Archive for September, 2014

Cochise County Birding

September 28th, 2014 by Mike Hug

Cochise County Birding- Best in the West but I’m Prejudiced

Goldfinch feeder picture

Goldfinches flock to the feeders at Down By The River B and B.

In Cochise County birding is a major tourist attraction. The county and in particular, the San Pedro River Riparian area is one of the 5 main flyways that is used by birds during their migration from north to south and visa versa. While there are birds that spend all the time in this area, there are many that spend the winters here. In previous blogs I have written about the San Hill Cranes that spend the winter at the Willcox Playa and also at White Water Draw.

The Cochise County birding migration takes place during the months of September and October for the birds that are heading south. The birds return in March and April as they head north to find mates. Last year the migration was finished by early October. This year we had the Rufous Hummingbirds here at the end of August. There have been many birds that are here in mid and late September. It could be that the birds are heading south in greater numbers because they know that winter is coming early. Time will tell.

Cochise County birding picture

Cochise County birding migration always has the Rufous Hummingbird showing up and taking over the feeders for a couple of weeks.

With up to 400 different species that can be found on Cochise County birding lists, it is a small wonder why there are so many bird watchers that frequent the area at all time of the year. Migration times do provide the best times to sight birds, but summer and winter also provide many opportunities to ply your skills at finding and identifying that elusive bird.  In fact summer time can be the perfect time for Cochise County birding because that is the time when the birds are on the nest. We have been informed that this part of the San Pedro River is a nesting area for the Black Throated Hummingbirds, Gray Hawks and also some Mississippi Kites.

Cochise County Bird Photography example

Lady Luck allowed me to spot this Gray Hawk and take a photograph of him before he took flight.

There are sites that will give you some forecasts of the birds that will be migrating. Here is a link to one.  But don’t take my word for it. We had one guest here in April spot 53 birds from the property and while walking in the river bed to the east of the house. Here viewing effort started our list of birds that were seen here at the B and B. Make plans to head to The San Pedro River Valley and spend time at Down By The River B and B to experience Cochise County Birding at its best.

Cochise County October Events

September 22nd, 2014 by Mike Hug

Cochise County October Events

Cochise County October events provide something for the entire family in all parts of the county. Events are held in Willcox,Tombstone and Benson. The Tombstone and Benson events here in Southeastern Arizona during October have been detailed in my last two blogs. Willcox offers more events that help to fill up the October calendar. There are two events that take place in Willcox. One is Rex Allen Days and the other is the Willcox Wine Country Festival.

Rex Allen Days – Great Family Fun

Rex Allen Museum Cowboy Hall of Fame Picture

The Rex Allen Museum also houses the Cowboy Hall of Fame.

This year Willcox will celebrate the 63 rd Annual Rex Allen Days from October 2 through October 5. This Cochise County October event starts off with the Cowboy Hall of Fame Awards on October 2. This Hall of Fame is directed toward the real cattlemen and women that spent their lives working the ranches and raising cattle herds in Cochise County. The Museum tells the story of these men and women, their accomplishments and hard work in the cattle industry.

On the October 3rd, the celebration starts off with a parade. There are many activities including two days of rodeo events, a carnival, a tractor pull and in the evening there is entertainment for everyone to enjoy. The Rodeo is the weekend before the rodeo in Benson so if you do both you may see some of the same riders. The Rex Allen museum is open during this time and a visit there will give you a background history of who Rex Allen was. You can find more information on the Rex Allen Museum from a previous blog.

The Willcox Wine Country Festival – a Cochise County October Event Tradition

Last year we had a blog about the Willcox Wine Country Festival and how we went there to find some wines that we would have in our Wine Challenge at the River. The Challenge was fun and an Arizona Wine actually won the competition. This year The wine festival in Willcox is being held on October 18 and 19. This is the same weekend as Helldorado Days in Tombstone so it is a chance for people to do two Cochise County October events on the same weekend.

Willcox Wine Festival Picture a Cochise county October event.The festival is held at Railroad Park in downtown Willcox across the street from the Rex Allen Museum. For a fee of $15, you get a commemorative glass and 6 tickets to use for wine tasting. Angie and I usually will share a tasting so that we can have 12 different wines using our tickets. Additional tickets are available and generally wine club members of a winery at the event get the tastings free.  This year there will be an offering of over 70 different wines from several Arizona wineries that grow their grapes in the Willcox area.   At this festival there is a special Movie Screening and introduction by Sam Pillsbury at Willcox Historic Theater across from the park.

For more information on the wine festival, click on this link. When you look for lodging for these events check us out at Down By The River to see how we are centrally located to all the Cochise County October Events. Hope to see you soon.


Southeastern Arizona October Events

September 16th, 2014 by Mike Hug

Southeastern Arizona October Events Are For The Whole Family

Southeastern Arizona October Events are many and varied. I wrote about some in my last blog. That blog had to do with events in Tombstone but that isn’t all that is the only events in Cochise County during October. There are other Southeastern Arizona October events going on in Benson with Butterfield Stage Days and the Butterfield Rodeo and in Willcox with Rex Allen Days and the Willcox Fall Wine Festival

Benson Butterfield Stage Days

Southeastern Arizona October Event Enactors picture

There are many talented people that participate in Southeastern Arizona October Events.

Benson’s Butterfield Stage Days commemorates the Butterfield Stage route that came through the Benson area in the late 1850s. It has been 155 years since the Stage Route was started. This is some great family fun to be had during the weekend.

Southeastern Arizona October Event Parade Picture

The Butterfield Stage Days parade is open to anyone that wishes to participate.

On October 10 and 11, 2014 the festivities start off with a parade through the streets of Benson. This year’s theme is “San Pedro Valley Education – 100+ years and counting.” Last year the Benson School District was rated the best in the State of Arizona. There are vendor booths set up around the Benson Museum and if like previous years there are members of the Buffalo Soldiers Renactors Group that have a display.

There is also a Pony Express group that takes commemorative envelopes that are sold to visitors and delivers the mail to the Dragoon Post Office. Although the Pony Express never came through Benson it was determined that this activity would lend some Old West spirit to the festival.

Pony Express Riders for Southeastern Arizona October Events.

The Pony Express Riders are volunteers and carry commemorative mail to the Post Office in Dragoon.

After the end of the Rodeo completion on Saturday, There are fireworks in Lions Park. This is always a great time to sit back and enjoy the fireworks. This has been a tradition for many years.

On Sunday, the Butterfield Stage Days ends but not before the judging of the car show is done. This show has not be held for 2 years but in the past it has drawn a number of old beauties and is worth the time to see the entries.

Butterfield Rodeo

The Rodeo is a two day event that is held and the Arena Bar in Benson. The Arena has been the host of the Rodeo for many years. The facilities are nice and there is a lot of parking available. Besides the  adult rodeo there is also rodeo events for children. This can be a lot of fun to watch with youngsters are out there trying their skills. For more information click on the City of Benson Link.

Southeastern Arizona October events rodeo picture

Visit our website at Down By The River B and B if you are planning to take in any of these Southeastern Arizona October Events.

Tombstone October Events

September 10th, 2014 by Mike Hug

Tombstone October Events Are A Must See And Do At Least Once.

Tombstone re enactors

Tombstone has a cast and crew of cowboys walking the streets during operating hours. Special weekends have gun fights and other special events.

Tombstone October Events are just right for that person that would like to see an Old West spectacular celebration. Dodge City and Deadwood have celebrations but in my opinion the best time to get the most out of your “Old West” experience is to head for Tombstone. The Tombstone October events week starts off with the Wyatt Earp Vendetta Ride and culminates with the second event, Helldorado Days.

The Vendetta Ride is a historic five day ride on horseback to many sites where Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday and his posse rode as they chased down and had shootouts with the “Cowboys”. The Cowboys were associates of the Clantons, known rustlers and killers. The horseback ride is mainly in Cochise County and you will visit sites where Curly Bill Brocius, Johnny Barnes and Johnny Ringo were killed. The rides start at a different place each day and you will be transported to the starting point for that days ride. Three meals a day are provided. To get more information, click on the link to Great American Adventures for this part of the Tombstone October Events. This year the event is held from October 12 to the 17,  2014.

Tombstone October events Vendetta Riders Picture

Smile when you say that!

The second of the Tombstone October events starts just after the Vendetta Ride concludes. The 85 th annual Helldorado Days is held on October 17 to 19, 2014.  This is the premiere festival held in Tombstone. Where does the word Helldorado come from? Well according to some Tombstone aficionados it comes from an old miner who complained about his experience. He wrote  into the Tombstone Nugget Newspaper that most of the miners that came to find their El Dorado ended up doing menial jobs like washing dishes and only found Helldorado.

Tombstones Helldorado days takes its name from this miner’s grievance. Helldorado Days is the longest running event in Tombstone. It started in 1929, the year Wyatt Earp died. I don’t know if that was a coincidence or not. Each year this Tombstone October Event is held on the third weekend in October and is sponsored by Helldorado Inc.  If you can’t make the festivities this year keep that third weekend in mind for another time.

This year the Helldorado Days event will include a raffle for an 1851 Sheriff Brass 44 cal Black Power Revolver. The drawing will be held on Sunday the 19 th at 4 PM. Other event activities include a parade, entertainment by various cowboy re enactors during the festivities, a beard and mustache contest and of course, the famous Walk Down to the OK Corral. There will be many people that show up in the period dress who are not part of the entertainment. It is always a fund time and you will be able to get some great photographs during these Tombstone October events.

Staged gunfight during Tombtone October Events

The gunfight at the OK Corral is staged every day in Tombstone

Lodging for visitors usually fills up fast. It is not unheard of hotels, motels and b and b having no occupancy 3 or 4 weeks out prior to the Helldorado Days festival. We have had many people stay at our B and B and head to Tombstone dressed to the nines for their day of fun. Down By The River B and B is located outside of Tombstone in St. David. We are a 20 minute drive to the “Town Too Tough To Die”. Check us out and see what we have to offer as an upscale location near Tombstone.

Apple Pancakes With Apple Syrup

September 4th, 2014 by Mike Hug

Apple Pancakes With Apple Syrup – A Special Taste Treat

Apple pancakes with apple syrup and egg cup picture

One of our staple dishes is the egg cup and we serve it with many different sides. This is with apple pancakes.

Apple pancakes with apple syrup is a special taste treat at Down By The River B and B. When we serve our egg cups or breakfast bake we have a side dish to go with the main dish. Sometimes it is peach pancakes or one of our French toast creations. With the apples ripening at Apple Annie’s Orchard, we make our Apple pancakes with apple syrup so that our guests get some fresh apple taste in the morning.

While you could use just Bisquick or other box mix for your pancakes we add a little more to ours. We use a pancake mix but add wheat germ and flax seed along with an egg to add a little more flavor and heartiness to the pancakes. We also have a griddle that will cook 8 – 6 inch pancakes at a time. So here is the recipe for the apple pancakes with apple syrup.

Cooking apple pancakes with apple syrup picture

Cooking apple pancakes on our large skillet is helpful when we have a full table for breakfast.

Pancake Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pancake mix
  • ¼ cup flax seed
  • ¼ cup wheat germ
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ Tsp nutmeg
  • 1 Tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups water (approximately judge for yourself on the thickness you desire.)
  • Half apple cored and chopped.


Mix all the ingredients together and have no lumps. Use a ¼ cup of batter to make each pancake.

Makes about 8 pancakes

Apple Syrup Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ Tsp nutmeg
  • ½ stick butter
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • ½ Tbsp lemon juice


  • Mix sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg in pan.
  • Stir in apple juice and lemon juice till smooth
  • Heat to boiling stir constantly
  • Boil 1 minute
  • Blend in butter
  • Serve warm with pancakes.

If there aren’t two people working this then you can do the syrup and set aside. Pour into a serving dish and prior to serving the pancakes put the serving dish in boiling water in a pan and heat it up to a warmer temp. The extra can be preserved in a canning jar.

Apple Pancakes with Apple Syrup picture

Pouring the apple syrup on the apple pancakes is the start of the taste sensation during breakfast at Down By The River B and B.

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