The sign said OPEN RANGE. They weren't kidding.
There's an old cabin at about 6,000' elevation on Magee Ranch Road, west of Green Valley on a patent mine claim, land that's been in the Magee family for five generations. The only access to the road is on foot, unless you have a key to the gate. I don't.
I hiked in today because I've never written a real estate post about land that's been in the same family for five generations, and I knew you would enjoy reading about it.
The cemetery on the right hand side of the dirt road is the first thing you see. I unlatched the gate and spent half an hour reading the gravestones. (Epitaphs on gravestones are one of my favorite things.)
This particular gravestone is etched with the drawing of a cabin, and in front to the right is a circular structure with a vertical bar in the center. I knew what that was; I'd seen it up the mountain on a previous hike.
Latching the gate behind me, I continued up the road. The cemetery is at elevation 5,000. My destination, three miles or so in front of me, lay 1,000 feet higher.
I startled the bull every bit as much as he startled me. He had been taking a nap in a patch of Mexican Blue Oaks and juniper. Up came the camera. Thank goodness for autofocus. And as I clicked the shutter, it occured to me that this young bull hadn't had the pleasure of making my acquaintance.
I work cattle every April in Caddo, Oklahoma--this year will be my 14th year working the same herd. I'm comfortable around cattle. Usually.
When the head starts to come down, and the tail goes up, it's time to skedaddle. We weren't 20 feet apart. I fixed that real quick.
I found the cabin an hour later. This part of Magee Ranch is a patent mining claim established in the 1800s.
Do you know what that circular thing on the right (and on the tombstone) happens to be?
I'll tell you tomorrow.
Call me if I can help you with a purchase or refi mortgage;
photos copyright Mike in Tucson (all rights reserved)