On Saturday, I went on a little excursion with two friends, Lori and David. We decided to drive a few hours to Apple Annie’s Orchard for … guess what? No, not apples. They aren’t ripe yet. We drove all that way for PEACHES!!
We took the scenic route up, stopping briefly in the town of Cochise.
It is called a ghost town, but don’t tell that to the 1500 or so people who live in the area. There’s a Post Office, a school, and a closed inn. The Cochise Hotel was built in 1882 and was a rooming house for railroad worker. I believe there were only four or five rooms and I imagine the rooms each held two or three men back in the late 1800s.
As late as the mid-1990s, the last time I stayed there, it was a wonderful B&B operated by an older woman who cooked my breakfast wearing her worn robe and fuzzy slippers.
After visiting Cochise, it was on to Willcox then north about five miles, down a farm road and then a smaller farm road and then there we were: Apple Annie’s.
The mountains around it were rugged, rocky and beautiful!
The parking area was nearly full of cars, pickups and even a few RVs. People streamed into the area where there were several vendors including, of course, the big area full of peaches.
We were too late for the peach and pancake breakfast (all you can eat) and just a bit early for lunch (burgers grilled over apple wood). But we were just in time to wander through the orchard searching out the best, juicy peaches.
That part was a bit disappointing. The early birds had nabbed all the ripe peaches, so we had to pick some nearly-ripe ones. Frank, below, swears he was accompanied by a few other people, but I never saw them and firmly believe he alone stole all my ripe peaches.
Below, David and I are in the orchard.
And of course, what’s a visit to Apple Annie’s without a visit to the store?
Sauces, salad dressings and salsas! Fresh butter! Peach vinegar! And then there were samples: I had some yummy fudge and so did Lori.
I passed on the ice cream, too, but had a sample and it was killer.
On the way home we went a different route, through the farming area known as Kansas Settlement. It hosts a pinto bean plant, Bonita Bean Company, that processes locally produced beans.
Down the road there is a ranch that raises calves for veal – not for me, thanks.
There are also many, many fields of corn. Hooray! The corn along with the water in the Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area is what lures thousands of Sandhill Cranes to our area each winter. They’ll be arriving in late October.
The Kansas Settlement area has gorgeous views every direction.
We stopped for a huge yard sale where Lori picked up several items and I bought a welcome sign to hang on my gate.
We watched the storm roll in as we headed home. It broke over us when we had about fifteen miles to go.
Worth the drive, worth driving in the rain. My breakfast tomorrow will be another peach smoothie!