We’ve been here a couple of days now, getting familiar with the country side. There is a real western feel to this area, particularly in Wickenburg with horses and cows a plenty. Lots of ranches throughout the region. Especially up over the mountain toward Prescott. We took a drive in that direction on Friday.
This area is considerably different than further west toward Quartzite in terms of the terrain. A lot more Palo Verde and other trees and grasses. It’s greener. But both areas have their own beauty. Just different. I just love the way this valley is surrounded by mountains with irregular shaped ridges and peaks. Just what you would imagine of the old west.
We came here because we wanted to know more about this area that we had only passed through many years ago on our way back to Southern California from Colorado. But we also knew Congress was the home of one of our favorite blogs, The Bayfield Bunch. Written by Al Bossence, this blog is filled with descriptions of the area and wonderful photos, but also sometimes personal thoughts and feelings as well.
Blogs and bloggers seem very social online. But from our experience, we have come to understand that although they don’t mind sharing things about themselves through their writings, they are individuals who value their privacy, some more than others. So, it was with some trepidation that we even chose to drive by the winter home of Al and Kelly and their dog Phoebe…The Bayfield Bunch. Al has pretty much described the location of their property in his blog posts, but that does not mean that he has hung out a “welcome” sign.
Because we wanted to check out the antiquities and Pioneer cemetery out at the end of Ghost Town Rd. in Congress, we knew we would pass right by their home. And we were prepared to do just that, pass by. And, actually, we did. But Sharon noticed that Al was actually out in the yard, tinkering with the tow bar on their motorhome.
Having already gotten somewhat down the road, we decided to turn around. We were a bit nervous. We were about to invade his space. And, with Al having his own personal bouts with “depression” as the topic of his most recent blog post, we did not know what to expect. As we pulled up in front of his house, I rolled down the passenger window and yelled out “Hello Al”. I knew it was him by his trademark jacket and hat. He immediately replied “hello” back at us and ushered us into his driveway. Our uncertainty and anxiousness were relieved. We introduced ourselves, letting him know we were followers of his blog. Al was very engaging and we talked and talked until Kelly came out to see who was visiting. That’s when the tour began.
They purchased the home and property a few years ago in a sad state of disrepair. Since then, it has been stuccoed and painted on the outside, and painted with a colorful southwestern flair on the inside. The grounds have been made park like. And if there were not enough Saguaro and other cacti on the property, others have been imported.
After the tour, we sat on the rear patio and talked some more. And some more. Finally, with a continuing unfounded feeling of imposing on their privacy, we said our goodbyes, having made yet another couple of friends. We were glad we turned around.
Sorry. No photos this time. But I’ll be writing more about our visit to the area in a future post WITH photos.