Cave Creek Canyon, high in the Chiricahua Mountains on the east side of the Coronado National Forest, is so isolated that unless you love birds and wildlife you will never go there. Reed Peters, the owner of Cave Creek Ranch, where we stayed, had warned us to get food and gas in the border town of Douglas, more than 60 miles away. We made sure to follow his advice, but the remoteness of the ranch still caused us problems.
We arrived at 11 p.m. after a long drive from Madera Canyon with several stops en route. Our rooms were ready for us and all seemed well.
But the next morning our rental car had a flat tire. Fortunately, my membership of AAA, formerly known as the American Automobile Association, provides free roadside assistance through an 800 number. The usually respond quickly, but I knew this would take a while. In fact, the driver had to come from Willcox, about 95 miles away.
While we waited, instead of pouting or twiddling our thumbs, we explored the ranch and birded.