma Pass overlook and the hikes for another visit when we had more daylight.  It's worth coming back next time we're in the neighborhood.  Sometimes having something to look forward to is a good thing--although I really wanted to see that coatimundi the Ranger told us about.
*If you didn't get this, you're much younger than I am.  On the other hand, I probably wouldn't get oblique references to music you listened to as a teenager.
**Double reference to the same song:  see * just above. 

Link to a few more pics:  Coronado NM

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