Louise Speaks: If you read the San Rafael Ranch State Park post you know we took a different way home going towards Mexico. Not sure today was the best day to do this as today is the day Trump has ordered additional border patrol and they are everywhere…sitting in their trucks, doing nothing. The sign says Nogales is 8 miles away so how bad can it be…a question I shouldn’t have asked.
The road is still dirt, and this reoad is not maintained. There are pot holes, and parts of the roads have been washed away. We had driven for more than 8 miles and we were nowhere near Nogales. But we did end up in the town of Lochiel. We had no idea how close we were to Nogales, but this little town was a welcome break from the bumpy windy road.
Turns out Lochiel, is home to Fray Marcos De Niza. Marcos was a Spanish missionary and Franciscan friar. He is credited with being the first European to enter what is now the State of Arizona in 1539. The town seems as if it is abandoned, but then all of a sudden a huge cross appears. We pull over and it looks as if it is an outdoor church. There are benches surrounding the cross and a plaque is dedicated to Marcos De Niza honoring his entrance to Arizona.
Not much else but abandoned buildings and livestock that roam the streets freely. As we were taking pictures of the cross, cows were just walking around us, wondering why we were invading their space. The closer they got, we asked ourselves the same questions. We got back in the car and continued to Nogales….wherever it may be.
In researching, Lochiel for this posting I found out that Nogales is actual 25 miles from Nogales. It was still closer to go this way back to the campground than the way we came in, but this was a very long 25 miles.
For some reason if you ever go to the San Rafael Ranch State Park, I do recommend going back to Patagonia this way. The town of Lochiel was like stepping back in time and the rolling hills and mountain cliffs were very picturesque. There is a turn off to Patagonia before you get to Nogales, so it wasn’t really 25 miles.