There are signs in places along many county roads that say DO NOT ENTER WHEN FLOODED. My husband could never imagine floodwater across those roads, but at last I saw it. Above is the Kansas Settlement Road on March 1. I was headed (with my dog, of course) for the Mustang Mall (which is not what you think of as a mall at all, and I'll have to do a whole photo-essay on that place one of these days), and our route took us down this road to connect with AZ191. After a stop for gas and coffee, we (dog and I) took the road north toward the Chiricahua Mountains, and I thought we might explore a little way up Turkey Creek, because surely there would be water there -- and there was! I remember how excited David and I were the first time we saw Turkey Creek....
Turkey Creek is always exciting and hard to leave behind, but the wind was so fierce that the freshly graded road surface was exploding in dust devils, so it was back to the highway in the direction of Chiricahua National Monument. And every place that my husband and I had occasionally seen water crossing the road -- but none at any of these places in November-December 2021, a very dry winter -- it was now pouring in sheets. So beautiful!
Do you think I would have had enough of water by that point? No, I decided Sunny Juliet deserved a chance to stretch her legs, and so into the Monument we went and for a little walk along Bonita Creek. There were wild turkeys that Sunny, happily for the turkeys, did not notice. She had seen some from the car earlier, along Turkey Creek, and barked at them, but these Bonita Creek turkeys ambled away undisturbed into the brush. The turkeys have paired up now, by the way, and are no longer in their large winter flocks.
Ah, but Bonita Creek! So often have I seen it a dry, rocky bed that it was intoxicating to see the water tumbling and rippling along between the banks.
Only months (or years, I'm sure) of desert living can explain the lift of the heart at the sight of naturally running water! Can you back in the Midwest even begin to imagine how thrilling these sights are in Arizona?
But the wind was exhausting. It turned out there had been a dust storm warning in effect all the early afternoon while Sunny and I had been out on the roads, but we had survived and were now on our way back to the cabin. This sign mentioning the distance to the ghost town always makes me smile.
Only one more ford, and then we're on dry road the rest of the way home, with Chiricahua in the rearview mirror. I needed to get indoors and rest. It had been a long, difficult day, owing to memories. But the flowing water helped, at least for a while.