Birding At White Water Draw

Birding at White Water Draw more than just Sandhill Cranes

Sign Picture

The sign at the entry to White Water Draw tells you about the property

Birding at White Water Draw is best done during the winter and early spring months. That is when the lake is full and the birds that winter in Southeast Arizona are in residence. The birding at White Water Draw isn’t as well known as the Willcox Playa where “Wings Over Willcox” is highlighted. In my opinion, the birding at White Water Draw, near McNeal, is better for close up photography of the cranes. Down By The River B and B is north west of White Water Draw and easily accessible by good roads. After you have a scrumptious breakfast at the b and b, you can be in White Water Draw to view the birds to your heart’s content for the rest of the day.

Birding white water draw picture

The Sandhill Cranes come in to White Water Draw after feeding in the morning. Large numbers winter here in Cochise County.

birding at White Water Draw picture

Sandhill Cranes flying in from feeding north of White Water Draw.

Angie and I took a day trip to White Water Draw, about an hour’s travel time. It can be reached by taking Arizona 80 through Tombstone and about 6 miles further south turning onto Davis Road. At milepost 22 there is a sign indicating White Water Draw is to the right just 2 ½ miles down Coffman Road. Once you reach the area you will find a parking lot near a large barn with picnic tables and bathroom facilities. A path leads to the two lake areas where there are benches and platforms available with some high powered binoculars for viewing the birds. The Sandhill Cranes may be at any part of this sanctuary but during our visit we were lucky. The cranes were very close to the southeastern end of the lake system near the parking lot.

birding white water draw video

For video link to the Sandhill Cranes returning from feeding click on picture

As we arrived the cranes were returning after feeding in the fields north of White Water Draw that morning. Large flocks were circling overhead and the primeval cacophonic calls of the birds reminded me of sounds you might have heard in the Jurassic Era. The bird continued circling and in groups landed among the flock that were settled along the shore of the lake and the nearby grassland. The video shows the Sandhill Cranes that were circling overhead and finishes with birds landing among the other cranes.  The Sandhill Cranes stand almost 4 feet tall, with a wing span of almost 7 feet and weigh about 10 pounds. These are very large birds and are so graceful in flight.

There is more to see than the cranes when birding at White Water Draw. After watching the show, we spent some time walking along the lake shore. We stopped at a spot where we could get photographs of the White Snow Geese with the cranes in the background. Last year we saw a Northern Harrier flying low over the fields and it came toward the Snow Geese at one point. The geese all scattered in flight to either side as the harrier kept on flying on past the geese. I could see what was going to happen and forgot to snap the photo. Another opportunity lost.

birding at White Water Draw picture

Snow Geese also winter when birding at White Water Draw.

birding at White Water Draw picture

Northern Shoveler takes flight when we got too close to him.

We went on further and spotted some Says and Black Phoebes, a Wilson’s Snipe, Killdeer, many American Coots and Northern Shovelers. There were other water birds and flycatchers to see as we wandered around the lakes edge. We also spotted a couple of unidentified species or as what is commonly known as an LBJ. I didn’t have time to get a photo nor did we get the binoculars fast enough to see which bird was there before it disappeared into the brush.

birding at White Water Draw picture

Raptors can be found throughout the area while birding at White Water Draw.

The area is home to many raptors and a Great Horned Owl was nesting in the barn as usual. West of the barn is a wooded area that contains the owl nesting area. The owls are hard to spot since they don’t move much, hide among the branches and really blend into the

Wilson's Snipe flew off as we were walking along the edge of the lake at White Water Draw.

Wilson’s Snipe flew off as we were walking along the edge of the lake at White Water Draw.

background well. We did see some Hawks there but no owls. A Northern Harrier was flying over the fields and what we believe to be some Coopers Hawks were in the trees. A large Red-Tailed Hawk was on a post near the cranes but just stayed on the perch.

After three hours, we were getting hungry and we decided to go and find a place to eat. Bisbee is to the southwest of the Draw. We decided not to head straight home but to make a loop trip and stop in Bisbee for an early dinner.  We did a blog recently on “Dining in Bisbee”. We stopped at Santigos before heading home. As we headed back to the b and b after birding at White Water Draw we were lucky to watch the sky start to turn colors with the setting sun. We stopped a couple of times for photos and so ended a very fulfilling day here is Southeastern Arizona. Come and find out for yourself what there is to see in this wonderful part of Arizona called Cochise County.

Sunset Picture

As the sun’s light dies for the day
the the orb puts out its final ray
to last brighten the cloudy sky
and yield for the moon is nigh.

Restaurants in Cochise County

Restaurants in Cochise County – Bisbee Has Great Dining

Bisbee Overlook Picture

Bisbee is nestled in a canyon and is a wonderful place to spend the day and has some of the finest restaurants in Cochise County.

A common question our guests ask about is “Are there good restaurants in Cochise County?” Down By The River B and B is centrally located in Cochise County and when our guests go out they would like to find a restaurant that is close to where they are spending the day. To that end we have made a list of restaurants from various parts of Cochise County and have that posted on our website. We only recommend restaurants to our guests where we have dined and enjoyed the experience. It doesn’t include every restaurant is open but it has to meet our standards.

restaurants in Cochise County Picture

Santiagos is near the Copper Queen Hotel and has a Mexican cuisine that you don’t find in may South of the Border fares here in Arizona.

Although Benson is the closest town to us, I will start out with Bisbee restaurants. Why Bisbee? Well Bisbee is a place that you have to see when you come to Southeast Arizona. The old mining town has some yesteryear architecture and is home to 2 of our favorite restaurants in Cochise County. If you are looking for that special place that has a nice atmosphere and servers that are attentive then you will like these two. I am sure that if you can’t get into one you can get into the other but it is always wise to make reservations in advance.

restaurants in cochise county

Cafe Roka provides an exceptional dinner and service. Dining can be on any of the three levels in this restaurant.

Café Roka

restaurants in cochise county

Cafe Roka is located on Tombstone Canyon Road in the heart of the shopping district.

We experienced Café Roka the first time with our neighbors. I believe it was a birthday celebration and we were invited along. Chef Rod Kass has put together a great Mediterranean menu with some enticing staples. The lobster ravioli will make your mouth water. This is a 4 course meal and if you do appetizers, we recommend the stuffed dates, and dessert it can be a 6 course meal. There is always a special of the day. We have eaten here many times since we opened up the b and b. We have never been disappointed with a meal or the service.

restaurants in cochise county

Gourmet Mediterranean cuisine is the forte at this establishment. The duck is one of the highlights.

During this dining experience you will have servers that seem to anticipate when you are finished with a course and stop to clear the dishes. We have never had to ask for water to be refilled in our glasses. You will get soup du jour, a salad, a sorbet to cleanse your palate and your entrée. The desserts are simply decadent. There is a full bar and also a nice wine list. The restaurant is only open Wednesday through Saturday from 5 to 9. There is also a soloist or small ensemble that plays during dinner on Friday nights; a little something to add to the atmosphere of the evening.  Call for reservations at 520-432-5153.

Santiagos

restaurants in cochise county picture

The inside of Santiagos is colorfully decorated and the meals will fill you up.

Rob Page is the owner of the second Bisbee restaurant in Cochise County that we like. We had walked by this restaurant on our way to the Copper Queen Hotel many times but we never had stopped. Then we met Our new neighbor when he moved in next door to us. He works at Santiagos as a bartender and told us that we needed to come by and sample their wonderful cuisine. This is not the typical Mexican restaurant fare he told us.

resataurants in Cochise County picture

We have enjoyed tasting the food here at Santiagos. There is a wonderful blend of flavors in each mouthful.

They do have the typical tacos, enchiladas, and tamales that you would expect but there are items on the menu that you won’t find in many Mexican restaurants. The menu has ceviché, chilorio, molcajete, and chicken mole, not the rodent the E is pronounced like the letter A. You don’t see these dishes featured on many South of the Border menus here in Arizona. You can read what these items are on the menu page of their website. The food is tasty and you should not walk away hungry from this restaurant. They do have a full bar and feature wines from Spain, Argentina and Chile. They have domestic beers but there are Mexican beers and local micro brews available. Call for reservations at 520-432-1910.

Restaurants in Cochise County Picture

The main street in Bisbee can be enjoyable at night after you have enjoyed a wonderful dinner at one of the restaurants that thrive in this town.

Other restaurants that we recommend to our guests that are headed to Bisbee are The Bisbee Table, The Copper Queen Hotel and the Café Cornucopia. The Café Cornucopia is not open for dinner. We have also heard some nice things about Table 10 but you need reservations ahead in advance to be allowed in and there are only 10 seats. As of yet we haven’t tried this restaurant but it is on our bucket list. We also like to stop at the Grand Hotel and indulge in drinking one of the craft beers that they will have on tap. It is nice to sample some of these as it adds to the flavor of Bisbee.

Cochise County Shrine After The Fire

Cochise County Shrine Risen From The Ashes After The Fire

Cochise County Shrine Picture

The road to the shrine leads toward Ash Canyon and had a nice view of the Huachucas.

As I described the history of the Cochise County Shrine named Our Lady of the Sierras in my last blog,  I want to tell you about what it is like now after the fire. At the bottom of the complex is Mary’s Knoll which includes the visitor center, prayer center and business offices. This building was also totally destroyed by the fire. It has been rebuilt and was reopened in 2014. Parking for large vehicles is at this location. The steep drive up the hill is meant to be used only by cars.

Cochise County Shrine Picture

The path of the Stations of the Cross is an uphill climb but has rest areas at the stations.

Angie and I took some time to go to the Cochise County shrine just after New Year’s Day. It seemed appropriate to start the year off by visiting the shrine with our friend Karl. He didn’t know he would be on a trail with a slope that reminded him of the Grand Canyon hike we had taken together back in the mid 90s. But at least it wasn’t as long as that trail and there were many benches to stop and rest on along the way. The areas where we could stop were locations of each Station of the Cross. Most spots had a metal plaque that showed the station. There are still some stations that have not been repaired yet. The trail leads up the mountainside and past the Chapel and statues to a point that ends at the burial chamber grotto and the last station. Along the way was a Nativity Scene although that is installed during Christmas time.

Cochise County Shrine Picture

The chapel, Our Lady and the Cross are all together at the site.

The chapel, cross and statues are all located about half way up the property. The chapel is small and the cabinetry was all hand made by a local deacon who is a cabinet maker. In remembrance of the original chapel there is a display of the melted remains of the original tabernacle. Also located behind the altar is a picture of the risen Jesus. Seating is limited with less than 30 chairs in the church.

Outside the chapel doors is a 75 foot cross which was made to look like it was formed from a standing tree. The statue of “Our Lady” is facing the chapel and stands 31 feet tall with her hand extended upwards toward the cross. A tree that survived the fire is still located between the chapel and the Lady. The smaller angel statues are all exquisitely done and add to the solemnity of the site.

Cochise County Shrine Picture

The Guardian of Children Statue and the Consolation Angel are located at the Chapel and were not harmed by the fire.

The valley view from this Cochise County Shrine is breathtaking. From the high point at Station of the Cross 14 which is located on the side of the Huachuca Mountains, you can see from Sierra Vista in the North down into Mexico at the South. To the East are the Dragoon Mountains and the Mule Mountains where Bisbee is located. Behind these mountains are the Peloncillo and Chiricahua Ranges. Our experience there was wonderful and the setting is very peaceful. The entire site is inspiring and we will return again to experience the calm. Hopefully our next visit will be during a warmer time and not under the threat of snow showers.

To reach the Our Lady of the Sierras Shrine take 92 South from Sierra Vista or West from Bisbee. Then turn to the West onto Stone Ridge Road located between MP 333 and the turnoff to Coronado Memorial. Turn right onto Prince Placer and follow that to Twin Oaks Road. Turn Left onto Twin Oaks and you will come to the parking lot.  The lots are small and large vehicles should park down at Mary’s Knoll. Mass is celebrated on the first Sunday of the month at 2 PM.

Cochise County Shrine picture

The view from Our Lady of the Sierras Shrine across the San Pedro River Valley is something to behold. Mary’s Knoll is at the left hand side of this picture at the base of the mountain.

Our Lady Of The Sierras Shrine

Our Lady Of The Sierras Shrine A Short History

Our Lady of the Sierras Shrine picture

Our Lady of the Sierras Shrine is located at the southern end of the Huachuca Mountains.

Our Lady of the Sierras Shrine is located in Cochise County almost to the Mexican border on the side of the picturesque Huachuca Mountains. It is located near the Coronado National Memorial which I wrote about in a blog on September of 2013. This part of Cochise County is known for its beauty with the canyons and great vistas.

Our Lady of the Sierras Shrine picture

The driveway to the shrine has this rock with the name at the entrance.

The history of the Our Lady of the Sierras Shrine started in 1987 when the Chouinards visited family members and decided to hike into Ash Canyon. There they found a for sale sign and later bought the 8 acre property in 1988. This was to be the site for their retirement home which they built in 1991 then retiring to the area. Prior to building the home they had taken a pilgrimage to a church in Medjugorje, Yugoslavia where spiritual events had been occurring. After they had finished their home they decided to erect a cross and Patricia stated that she would like a statue of Mary next to it. This appeared to be a relatively simple task that should be easy to accomplish.

Our Lady of the Sierras Shrine picture

The Celtic Cross and Our Lady are together at the chapel.

However, this was just the start of problems that would take them 7 more years to resolve. Many people would have given up the endeavor with all the opposition that they had mounted against their plan. First the county permitting office told them that the structure could not be over 30 foot tall because of height restrictions in the codes. The only exception to this rule was if the structure was a monument. By building a chapel as part of the complex, the cross would become a monument and meet the county code. With the preliminary permit approval they commissioned the cross and statue to be built. These elements were to be fabricated from steel and fiberglass with a concrete covering. Local opposition sprang up once the plans of the project became known. The ensuing litigation lasted 4 years and finally in March of 1998 the project was completed. In the fall of 1998 the Bishop dedicated the chapel.

Our Lady of the Sierras Picture

The chapel is small with many windows to give it a feel of openness.

In 2002 the 14 Stations of the Cross was completed. In 2004 and 2005 the “Angel of Revelation” and the “Guardian of Children” were installed. Besides the cross, Mary and the angels, there is a waterfall that comes down behind the cross into a pond. There is a path that leads from there up the mountainside to a grotto that has a view of the San Pedro Valley below.  But disaster struck in June of 2011, when a fire that started in Mexico spread North into the Huachuca Mountains burning Ash Canyon and Miller Canyon. The fire burned the entire area around and including the shrine and Mary’s Knoll. The fire also burned into Sierra Vista before it was contained.

Our Lady of the sierras picture

The fire devastated the area but left the cross and statues unharmed.

Our Lady of the Sierras Shrine had to be rebuilt after the June 2011 fire. It has taken 3 years of work to repair and replace the damage. The end of repairs is now in sight. The landscape shows signs of the fire but most has come back. The fire didn’t harm the Celtic Cross or the statue of “Our Lady” nor a tree that was next to the statues even though the chapel was razed. The Angel of Revelation and the Angel of Consolation also survived the fire. Miraculously the cross and statues weren’t scorched or damaged with soot. Click here for pictures.

Gerald and Patricia Chouinard also had a home located about 100 yards from the shrine. The Chouinards lost all their possessions when the fire burned their home. It has not been rebuilt. For more detailed history of the building of the shrine, click on this link.

Our Lady of the sierras picture

The Chouinard’s home site with the view of the Huachucas only has the foundation left.

St. David Cienega

St. David Cienega

St. David cienega picture

The map of the St. David Cienega is shown on the large map of the San Pedro Riparian NCA.

St. David Cienega picture

The road and the old railroad bed both lead to the St. David Cienega.

I talked about the history of the St. David Cienega, a remnant of the massive marsh system that was around the San Pedro River in my last blog. To reach St. David Cienega you must make a right turn onto Cary road from Escalante Rd. You can drive in all the way to the parking lot or park at this intersection and walk in about a mile. Cary Road ends at the old corrals. Alongside Cary road is the old rail bed of the Southern Pacific line that ran down to Douglas. The tracks have been pulled up in the last 4 years. You can walk on the rail bed and look for spikes that were left behind when the crews pulled up the rails and ties. You are elevated above the road using this route so it allows for a view that is not as obstructed as the one on the road. There are also some photo opportunities of old abandoned houses and ruins that can be seen along the way.

St. David Cienega Pictures

Old house ruins can be seen from the road and rail bed on your way to the St. David Cienega.

St. David Cienega Pictue

The old corrals can be seen at the parking lot of the St. David Cienega.

The St. David Cienega has no visible trail from the parking lot into the cienega. Looking over the area, we noticed the corrals were dilapidated and coming apart in places. It was a nice setting for some photography and the backdrop view of the Dragoon Mountains was ideal with the afternoon sunlight. There is an opening in the fence where you can reach an information board with a map. The St. David Cienega is managed by the BLM. The map shows you where the Cienega is in relation to this location. We headed south toward the cienega. The St. David Cienega is surrounded by a mesquite grove and you have to find your way around to get to a path that you can follow into it. We finally reached a spot where we could approach from the west side of the mesquite grove and eventually found a path leading to a spring fed pond. The pond has reeds and cattails growing in it and has been enclosed with a fence.

St. David Cienega picture

Birds are found in the brush but you must be patient to allow them to come into view.

As we looked around we could see movement in the brush. The grasses and reeds are so thick that you can’t see the birds but you can hear them. We spent time looking around the pond and viewing the area. After a period the birds started to come out of hiding so we could photograph them. We did find some primitive paths that had been made by prior visitors or animals. We followed these paths eastward into the cienega for a better look at things. We spent about 30 minutes looking around and taking photos and then we started heading back to the corral.

St. David Cienega picture

Kestrels are just one of the raptors you will find in the St. David Cienega.

We were rewarded on our return trip when we spotted tracks in a sandy area. I took the photo and determined them to be Coatimundi

St David Cienega Pictures

Alkali crystals can be found in the low areas of the cienega where water evaporates.

tracks. As we got to the corral an American Kestrel flew overhead, landing on a tree branch to pose for a photo. On our walk back to the b and b, we also had the chance to photograph Loggerheaded Shrikes, female Vermillion Flycatchers, lesser gold finches and other birds. All in all an enjoyable winter afternoon hike. Now we will need to do it again during the spring and summer to see what the changes will be like in the area. We offer a word of warning for those that wish to venture into this area. The grasses are thick and tall. This cienega is a perfect habitat for snakes so watch your step and keep an eye and ear out.

This is also going to be a breeding ground for mosquitoes so make sure you use insect repellant and sunscreen.

St. David Cienega picture

The Dragoon Mountains can be viewed from the St. David Cienega.

Saint David Cienega

St David Cienega picture

The Saint David Cienega is a remnant of what was once a large system of marshes located here along the San Pedro River.

The Saint David Cienega the way this area was before settlers

The Saint David Cienega is probably comparable to what Coronado would have experienced as he advanced along the San Pedro River during his search for Cibola, the lost cities of gold. The Saint David Cienega is a marshy wetland encompassing about 100 acres. The marsh is fed by springs and seeps that flow into the wetlands. Cienega is a Spanish word for a marsh and may be a corruption of cien aguas – hundred waters. The Saint David Cienega is isolated and doesn’t connect into the San Pedro River but ends at a depression near the river.

Saint David Cienega pictures

On the road into the preserve is an old house ruins.

Angie and I have had guests talk about the Saint David Cienega over the years. I have also had the pleasure of meeting Joe Billings, who works with the Monarch Study Project tagging Monarch Butterflies here in Southeastern Arizona. Joe was tagging some Monarchs as a part of a study during the monsoon season in 2009. He became stranded at the wash during a flash flood. He decided to find out what else was in the area and found the B and B. We sat around for an hour or so talking about his work with the Monarch Butterfly Study. Interestingly he has kept in touch with us over the years and sometimes stops by to say hello. We were free and decided to take a walk to the Saint David Cienega; just 3 miles from Down By The River b and b. You can drive there but walking allows you to spot things you would miss in a car. But before I go into too much detail about our experience, here is a little history about the cienega and this part of Southeastern Arizona.

The area around Saint David and Benson was once a lake bottom. Over time the bottom filled with clay. Click here to read about this from a previous blog. Because of the clay and rock, the water doesn’t drain away but forms ponds. The upwelling of water from many artesian springs and seeps in the area provide the moisture that keeps this area wet.  These conditions provide water to sustain the unique plant life in the desert. The desert can be harsh and you rarely find sedges, grasses, cattails and reeds growing in a wetland. Milk weed can also be found in the late summer and fall and is a big draw for Monarchs.

San Pedro Cienega Picture

The San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area is managed by the BLM.

The Saint David Cienega is one of the remnants of what was once a great system of marshes that were found along the San Pedro prior to the settlers coming into the valley in the 1800s. The area was home to many beavers which were hunted out by the late 1800s. The removal of beaver dams and draining of the wetlands for farming allowed the San Pedro River to flow through and create a channel where once large wetlands were. Land use for farming and grazing further reduced the wetlands into smaller marshes like the Saint David Cienega. As the river channel deepened the cienegas were cut off from the river and the water table dropped. The great cienega system dried up and only those areas that had springs survived in a reduced state. Because of the evaporation of the water the alkalinity of the marsh has increased. The plants that are in the Saint David Cienega are more salt tolerant that the adjacent flora so they can survive. You can find areas where the salts have built up and cover the plants and, having crystallized, giving a snow like appearance.

The San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area was set aside by Congress to preserve this unique area in 1988. Check this link to read about it. The St. David Cienega is located within the SPRNCA and has been designated as a Research Natural Area. This further restricts the use of the cienega and is solely managed to keep human impact to a minimum. You can visit and walk into the area but are asked not to camp or leave any evidence of your visit.

Watch for our next post about what we saw when we went to the cienega.

Southeast Arizona B and B Directions

Southeast Arizona B and B Directions

Southeast Arizona B and B Directions picture

After taking Judd St. and crossing the wash you end up on Escalante Rd. There is no turn around until you are almost at the San Pedro River.

Southeast Arizona B and B Directions picture

Just where you are able to pull off the road, Escalante becomes worse with ruts.

Our Southeast Arizona B and B directions are given to all our guests so that they don’t get stuck in the San Pedro River while driving to Down By The River B and B. Our directions use Apache Powder Road so that guests will make it to our front door without a wilderness adventure. Because we have guests that ask us about using Judd Street to Escalante Road, I decided to take some pictures to show just what the road looks like.

Southeast Arizona B and B Directions picture

The road disappears as you near the river and the banks have been eroded away by the flooding.

There are online sites that believe this is an easier way to get to Down By The River. GPS and Google Maps are wonderful things but they do fail more in rural areas. The reason is that these programs sometimes have not been updated or, better yet, they extrapolate a cow path as a road. We have sent information to Google about previous errors in the maps and some have been updated. The one using Judd Street as a route has persistently been ignored.

Southeast Arizona B and B Directions picture

A high clearance 4 x 4 would be needed to be used to negotiate this crossing at a minimum.

The use of Judd Street in St. David to get to Down By The River is usually the route that these two programs use for directions. Prior to this Fall, that way was probably accessible across the river with a 4 wheel drive vehicle. It required you cross a wash that can be quite sandy at times and then to drive across the San Pedro River in an area that has quicksand.  Unfortunately there is no bridge at the San Pedro River on this road. This year we had the remnants of 3 hurricanes hit Arizona. The heavy rains caused the San Pedro River to overflow its banks at the crossing. Escalante Road has been washed away and there is no trace of the original road anymore near the San Pedro.

Southeast Arizona B and B Directions picture

The road west of the river is worse. The flood created a flow channel where Escalante Road was and there is a 2 foot ditch now at the road.

The San Pedro River crested behind Down By The River about 2 feet below the bank. The San Pedro was over 20 feet deep at this point. Click here to view a video of the flooding San Pedro River. The river bed is now 3 to 5 feet lower than it was in the spring of 2014. There is a shear drop from where Escalante Road used to exist at the river. We have always sent guests our Southeast Arizona B and B directions so that they don’t have problems reaching us. Still we do have some people that call asking if the only way to the B and B is by crossing the river. We know that they are using GPS when we get that call.

Southeast Arizona B and B Directions picture

After Escalante climbs to the top of the bank, the road is rutted and there are sink holes located along the entire route to Efken.

If you were able to get across the San Pedro River, you would find that the road on the west side is worse than the Judd Street approach. The road has been washed out and the San Pedro created a channel where the old road used to be.  Escalante Road as it leaves the river is now full of holes and gullies for a quarter mile after you leave the river. There are places that you may find where your car will become stuck just trying to reach the river. So we want to inform our guests that our Southeast Arizona B and B directions are the best way to arrive safely at Down By The River.

One advantage of the floods has been that the river area is full of debris. This debris is great for the birds to find shelter and refuge while looking for food. You can walk back in this area and find clear paths of travel. The overflow channels that the river cut during the floods allow for easy access back to parts of the river south of us. Needless to say the old trails along the river no longer exist. We have always had water flowing above ground in the San Pedro River behind the b and b. It will be interesting to see if next spring and summer, prior to the monsoons, we will have even more of a flow than in previous years.

Southeast Arizona B and B Directions Picture

The wash at Judd St. finds its way down to the San Pedro River and crosses what used to be Escalante Road.

Birders Lodging Theme Room

Bird Room – A Feathery Vision of Nature

birders lodging theme room picture

The branches, birds, nests and birdhouses hang suspended in air.

birders lodging theme room

During the winter a cozy fire can be enjoyed in the bird room fireplace.

The bird room is our birders lodging theme room. Gone are the days of the Spanish Padres, the prospectors and the cowboys, although some still ride range down here in Cochise County. Today one of the biggest activities in Cochise County is bird watching and tourism. The San Pedro River is one of the best birding areas in the US will nearly 400 species of birds that can be found here during the year. Check out the bird page on our website for the birds that have been spotted around the b and b. This is why we chose the name for our birders lodging theme room.

birders lodging theme room pciture

There are many bird ceramic displays in the bird room.

The bird room is a match of the cowboy room in size and amenities. This room has a much lighter and airy feeling than the cowboy room. It is also our most popular room with our guests. The difference stops there as the décor for the bird room is all about birds and nature. This room has an unobstructed view toward the San Pedro River. The headboard in the bird room is unique. It is really a table top that has had a layer of match sticks stained and placed on the table top in a pattern. The amount of time and effort is amazing and it must seen to really get the feel for the

birders lodging theme room

The headboard is a table top that has been hand designed.

artistry. The room also features a quilt from the early 1950s with a square for each state at that time. These 48 squares show the state birds and state flowers for all the states prior to Alaska and Hawaii being admitted to the union.

birders lodging theme room

We even have a bird house that we rent out as a b and b for our feathered friends.

The bird theme is carried throughout the room with different figurines, crafts and painting of birds. Over the fireplace is a grouping of branches, nests, birds and bird houses that appear to be suspended into the room. A “Birds Eye Maple” dresser is also featured in the room along with some other antique items that were found in various locations in Arizona. In the closet we even had a bird house that is made up to look like a b and b.  Our birders lodging theme room was actually one of the harder rooms to find items for that fit the theme. We still are looking for items that will help complement the décor in that room. Click on our room page to find out more about the bird room or use this link for a video.

birders lodging theme room

More bird ceramics are hung on the walls along with a framed needlework.

B and B Cowboy Theme Room

B and B Cowboy Theme Room – Victorian Décor Close Up

b and b cowboy theme room picture

Early morning sunrise at the summer solstice lights up the wall of the cowboy room shadow boxes, clock and headboard.

b and b cowboy theme room picture

Different poster can be found on the walls.

Our b and b cowboy theme room is one of our two large rooms. These rooms offer our guests many amenities not offered in the two smaller rooms and is more spacious. This room is my favorite because it reflects the lore of Tombstone just 20 minutes away to the south. The Victorian furnishings add to the mystique of the “Old West” that still can be found in Cochise County. We had a lot of fun collecting items for the b and b cowboy theme room.

b and b cowboy theme room picture

The “Deadman’s Hand” is on display in a Victorian shadow box.

The cowboy room gives you an insight of the late 1800s and how the people who lived in that time survived. The word cowboy wasn’t for a hard working trail hand in the days of 19th Century Arizona Territory. It was a word used more to define outlaws than upright citizens. Hollywood has corrupted the meaning of the original term and gave some dignity to the cowboy genre. Many things in the room would be familiar to the people who lived during that era. We do have the 1890s headboard for the bed. We did take the foot board and cut it up and welded it on to the headboard to make a king size headboard for the bed. Victorian shadow boxes with artifacts decorate the walls as well as wanted posters of the era. There is an 1870s 8 day clock that is also mounted on the wall.

cowboy theme room picture

Unusual framed artwork can be found in the Cowboy room.

b and b cowboy theme room picture

The closets are decorated with many items including a Victorian Wedding dress.

An 1898 wringer is in the room with an old refinished settee. The closet has a Victorian wedding dress and blouse. A stereopticon with viewing slides is also in the closet for your 3 D viewing pleasure. Yes there were 3 D viewers predating Hollywood.  But the pride of this room is the tin ceiling that was culled by a contractor during renovations of the Glendale, Arizona Courthouse. The ceiling is over 100 years old and was installed with all the trim pieces to give the room that final touch of authentisity. The ceiling sets the mood for the room and enhances rest of the décor.

Victorian and Old West artifacts in our b and b cowboy theme room will give you that frontier days nostalgia. This will be helpful when you visit Tombstone. You will have looked at some items in your room and may spot things like them in the shops along Allen St. Click on our room page to find out more about the cowboy room or use this link for a video.

b and b cowboy theme room picture

An “Old West” bar scene can be found outside the entry to the cowboy room.

Southeast Arizona B and B Theme Rooms

Southeast Arizona B and B Theme Rooms – Prospector Room – Looking for the mother lode

southwest arizona b and b theme rooms picture

We have found and displayed different minerals in the prospector room.

Our Southeast Arizona b and b theme rooms continue with the prospector room. Southeast Arizona has its share of mining claims. Some locations here in Cochise County still have active mines. Silver and copper are the main ores but there is also gold to be found. There is still a chance that some luck cuss that knows what he is looking will find something. Now as for me, I could trip over a silver deposit and keep on walking.

We chose the prospector room as one of our Southeast Arizona b and b theme rooms because of all the mining that was done in the area. Tombstone is probably one of the more famous finds but it is not the only one. Bisbee had a large mining operation that was in

southwest arizona b and b theme rooms

The walls of the prospector room have many things to see including old photos, maps, stock certificates and mining equipment.

use into the 1980s. The decorations for the room were gathered throughout the US and fit into the early 1900s era. Old maps of Arizona are on display. We also have Arizona mining stock certificates but found them in Florida because we couldn’t find them in Arizona. We have a canary cage that was used down in the mines. The canary was kept in the mine to warn miners if deadly gasses would build up. If the canary quit singing that was a sign of trouble.

Minerals and scales are also found in the room along with personal mining equipment such as carbide lamps, ladles and pots. Outside the room on the private patio are 2 mining buckets used to winch ore up the shaft from the bottom of the mine. There is also an antique vanity in the room that is equipped with side mirrors that would allow the woman to view herself from front or back. Along with the other turn of the century furniture we decided to have some unique end tables for the bed. One is an old icebox, pre-electric, and one is a 1920s radio cabinet.The room also has a real tin ceiling installed which is over 100 years old.

southern arizona b and b theme room picture

Before the refrigerator and electric power, ice boxes were used to preserve food. The ice would go on top and the food was stored below.

southwest arizona b and b theme rooms picture

The old radio is used as a night stand on one side of the bed the ice box is on the other side.

Probably the one place that most or out guest laugh at is the bathroom. The bath has clothing hanging from the walls as if it were wash day. There is even an old washboard in the room along with some signs from mines that we found in Nevada. TSA didn’t like one of the signs in particular because it had traces of nitrates on it. It set off the alarms and our luggage was searched for bombs. The bath also has a copper basin sink that fits in perfectly with our Southeast Arizona b and b theme rooms. Click on our room page to find out more about the prospector room or use this link for a video.

southwest arizona b and b theme rooms picture

The bird cage was used in a mine. It housed a canary that would sing. If the canary quit singing and was lethargic the miners would know that gases were building up to dangerous levels.

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