We went for another walk on the road in the morning. We went further than last night and came across the biggest animal poops I’ve ever seen in the wild!

Then footprints as big as my feet!

What the hell makes these? Bison? Haven’t seen any. Maybe those cows that were as tall as I was near Carlsbad Caverns.

We reverse our directions from last night and are soon driving west toward Coronado National Monument. It takes us about 2 hours. I go into the Visitor’s Center and get some info on the park. The Ranger and I look at a couple maps to figure out the best way for us to go. I went to go to Montezuma’s Overlook and then on to Parker Canyon Lake. If nice, maybe we’ll stay there.
Typical native dwelling for the desert region.
Probable Coronado temporary military dwelling.
Coronado was looking for the lost Seven Cities of Gold. His exploratory expedition had 1500 people. They traveled 4000 miles into what’s now the Sourhwestern US. Their scribe recorded their encounters with natives in the region. The first contact with locals in this area.
It’s about 5 miles on dirt road to the Overlook, and then 15 more dirt miles to the Lake. The road from the lake is paved. So washboards, here we come!

Views from the road.
The road to the overlook is pretty bad. The parking lot has 4 Border Patrol vehicles. Two with some kind of sensing equipment. I’m guessing infrared. Sherman and I are going to hike a mile to Coronado Peak.
A group of hikers is unloading themselves and their stuff is we pass and I ask where there’s headed. Turns out this is that southernmost trailhead of The Arizona Trail. It’s about a 5 mile walk to the border, so they leave their packs and head off to touch the stone marker at the border, come back for their packs and head north 800 miles to the Colorado border. It’s the first long distance hike for most of them. One woman is bringing her 8 year old daughter who is totally psyched about thru-hiking the state of Arizona. Near the end, the trail goes down and up the Grand Canyon. How cool is that!
Sherman and I go to the peak and back down.
100 years ago natives were still living here traditionally. Such fast change. We, as they did, believe our culture will endure, and not experience these same cataclysmic changes.

Two views south into Mexico.
Border Patrol with their infrared scanners.
There’s a Ranger at the picnic tables. I go to talk with him about the park, the trails, and illegal immigrants. He says there are very few immigrants coming through these days. It’s almost all drugs. A couple days ago the infrared saw a group sneaking up a canyon at the border. Turns out there were 12. They fought eight. Four are still loose. There are Border Agents on motorcycles and helicopters looking for them now. They are drug mules. He laughed about the Trump Wall. There’s a wall at the border of the park. He said it doesn’t stop anyone who wants to get over. They bring ladders, blow holes in the wall or dig tunnels. You’d need a watchtower every mile.
I said, “How about just legalizing all the drugs and put the cartels out of business?” He laughed. Said, “That’s too simple for government or corporate work.”
We headed off to Parker Canyon Lake. The road was horrible in places and ok in places. It took about 90 minutes to go the 15 miles.
The camping at the lake was not impressive. So, we had lunch at a nice shady picnic table, then drove to the marina area, parked and walked for an hour around the lake, then back.
Walking along the shore on the far side of the lake.
Then I look toward the other end of the lake, and WOAH!! Cloud magic!

Driving away from the lake. More cloud magic!

As we head up the road there are no clouds. The show was just there around the lake for us.
From here we could go back a couple miles to a 50 mile dirt road to Nogales, AZ, or go north toward Tucson and then head back south again. Freeway time. About an hour north on the freeway we turn off and head southwest again, toward Nogales.
I find a Starbucks with Google wifi and stop to get all the photos to sync between all my devices. Takes about 45 minutes to sync 600MB. That’s more like it! Rural internet speed REALLY, REALLY SUCK! Top LTE speeds are 3-4mbs upstream, 1mbs downstream. Wifi is frequently slower.
I find a BLM site about 30 minutes away. We head there. When we arrive… It’s not a great spot, but will be quiet and very near the road to tomorrows destination. All good.