To Friends Of
Cave Creek Canyon

Welcome to Summer

It's a warm afternoon and time for a nap for this Whiskered Screech Owl
 on South Fork, Cave Creek..
         [Mike Jacobi, VIC host]

Friends Of Cave Creek Canyon
Receives Award From
US Forest Service!

 In June the Forest Service presented to Friends of Cave Creek Canyon The Regional Award for Citizen Stewardship and Partnership.  

    "The Friends of Cave Creek Canyon has become a crucial,  highly valu ed partner for the Douglas Ranger District of the Coronado National Forest in the Chiricahua Mountains, and the surrounding communities with six years of dedicated service.  They continue to expand their capabilities into new areas and they regularly come alongside us to maintain facilities and provide services to visitors to the Coronado National Forest.  Their outreach efforts and the public educational opportunities they provide for our visitors are a highlight for any visit to Cave Creek Canyon, Portal, and the Douglas Ranger District.  They contributed over 3400 [volunteer] hours in FY17."   [Douglas Ruppel, Douglas District Ranger]

This Burrowing Owl had a long talk with Steve Wolfe,
 South of Willow Tank one morning

May 2018 At The VIC!

In May 1268 visitors came to the Visitor Information Center, operated by FOCCC.  This is a 28% over May 2017.

The highlight of the month
 [besides the birds and animals] was the Spring Garden Party.  175 people attended and all agreed it was the best one yet!  Here are some pictures:



Recent Sightings
By Mike Jacobi
Northern Flicker                                             Scaled Quail

Arizona Giant Centipede

  Long-nosed Snake

Mojave Rattlesnake

Great Horned Sheep
[Bud and Debb Johnson]

Can You Find It?   [Hint: below]

Each horn weighs up to 15 pounds
             [Hint: near center]

Contributions from  Joy Mendez 

Toad Time With Bill Mullen

Couches Spade Foot Toad  

Great Plains Toad                    Colorado River Toad

Stories of the Past 

The Chiricahua Bullsheet, an entertaining and highly opinionated newsletter and journal of local history written by Carson Morrow
Courtesy of Dick Zweifel 

We have a letter from Mr. C. A. (Bally) Morrow "down under" in West Australia. He asks that we not forget to write a story about old man John H. McClellan who was one of the outstanding stalwarts of Paradise. We will quote a few paragraphs from Bally's letter, which describes this old gentleman perfectly:
"Mac had a little white mustache and goatee, trimmed and twisted to the style of that time. He was always a soldier and a perfect gentleman, drunk or sober, in any company. He and I were the best of pals regardless of the age difference. I was about six or eight and he was some 60 years plus, but he was a friend to everybody."
    Mac was getting well along in years when he came to this part of the country from Harqua Hala, Arizona, in about the year 1900. Having gone there from Colorado on account of quite a gold boom which was started by another prospector finding a gold nugget weighing in the neighborhood of 70 pounds. (Our memory might be at fault as to the weight, or the story might have been exaggerated before we heard it, but anyway it must have been exceptionally large.) The nugget was found right on the surface and both placer and lode mining produced a lot of gold for several years in that vicinity.
   Quite a change has taken place since Mac left there. After the mines petered out, the town was practically abandoned for muchos anos and deteriorated to the point that it was almost a blank spot on the map, as it is located out in what is known as the Harqua Hala Desert, where water was just about the unknown element and firewood almost as scarce.
   But with the advent of modern thinking, modern pumping machinery and some man, or group of men, with an overgrown imagination and the luck of the devil, it was discovered that the vast, level desert is underlaid by a fairly shallow stratum of pumpable irrigation water, so that now thousands of acres of cotton are growing where Mac used to wander around looking for his burros and gold nuggets.
   He was born in Missouri, date unknown, but evidently some years before the Civil War, as he frequently talked of events that occurred about that time but never mentioned having participated in the war.
Most of his stories about mining and prospecting in and around Cripple Creek, Colorado, and of occurrences while he was an Indian Scout or a member of an Army pack train. He was no windbag or braggart, so his stories really made for good listening, especially to all we kids. The grown-ups generally listened quite attentively, too, and seldom ever tried to "trump" any of his ace stories. He was never heard to lift his voice in anger or to argue. When the copper mining industry began to soar right after the turn of the century, he and Cap Burns were holding a group of mining claims in what is now known as Hospital Canyon. Their property was near the Chiricahua Development Company, and soon after it started big development work Mac sold his interest to Cap Burns and an easterner by the name of Hammond for a good price and lived well on the proceeds for a good many years.
   Like most of the old boys of that time (and this time, too, of that matter) he liked his liquor but seldom got drunk. One of his favorite stories was about him and another mule packer being caught in a blizzard up in Colorado and snowed in for several days. They had one mule load of liquor and one load of HHH linament. He said they drank the liquor right away but that it took quite a bit longer to drink all the linament. That brand of linament had a high alcohol content and some other ingredients which would raise a blister pronto when rubbed on the skin of even a mule.
   During the time old Mac was in the money, he lived pretty high on the hog by the standards of those days. He built himself a nice three-roomed house and a good barn and corral for his horse and burro. he was proud of his animals and took excellent care  of them. He would lend his burro, which he called Balaam, to some f avorite kid once in a while, but the horse was never ridden by anyone else ex cept on one occasion:
   When William Noland was a ccidental ly shot and Frank Noland foundered his horse coming to Parad ise for the doctor, Mac lent him his horse to ride back home, which was then at the old Buckelew Ranch, a couple of miles  north of Nipper Peak.
    If he had a family or was ever married no one knew about it. The only mention he ever made of his relatives was to the effect that his grandfather or uncle was the inventor of the McClellan saddle which was used almost exclusively by the U. S. Army for many years. Like most of the old Paradise residents who had no family, he died in the county hospital at Douglas and is buried in the Douglas Cemetery.

Join Friends of 
Cave Creek Canyon

This issue is being sent to all members of the Portal-Rodeo community that are on the  community email lists.  

FOCCC provides many activities and events that benefit the entire community.  Please consider joining FOCCC and support your community and your mountains.


FOCCC 2018 Officers and Board

Reed Peters         President                                            Other Board Members  
Sheri Ashley        Vice President                           Bob Ashley     Wynne Brown  
Mike Williams      Vice President 
                       Alan Craig     Rene Donaldson
Rick Beno 
Rolf Koford         Kim Vacariu
Stevie Wayman    Secretary
  Cecil Williams

FOCCC Board of Directors meets on the first Wednesday morning each month  at the Chiricahua Desert Museum on Highway 80.  If you have interest in attending or putting something on the agenda, please contact President Reed Peters at 520-558-2334.  All members are welcome to attend.




Friends Of Cave Creek Canyon
PO Box 16126
Portal, Arizona 85632


Visit Our Website 

Thanks to our "Sustainer's Circle" members 
for their generous support:  
Tom Arny, Bob and Bettina Arrigoni, Nancy and Thomas Denney, Mary George, Renata Golden, Bill and Sally Hague, Paul Hirt and Linda Jakse, Don Hollister, Ken Jenkins, Leuthold Family Foundation,  Barbara Lounsbery,  Patrick McNamara, John and Karin McQuillan, Barbara and Pete Miller, Patricia Parran, CeCe Raak, Tom Roseman and Paula Baldwin, Delia Scholes, Donald and Martha Squire and Bob and Sherry Zoellick.

Please support our Business Members  who  have given generously to Friends Of Cave Creek Canyon.  Without their assistance, we would be hard pressed to accomplish our goals. Click on their names to check out their websites.    
                 Cave Creek Ranch                           Chiricahua Desert Museum
             Naturalist Journeys, LLC                                   Orchid Davis   
                 Sky Island Rolfing                                           Wynne Brown 
                  Chiricahua Gallery                             Debbie's Cleaning Service
               Mark and Lori Conrad                            Ed Newbold Wildlife Artist
                     Quailway Cottage                                    Sky Island Lodge
                   Rodeo Tavern                                     The George Walker House                       Painted Pony Resort                             Portal Peak Store and Lodge
Business Memberships start at just $50.00!