Saturday, November 12, 2011

Cochise Stronghold

This canyon is located in the Dragoon Mountains and is another part of Coronado National Forest. I believe I was last here about 40 years ago with my parents. All I remember is trying to hike one of the trails and that I did not get too far. It was in the summertime and the temperature was around 100 degrees Fahrenheit.Today the weather was a bit cooler than that and we enjoyed taking the Cochise trail into the canyon for several miles. Odd rock formations dot the canyon, and my imagination ran wild thinking of the Chiricahua Apache under the leadership of their famous leader Cochise hiding behind those rocks and scouring the flatlands for the approaching cavalry.
 For awhile they were successful hiding out in this canyon and fighting off the cavalry during the mid 1800s, but eventually the American army won out. Cochise and his tribe were then given a reservation in this area from 1872 until his death in 1876. We also took a self-guided nature trail into the canyon. Along this trail interpretive signs point out the plants of the desert, some of which once sustained the Native Indians. The prickly pear cactus pictured below is surrounded by a wait-a-minute bush, aptly given that name by hikers who get caught in its curved spines. I gingerly touched those thorns, and they are certainly sharp!

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