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Old 08-31-2014, 07:08 PM   #1
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Ft. Bowie & Environs

My wife and are applying to do volunteer work in interpretive positions for the National Park System in 2015. I'm kind of attracted to the Southwest and to remote areas. One area I've applied for is Ft. Bowie National Historic Site in SE Arizona. It probably doesn't get much more remote than that. I'd love to learn more about the area from folks who are familiar with it.

Thanks!
John
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Old 08-31-2014, 07:35 PM   #2
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Ft. Bowie & Environs

I lived in Cochise County for most of my life, and in Sulphur Springs Valley for a good portion of this time, never did visit Fort Bowie.

The climate is very nice, I would say PERHAPS a half a dozen days of temperature over 100 F per year. At 5,000 feet elevation the winters will be brisk, with a few days per year of mildly significant snow fall. The down side of the weather in this area is fairly strong winds and blowing dust for most of the spring time.

Wilcox will be the nearest place to get groceries etc, and Tucson is about 100 miles further west.

There is a lot of agricultural activity just to the south in Kansas Settlement and to the north in Bowie and San Simon.

The folks in the valley are generally friendly, crime is low in spite of the proximity to the Mexican border.
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Old 08-31-2014, 07:48 PM   #3
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Thank you Mr. Morgan - what a coincidence.

Interesting NPS site. It probably has one of the lowest visitor counts of all the NPS sites - about 10,000 a year. The remains of the fort and the visitor center are reached after a hike of 1 1/2 miles so that really thins out the crowd. Even in parks with great access it's always seemed to me that 98% of visitors never get more than a quarter mile off the beaten path.

My thinking is that since I'm new at interpretive work (well, at least very rusty - haven't done it in 30+ years) that a spot like Ft. Bowie would be a great place to ramp up.

John
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Old 08-31-2014, 07:57 PM   #4
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Ft. Bowie & Environs

I think it would be a way cool experience to spend some time volunteering at a historic place like this.

The towns of Bisbee and Tombstone are in easy range for a day trip, as is Fort Huachuca which still has a lot of historic buildings and officer homes in use dating from the 1880's.

Tombstone is mostly a tourist trap, but worth the trip nonetheless. Bisbee is a nice stop. It is an old coper mining town that was pretty much taken over by hippies after the mine closed in 73. I have to admit that the hippies have been fairly successful at keeping the old town alive and relatively prosperous.

It is a unique stop in so. Arizona.
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Old 08-31-2014, 09:04 PM   #5
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Oh, it does get more remote. Don't kid yourself. It's a great area and I hope you get the position. If you do, keep me in mind and let me know. We can visit and I'll be happy to exchange info. We enjoy camping in the area.
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Old 08-31-2014, 09:51 PM   #6
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John,

J. Morgan gave a great overview of the general area, lots of stuff to see. Ft. Bowie is interesting. The trail in to the visitor center passes the spring that used to serve the fort and the remains of a stage station. The visitor center itself is quite small compared to other NPS sites but should serve you well "to get your feet wet". Lots of history regarding the fort and the heliograph stations that were nearby for communication purposes. The place may be a bit warm in the summer and like you said has very few visitors. A big change from where you currently live. Enjoy!

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Old 08-31-2014, 10:16 PM   #7
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Chiricahua National Monument is another one you may want to consider, just south of Ft Bowie. It has a beautiful camp ground, accommodating a max length Airstream of 25'. This CG was built by CCC in the 30s. Volunteers are accommodated with water, elec, and sewer hook ups. I volunteered in the CG and my wife worked in the Visiter Center. We were there in 2006/2007. It has super hiking trails. Call the visitor center and talk to them. We volunteered for two months and thought that adequate. Pat
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Old 08-31-2014, 10:30 PM   #8
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How could I forget the Chiricahuas?

Dang, I am slipping!

The wonderland of rocks is stunning!

http://www.nps.gov/chir/index.htm
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Old 08-31-2014, 11:14 PM   #9
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J., Ahab, Tim & Pat...

Thanks very much for the informed input. I'm thinking that area might be a really nice alternative to Central Oregon in February-March. Great country and I've just finished reading several books on the Indian Wars and Manifest Destiny. A fascinating and historic time in our nation's history - on many levels.

Found this Airstream Life article on Chiricahua: http://airstreamlife.com/maze/2010/0...onal-monument/

Beautiful campground.

John
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Old 09-03-2014, 04:13 PM   #10
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Don't forget to take a side trip to Turkey Creek and cook some of those delicious Wilcox pinto beans. They are the very best in all of the USA. Bisbee is a favorite, love it there.
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