A few years ago, I took a road trip down to our southern border with Mexico during the monsoon month of July. One of the places I stopped was a small town called Sonoita which happens to be the gateway to the southern Arizona wine country. Heading into the town, I stopped to admire the cowboy on the hill. This sculpture is called "Gathering Strays" and it was created by sculptor and Sonoita resident Deborah Copenhaver Fellows.
The summer months bring the desert monsoon season and while that results in a few storms where I live in Phoenix, the southern Arizona area sees a lot more storm activity. While I was there in July, every afternoon brought dark clouds and rain.
The vistas in this part of the state are breathtaking with rolling hills dotted with a cattle ranches and windmills. The dramatic monsoon skies only enhance the scenes.
You know you are close to the border with Mexico when you see huge parking facilities for border patrol vehicles. Since I had already passed at least six of them on the highway coming into town, I was surprised to see this many parked at the Sonoita Border Patrol Station.
I was headed a mile or so southeast of the city to visit a few of the vineyards when I saw another Statue on the opposite edge of town. This one is a tribute to Sonoita ranchers and it was created by the same artist I mentioned above.
The road passed many vineyards and several tasting rooms. I was there on a week day so some of the tasting rooms I passed were not open. I soon learned that this area gets most of it's traffic on the weekends so many of the wineries only open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
I was on the lookout for Sonoita Vineyards, one that I knew would be open, when I found the entrance leading up a very long driveway. The look of snake-like drive topped by a two story building and three trees had me pulling over the take a few photos.
And, as I got to the top of the hill, I saw a horse-drawn cart taking quite a few people for a ride over the hills and to the edge of the vineyard. They appeared to having a good time in spite of the occasional sprinkles of rain.