Two legendary men of the Old West; nature walk at Cochise Stronghold

Tuesday, September 4 (continued)

Having explored the campground at Cochise Stronghold, the crew and I are ready to cross the bridge to commence walking the nature trail.

~ ~ ~

Before we do that, let’s pause and read a marker about Apache Chief Cochise and learn more about him.

Readers:  For background I suggest you to follow this link and read the brief biography at the website, This Day In History, entitled “June 8, 1874 — Apache Chief Cochise Dies.”

How did a man by the name of Tom Jeffords become the “blood brother” of Chief Cochise?








In 1867 Captain Jeffords made the personal acquaintance of  Cochise:

Captain Jeffords said, “He [Cochise] had killed twenty-one men to my knowledge, fourteen of whom were in my employ. I made up my mind that I wanted to see him. . . .  I had acquired a smattering knowledge of the Indian language . . . .

“I went into his camp alone, fully armed. After meeting him, I told him that I was there to talk with him personally, and that I wished to leave my arms in his possession . . . .

“Cochise seemed to be surprised, but finally consented to my proposition, took possession of my arms and I spent two or three days with him, discussing affairs, and sizing him up. I found him to be a man of great natural ability, a splendid specimen of physical manhood, standing about six feet two, with an eye like an eagle. This was the commencement of my friendship with Cochise, and although I was frequently compelled to guide troops against him and his band, it never interfered with our friendship. He respected me and I respected him.” — “Biography of Captain Thomas Jonathon Jeffords,”

See the end of this post for books and a movie DVD about these two legendary men.

~ ~ ~

Ready?  We have a nature trail to walk!

This is an easy trail.  Four-tenths of a mile with a gentle grade.

“Boys, how about you tell everyone about the nature walk as we go along?”

“Sure, RVSue!  Just let me catch up to Roger first.  He’s always in a hurry to see what’s next!  Rog!  Wait up!”

“Okay.  Let’s see.  Umm . . . Here I am on the trail with Roger.  We see a big pile of rocks.”

“Lots of big rocks.”

“The trail is skinny through this part . . .

. . . and RVSue is nervous about snakes.  I’m not nervous.  That’s why I go first and Roger and RVSue stay behind me.”

“More stairs!  It’s fun hopping up stairs.  Let’s go, Rog!”

“Here we are at the top of the stairs and here’s a place for tired people to rest.  We’re not tired.  This is too much fun! . . . . Oh, look at Roger’s leg.  He looks like he’s peeing on the leash.  Hahahaha!”

“Excuse me, Reg.  Let’s give Roger a chance to talk, too.  Roger what do you have to say? . . . . Roger, honey?”

“RVSue, I’d better do the talking.  Roger likes to look around and sniff the air for bears and stuff.  He can’t do that and walk and talk at the same time.”

“Or chew gum, I suppose.  Oh, Reg, you imp,  I see what you did there.”

“Hey, look at this!  I’m going to catch this thing!”

“Oh, no, you’re not, Roger.  We’ll catch it with my camera and leave it alone.”

(The lizard is about five inches long.)

” C’mon, you two.  Forget about the dang lizard.  Listen.  There’s water up ahead.  I think we’re close to the campground where that little stream is.”

“RVSue, can we climb rocks again?”

“Of course, Roger!”

“Thanks, boys, for narrating our nature walk.  There’s the PTV waiting for us!”

In the next post . . . .

A closer look at nature, including an odd-looking, green creature we almost missed.


NOTE:  For those of you who enjoy reading and learning history, here are a few books to consider.  I can’t recommend them because I haven’t read them, but the reviews at Amazon are good. — Sue

The Apache Wars: The Hunt for Geronimo, the Apache Kid, and the Captive Boy Who Started the Longest War in American History

Once They Moved Like The Wind: Cochise, Geronimo, and the Apache Wars

Tom Jeffords: Friend of Cochise

DVD of the movie starring James Stewart as Tom Jeffords: Broken Arrow


If you’d like to browse and shop at Amazon, any of the links in the above NOTE will take you there where you’ll find a search box to locate what you want.

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61 Responses to Two legendary men of the Old West; nature walk at Cochise Stronghold

  1. KathyN in MI says:

    Now I really would love to go there. Thanks to R&R for the narration..

  2. Annette says:

    Hi there!

  3. Columbus Calvin says:

    Well, that’s interesting! I’m glad the boys had a good time, but they didn’t tell us much about the plants along the way. That’s okay, the sign says there are more signs along the way. That’s a good distance for me, too.

    I was not aware that Cochise had a blood brother, but there’s much more history to explore behind the short quote. If Cochise was 6′ 2″ tall, he was unusual for his time.

    Cochise Stronghold has gone from “I ought to stop there sometime” status to my bucket list.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Calvin,

      Yes, there are frequent markers identifying the plants, including several varieties of oak trees, along the walk.

      If I had the boys tell you about them, this post would’ve been too long. I had a time trying to control the length because I wanted to share more about the interesting Cochise-Jeffords story and the period of the Apache Wars, plus our enjoyment of the trail.

      Besides, when you visit Cochise Stronghold, you will discover the plants yourself and learn about them at that time. Gotta’ save you that fun!

  4. Lots of history there!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dawn,

      Yes, there is. The history of the entire state of Arizona is something I want to learn more in depth. Wild times, interesting characters . . .

  5. Elizabeth says:

    There is much history never covered in school…thank you for pointing out more of that, Sue. It is said that those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it…and so it seems. It is a lovely camping place!!

  6. Pam and Maya, says:

    Hi Sue and Crew! What a fun post, a great way to start the morning. Cochise’s stronghold sounds like a great place to visit, that trail would be perfect for Maya who has trouble walking long distances. We are in Las Vegas of all places, waiting for my son and his girlfriend to fly in from New York. For their vacation they are joining me and we are going to Zion and Bryce Canyon National Park. It’s ironic because at one point in my life I said Las Vegas was the last place on earth I would want to visit since cities, bright lights and gambling are just things I am not interested in. Well since I discovered Las Vegas is near so many National Parks and has very inexpensive flights to NY I have eaten my words. That saying; “Never say never” is true!

  7. Linda Sand in Minnesota says:

    I enjoy learning about history that wasn’t originally told by white men. I’ve been reading about the orphan train. Fascinating but somewhat depressing.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Linda,

      I read about the orphan train a while back. Don’t remember the name of the book. It’s also been an element in television episodes. Real life presents the most interesting and intriguing subjects for books and drama.

  8. Velda says:

    Velda’s message first appeared under the previous post at the end of comments. I place it here in order for everyone to see it. — Sue

    Wanted my friends here to know that last Wednesday September 5, my husband died after his 5 1/2 year battle against a very rare cancer. I’m ok but busy planning his funeral and preparing for his burial with full military honors at the National Cemetery in Dixon Ca the following week. One day at a time for now.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      How thoughtful of you, Velda, to write this message for your blogorino friends. May God continue to bless you with strength and comfort.

    • Kat (Mercer Island WA & SoCal) says:

      Please accept our condolences Velda and our appreciaton for you and your husband’s service and sacrifices made for the United States. May the many happy memories you and your dear husband made support you and give you peace at this difficult time in your journey.

      • weather says:

        Oh Velda, I can only imagine what these days are like for you. Take the best care of yourself that you can. I hope we hear from you again whenever you feel like commenting. Sending you blessings and prayers.

    • jazzlover says:

      Velda, what a long journey you and your husband have been on. There is comfort in planning his funeral and full military honors burial. You are doing for him what he wanted. One day at a time is a good way to go right now. I wish you peace and hope you have family to be with at this important time.

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Oh, Velda, I am so very sorry for your loss. May you find peace and comfort in knowing that your husband’s courageous battle is over. Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Take good care of yourself.

    • Marilu says:

      I’m sorry to hear of your loss, Velda. Take care of yourself and remember, if you need a hug, come to RV She’s site and we’ll send you love and virtual hugs.

      • Barbara (Nashville) says:

        So sorry to hear of your loss, Velda. Your hubby put up quite a fight for a long time, may he RIP now. Being buried with Military honors i wonderful & bless you both for your service. Take care of yourself and let us know how you are doing.

    • Deena in Phoenix says:

      Velda, heartfelt sympathy on the loss of your husband. I salute a fellow Veteran, Godspeed Sir.

    • Cinandjules 🌵 says:

      So saddened to hear about Mel.
      Take care, take some time for yourself and know that we all care.

    • Krystina says:

      So sorry to hear about the loss of your husband Velda. I can only imagine what a difficult time this is for you. Please try to stay positive during this sad time. You need to keep up your strength and take one day at a time.

    • Jolene/Iowa says:

      Velda, I am so very sorry for your loss. Praying for you during this difficult time.

    • DeGin says:

      Oh Velda, I’m so sorry! I know it is so hard and tiring to go through a loss like this, even when you knew it was coming. I’ll be pulling for you.

  9. weather says:

    This is a great post, Sue, thank you! I like everything about it- the photos, links, the boys’ narration, and glimpses into that place’s history. I especially like the way you captured the one darker cloud in the photo beneath “…We see a big pile of rocks.” It seems to indicate that long ago in a place of such beauty not all days were just sunshine and happiness. It would be nice to be there alone on a day without anyone else around, sit on the bench with it’s back to the trail and imagine what it was like for the Apaches who lived there while it was their reservation. How they spent their days and nights, prepared meals, hoping their future might hold…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, weather, for your enthusiastic reaction to this post. I enjoyed the compliments. 🙂

      In researching the Chiricauhua Apaches for this post, I hoped to find an inexpensive book about their daily life and customs to which I could post a link, but was not successful. One would probably come across booklets with info at museums and tourist centers in southern Arizona or at the local library. I’ll be looking!

      I agree, “not all days were just sunshine and happiness.” Hard toil, harsh conditions, fear, sorrow, a lot of spilled blood during those tumultuous times. Quite a contrast to the easy stroll we can enjoy these days at Cochise Stronghold.

  10. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    This post was extra enjoyable! It is nice to see the area so well maintained. Thank you for adding the links for more information and book suggestions. Learning the history of the land and it’s people is very interesting.

    Thank you to Reggie and Roger for providing us a tour of your excursion. You have captured their voices…young, silly, and easily distracted. Bridget had a serious eye for beauty and plants, making sure to provide us the correct pronunciation. Always proper and a lady. Spike was a bit of a jokester with a mischievous glint in his eye. 🙂 I look forward to hearing about the mysterious green creature. 🙂

    Today is a rainy, gray day. No thunder or lightning, just drizzly, constant rain. The silver lining is that the temps are cooler. It was chilly enough this morning to warrant a light jacket. It is currently 71 degrees! No need for the heat pump to continuously run – yay! The temps will creep back up to the high 80’s starting tomorrow, so I am savoring today. 🙂 (Thank you to Elizabeth and Rhodium for sending some of their cool breezes! 🙂 )

    I hope you are having an enjoyable a Sunday, Sue. Sending you, Reggie, and Roger lots of love and hugs from me and Gracie pup! Hi to Nancy and Marg. 🙂

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Oh, and yes, I agree that Roger is becoming more handsome. He has blossomed. He is happy, content, and confident and it shows. His scrappy street days are fully in his past. 🙂

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        He’s also revealing a sensitive side. Like Reggie has always done, he picks up on my thoughts and moods and sometimes gives me a big, brown-eyed look of concern. I bet Gracie does the same with you. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Denise. I hope you and Gracie pup are enjoying your rainy Sunday. The last time I checked the storm was headed toward Virginia. From the calm tone of your comment I assume (and happily so) that all is well and the threat hasn’t materialized. 🙂

      I was touched by your description of Bridget and Spike. With a few words you captured the essence of their personalities. Oh, how I’d love Spike to play another trick on me or Bridget to point out how to pronounce a big word. *sigh*

      Love and hugs to you, too!

      • Denise - Richmond VA says:

        Thank you for the love and hugs, Sue. xo

        The weather folks are “keeping an eye on the storm.” We are expecting rain/thunderstorms all week. If Miss Florence does not change her track, Richmond is expecting to be impacted Thursday through Sunday with flooding rain and damaging winds. Other than taking down the flagpole on the front porch, and putting away or tying down the trash can & yard items that might become flying objects, we are prepared. 🙂

        I meant to drop off a load of recycling yesterday, but it slipped my mind. No worries – it is not going anywhere. Recycling is picked up every other week, but when rain and/or wind is forcast, I don’t put it out. I have visions of a wet, soggy mess that ends up all over the street. Brown paper grocery bags full of micro-shredded paper might tear open when wet, even though I stapled them closed. Clumpy confetti!

      • Denise - Richmond VA says:

        I know what you mean about missing Bridget and Spike. I feel the same way about my previous Westie girl. **sigh**

        • Elizabeth says:

          We never ever get over the really special ones do we?? Still missing my Ebbie girl now almost 8 years gone!! Wish the dog breeding folks could figure out how to extend the lives of dogs!!
          You are welcome for the cooling breezes…my fav time of year!! Glad to share!!

  11. Broken Arrow is my favorite movie of all time. I first saw it in the 60’s I’m sure. Living at home, my mom was a fan of westerns on tv. My daughter is named after the daughter of Cochise from the movie…she is now 47.

  12. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    Broken Arrow is one of my favorite movies also. Always loved the old westerns, whether movies or TV series. One of outr cable channels carries the old westerns, which we watch quite often.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the boys narration of the trail. It is always fun to read the history of the area. PBS had a special on last night about the battle of Franklin, TN, which was very good.

    Glad you are starting to get out and about again Sue. You always seem to find such interesting places to go.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barbara,

      Thank you for the positive reaction to Reg’s and Rog’s narration. :

      I probably saw Broken Arrow years ago but I don’t remember. I always loved any movie that starred Jimmy Stewart. He was my idea of handsome. He had such a kind face.

      I’ll never forget the time he recited his poem, “I’ll Never Forget A Dog Named Beau,” on the Johnny Carson show.

  13. Deena in Phoenix says:

    Sue, happiness with this day…history, geology, R&R conversation, lovely pictures, particularly the climbing ones with the boys rear paws up into the air…thank you for sharing.

    Take Care

  14. Pamela Campbell says:

    RV Sue and crew are Back In The Saddle Again! I bet it feels good to all three of you. Happy Trails.
    Pamelab in Vinita OK on my way from Lubbock TX to Grand Rapids MI

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pamelab,

      Thanks for checking in with us. It does feel good to be in a campground again, if only for a day visit. Makes me anxious to start camping again.

      Happy trails to you on the way to Grand Rapids!

  15. Lynn says:

    Thanks for taking us on the trail! Glad you are having fun! We are getting lots of rain here in Kentucky, and I have been motivated to do some indoor cleaning. It was nice to take a break and go for a hike with Sue & crew!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lynn,

      That’s what the crew and I are here for — to give folks a break from their daily lives, to come inside ours. 🙂

      Kentucky is a state I’ve never visited. It seems like it gets a lot of rain. Wishing you some sunshine soon!

  16. Cinandjules🌵 says:

    Fun times!
    Thanks for the history lesson and the nature walk!

    The boys are so silly. Had to laugh that Reg didn’t photobomb any of your “sign” photos. Bet they are having a blast…

    I would have never guessed that scenery is in Southern AZ. Learn something every post!

    Enjoy your evening.

    East coast blogorinos…stay safe!

  17. Dawn in NC says:

    Thanks for another wonderful post Sue. I loved the history lesson and the narration by the boys! Reggie is quite the imp! 😉 I got to visit with some old family friends this weekend. I have known one of them since I was a little girl. It was great to see them! We had a lot of great laughs. It’s nice to see you out and about and exploring again. Although, I was quite enjoying the home posts as well. I think Pauline is right on the money when she said you could describe paint drying and make it interesting! Thanks for all that you do!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Dawn. It’s nice to have one’s efforts appreciated.

      I happy for you and your “old family friends.” 🙂

      The blog will return to subjects in and around the homefront.

  18. Pauline in Mississippi says:

    What an interesting and delightful post!!!! Love the 2 boys narrative. They look like they really enjoying being out in nature investigating their surroundings.
    Hugs to all!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hugs to you, too, Pauline!

      I think you missed the many happy birthday wishes from blogorinos. No need to find them… They’re all happy. Ha!

  19. Jolene/Iowa says:

    Love learning the history about this beautiful place. History was never my thing in school but I really appreciate it now.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Funny how things we hated in our youth are a source of enjoyment in our maturity.

      Like onions and asparagus, history and (for me) math.


      REMINDER TO ALL: If you’re looking for a source for hemp products, Jolene’s name is a link to HempWorx.

      NEW POST COMING SOON…. Hold your comments. 🙂

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