Continued east today to Sonoita.
This is ranch country. Lots of open range, grasslands with the occasional mesquite trees.
The Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds in Sonoita has camping. I emailed my friend Ted Houghten (Wxtoad) the info to add to his list of campgrounds.
We discovered what is now, our personal, all-time favorite bakery. The Grasslands Bakery-Cafe. "All natural from seed to table. Baking breads and pastries in a natural organic style" Only open on weekends. 3119 Highway 83, Sonoita, AZ. www.grasslandsbakery.com.
Amazing. Pastries, cakes, breads, salads, sandwiches, on & on. This has replaced the German bakery in Hermann, MO as our favorite. We're stocked up for the next week or so.
We continued to the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area. It's a BLM administered area near Sonoita. The plan was to just explore then spend the night at the fairgrounds in town. This place was just so beautiful, we decided to stay
the night. We're near the Oak Tree Canyon area. Free camping. There is a good Border Patrol presence plus there are other campers in the area. Told Ted about this place as well. This is Gophers kind of place. She just wanders around sniffing at this & that.
Every time I drive by a KOA and look at the campers, I just think about how much they're missing. Look at this, and it's all free.
Carol says the landscape reminds her of the African Veldt and she expects to see a pride of lions parade by at any time. Well, we didn't see any lions, but shortly after sunset, a dozen or more cows did come parading by in single file. Gopher was outside and, of course, noticed the cows. She didn't start barking but was clearly interested. The cows also picked up the scent of a dog. Look at the picture of the cows looking at the dog.
This is a very enjoyable place to camp.