Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Ride through the Empire Ranch grasslands

Tuesday, March 20, 2018 – Spring – Location: Las Cienegas NCA near Sonoita, Arizona

This morning started out a little cool at 41 degrees, but quickly warmed to the 50s by 9 o’clock.  Plenty of sunshine and no wind means a beautiful day is in store for us.  Took our normal walk this morning and had a hearty breakfast to start our day.

Don’t have anything planned, so I laid around on the lounger till Yuma couldn’t stand it anymore and wanted to go for a ride.  I’ve driven many of the roads around the Empire Ranch, but had never driven the road through the North Canyon.  Unfortunately, I only have a quarter tank of gas so will have to be careful how far we go.

This working ranch is huge.  You can drive many miles and the only thing you’ll see are cows.  The road was in very good condition and was enjoyable to drive.  Wish I had more gas.

Most of the roads I travel end with just a horse trail at the end.  However, this road kept moving towards the northeast like it was going into the Whetstone Mountains or north towards I-10, 20 miles to the north.


I made the mistake of going down a steep hill towards what I thought was another road in the valley below.  Got down the hill okay in 4-wheel drive, but when I got to the bottom, I found the road was actually a sandy wash.  Very sandy and no tire tracks. 

Yuma and I walked for a distance each way and didn’t see any roads ahead.  So, made the decision to go back up the hill. This time in low 4-wheel drive.  Don’t like going up steep inclines, but the Jeep did great and I had no problems. 

The road is the one going downhill to the left in the picture below.


I found when I got to the bottom, there was a water collector down there and this road was used to get down to it.  You can see the wash at the bottom.  Looked like a road to me.




The road to the left is a pipeline road.  Not the road I want to follow.


As you can see in the pictures, this grassland is huge and chances are you will not see anyone and I didn’t.  As we kept moving further from our site and we fell below the quarter tank mark, I started getting nervous.  Have no idea where this road leads and for once I followed my instincts and turned around and went back the way we came.

Got home around one o’clock and I was making lunch when I heard a different sound coming from the horse camp about a mile to the east.  Looked outside and what did I see?  A powered paraglider taking off.



Flew around the area for about a half hour and then landed.  Beautiful day for flying!  Wouldn’t catch me doing that, but fun to watch.

Around 5:30, while I was working on my blog, I saw a horse going by the MH with two dogs.  Stepped outside and one of the dogs came up and sniffed Yuma. 


The man and I talked for a few minutes.  Love the garb he was wearing.


While we were talking, a second rider popped up around the RV.  His wife.  Off they went.  Such a beautiful day for a horse ride. 

He said his dogs were friendly, but I was nervous.  They were big and there were two of them.  Yuma handled it well and reluctantly, they left.





See you later.


  1. A pretty ride from your camp. I think you should have hitched a ride with the paraglidet! He must have had a fabulous view. What a handsome man that rode up to your camp! I'm sure Yuma liked making new friends. Have a good night. ❤

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Dolly. Had to republish to get the sunset in. So beautiful.

      That rider was dressed flashy wasn't he. Nice guy. Glad the dogs got along. Big dogs.

      Goodnight. Lutoo ❤

  3. What a beautiful area to explore. Great pictures of a beautiful sunset.

  4. Beautiful pictures and a great place you are visiting! The rider was really decked out in colors! That road definitely looked sandy..good decision!

    1. Thanks Shirley. He was an interesting looking fellow.

  5. I think those Grasslands are just one of the best places to be for panoramic views all around, peace and quiet, nice jeeping roads, a couple small towns nearby and Sierra Vista in case one feels the need for some bigger city madness. I always enjoy recognizing a few spots in your photos where we too have been.

    1. I'm so glad you lead me to this place. Two winters now, I have enjoyed my home on top of this hill with mountains all around. The weather is great.

  6. So many wonderful views there and nice to have some friendly riders and dogs drop on by. Continue enjoying the nice weather.

    1. Thanks George. Beautiful weather here, but soon time to move on.

  7. You do take some chances, don't you? You dare devil you! ha ha The roads do look tempting though so I understand your interest.
    I love the gear on that horse rider too! But I agree about big dogs, until I know them, they make me nervous too.
    Love your sunset pictures, soooo beautiful!

    1. Thanks Patsy. Almost missed the sunset. Too often I'm inside working on my post and forget. Bet you loved the mustache on that rider:). I'm always thankful my jeep is trustworthy. I get nervous sometimes but the jeep always comes through.

  8. Yuma's ears are high with a big tight curl and his tail is not. Looks like he is definitely suspicious of the strange dogs. They make me nervous too - especially the brown one (maybe part pit bull) ? Guy's colorful clothes and even his horse look like they belong on a movie set in Argentina. Roads are scenic but running every which way - I could easily get lost on there. People keep turning up literally "out of the blue" - like that paraglider. 🌞🐦🐕🌵🐴

    1. For being out in the middle of nowhere, there sure is a lot going on. I enjoy the solitude, but the activity from nowhere is fun too.

  9. Great views you've got there. Love the horses, that guy is sure decked out in his spiffy colours.

    Big dogs, glad Yuma handled himself like the Prince he is!!

    Amazing sunset pictures. Nothing says goodnight like a wonderful sunset.

    Glad you turned around, and maybe some gas might be in order before you have to push that jeep to hook it up to the MH. Hahaha.....

    Take care and be safe Doug!!! I agree that the paraglider must have had some great views, he might have taken you along for a ride if you'd of asked. Great pictures that would be.

    1. Thanks Deb. Yuma handled himself well. You won't catch me flying on one of those things. Some things I won't do and that's one of them.

  10. Those sunsets! Hey Doug, I want you to get an outfit like that horse rider that came by. I loved it too! It would suit you! I basically just put your face on him so you’re going to need to grow your hair out and get a long mustache. You can work on this over the summer and I’ll be your coach! 🤗. I love you!

    1. He looked like he was from Argentina. Don't think I could ever look like that. Maybe the mustache.