Wednesday, February 29, 2012

CRESTED SAGUAROS & THE GROWING GHOST TOWN OF STANTON ARIZONA

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AT THE BASE OF THE WEAVER MOUNTAINS

Chilly night & I think we bottomed out around 33F.  Bit of a breeze & a thin cloud cover had us bundled up on our morning walk.  By 11 we were almost in shirtsleeves again.

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PHEEBS & MOTOR HAVING A FEW WORDS ABOUT THE OLD BONE PHEEBS HAS BETWEEN HER PAWS

Bev & Jim over at NORTH RANCH had told us about an area with crested Saguaros near the foot of the Weaver Mountains near the old mining town of Stanton.  This morning, with the Pheebs, we set off to find us those Crested Saguaros.DSC_0069

Headed north up highway 89 & hung a right turn into the desert not long after we spotted the big green rock frog. 

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Followed that dusty desert road to a Real Estate sign & cranked a left turn onto a rocky trail.  Passed the homeless guy living in his Mustang just like Bev & Jim said, & tumbled our way up the rocky road passing between a fifth wheel on the right & a travel trailer on the left.  By the looks of the equipment scattered around these rigs we figured they were definitely prospectors. 

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WE DROVE UP THAT ROAD BETWEEN THOSE 2 PROSPECTOR GUYS

As we have been learning, & were about to learn, ‘thars gold in them thar hills.’   We bumped & crawled our way upwards until our slow progress was stopped by a locked gate across the road.  On this gate were a bunch of ‘No  Trespassing’ & ‘Private Property’ signs.  From here it was boots on the ground.

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Hadn’t spotted any Crested Saguaros yet but we had spotted some old mine shafts & a couple pieces of discarded mining equipment.  One mineshaft looked accessible so off we headed to see what we could see.  Never know when some old 49’er miner might have dropped a few gold nuggets out of his poke.

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Came across some old stone ruins of what was probably once a miners humble abode.  A few old pieces of weathered wood & lots of old rusty food cans from days gone by littered the area.  Kelly & I both find these kinds of authentic ruins at original locations far more interesting than the Hollywood ghost towns found in tourist areas.  Standing on the very same ground where history occurred, amidst the ruins of buildings constructed by pioneer hands over a hundred years ago just seems to have more meaning than Museum artifacts.

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All three mines we came across were open pit straight down holes.  One was maybe a 40 foot straight drop to the bottom while another one was maybe a hundred feet but navigable by foot.  No, we did not navigate it.  Just boggles my mind how these rock hardened men must have toiled day after day in sun drenched weather hot enough to fry an egg on your forehead.

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SOME MINE SHAFTS GO STRAIGHT IN & OTHERS ARE DEEP HOLES IN THE GROUND

We have remarked several times lately how great it is having that orange flag flying atop our Jeep at the back.  So easy for us to spot among the rocks, cactus, & Mesquite.  The Jeep itself is the color of most surrounding rocks & hard to see.  And of course there is the mandatory broken glass which is on the ground everywhere humans are or have been.

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THE ESCAPEE CLUB’S NORTH RANCH AS SEEN THROUGH A 300mm LENS FROM THE BASE OF THE WEAVER MOUNTAINS

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NOTICE THE WHITE DOT ABOVE THE CACTUS ON THE LEFT…I THINK THAT IS OUR RIG…NORTH RANCH ON THE RIGHT

Turned the Jeep around, pointed the nose downhill & immediately spotted our first Crested Saguaro off in the distance.  Another rock strewn road angling off to the right took us around into a shallow flat area where we spotted another large Crested Saguaro right in front of us.  Nice:))

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Altogether, I think we spotted maybe half dozen in total before bouncing our way out to the main dusty road past the homeless guy living in his car.  This time he, or at least his long gray beard, was sitting outside in a chair & gave us a big grizzled Howdy wave.  We Howdied him one right back.  Folks are friendly down here in these Arizony parts.

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Sign pointed up the road saying STANTON so that’s where we headed.  Figured there would be more ruins scattered about from the old mining town of Stanton itself.  Well, what a surprise when we rounded a curve, crested a hill & began to see buildings & RV’s.  This old ghost town had been closed to the public for years but methinks there is a Phoenix slowly beginning to arise from the old mining ashes here.

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OUR FIRST GLIMPSE OF STANTON

Turns out Stanton is still a very active gold mining center.  A mere shadow of itself from it’s golden heyday but there is a whole community of folks out there working mining climbs.  And, there is a full blown RV Park complete with some of the old towns original buildings still in working condition.  We drove down a couple lines of RV’s & noticed a lot of prospecting type tools & equipment around many of the units.  Plastic pails seem to be the new mining norm.  We didn’t talk to anyone there but did see signs selling mining claims.  I’m assuming these folks have bought mining claims in the area, bought themselves an RV & hauled it up there to spend time working their claims.

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This RV Park was complete with a dump station, clubhouse & several other buildings refurbished from the original town.  We also deduced from the ongoing construction that these folks are indeed finding gold in the mountains.  Instead of the usual old mining town deteriorating into ruin, this community appears to be on the upswing.  Some graded landscaping, decorative fencing, cleared areas & a couple colorful adobe buildings on the go.  Going to give Beverly Hills California a run for it’s money I’d say.  Wouldn’t be surprised to see stately Palm Trees popping up here & there some day.  Yep, thar’s gold in them thar hills alright:))

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Had an appointment with a Real Estate agent at two so we had to slip back to the rig & drop off the Pheebs.  A couple Tuna sandwiches later & we were back over to the house for sale on Ghost Town Road.  Surprisingly, the Agent was right on time.DSC_0088

THE REAL ESTATE AGENT DOUBLE CHECKS THE PROPERTY LINE…..OH OH, BIG PROBLEM!!

Well, what can I say about this house.  Oh boy, it certainly would be a challenge & of course there is a serious fly in the ointment regarding the property lines.  Unless that property line issue was resolved in our favor we have no further interest in the deal.  The agent is going to work on that & see what he can find out & do.  This property is in foreclosure & the Agent said Fannie Mae & Freddy Mac want to get it off their books.  If he can come back with an offer we can’t refuse we will probably reconsider our options & make a decision.  This place is not exactly a Palace Alice but it does have potential.

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Had a comment question from Speedy over at SOMEWHERE IN TIME about our gas powered rig in the mountains.  We have a Workhorse Chassis with a Chevy Vortec 8.1 V8 engine coupled with an Allison transmission (not that I know what any of that means) that has done a good job for us navigating through the Sky Islands so far.  But, I have to tell you…..those big 40 foot diesel bangers do go by us uphill like we’re standing still sometimes.  On the downhill side of the mountains it’s just a matter of staying off the brakes as much as possible & downshifting the transmission to let the rig drive us down the mountain & not roll us down the mountain upside down.

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SAW THIS CACTUS IN BLOOM NEAR ONE OF THE MINESHAFTS 

GROANER’S CORNER:))  A woman is driving home in
Northern Arizona when she
comes upon a Navajo woman hitchhiking.
Because the trip has been long and quiet,
she stops the car and the Navajo woman
climbs in.
During their small talk, the Navajo
woman glances surreptitiously
at a brown bag on the front seat
between them. "If you're wondering
what's in the bag," offers the woman,
"it's a bottle of wine. I got it for my husband."
The Navajo woman is silent for a while,
nods several times and says,
"Good Trade!"

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-Tourists see the world, travelers  experience it.
- Home is where your pet is:))
BAYFIELD BUNCH PHOTO ALBUMS https://picasaweb.google.com/117858411710794543295
The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of
right  now...AL.
stargeezerguy@gmail.com

19 comments:

  1. Those Crested Saguaros are beautiful. it looks like you had a great day trip. I like the interior of the house you are looking at. Hope they make you a deal you can't refuse.
    ~Betty

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  2. Al, do you guys ever worry about Valley Fever? Real common in Arizona. I don't think it's a real major concern, but I did have a friend who died from it, though I think that's very rare. Not so sure I'd want to live there, espeically when the winds come through as it's an airborne fungus. But then, there's stuff that can kill you everywhere, I guess.

    Those crested saguaros are something else. Nice photos and I like the house. I would offer half or less. Those banks need to move that stuff.

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  3. Great pics of the Saguaros Al... I have never seen one like that yet!

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  4. great photographs of the crested saguaros!..the house looks like it has some great potential..maybe if its meant to be it will happen!!

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  5. Enjoyed the groaner!...love the saguaros with their funky top growth..and if anybody could turn that orphaned abode into a "Palace Alice"...you 2 could!
    Renee from Saltspring

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  6. Loved the crested saguaros and the groaner today. Good luck with the house issues!

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  7. Did a post on Stanton last year. Interesting little community. It is part of the Lost Dutchman Mining Association that has parks like this around the country. You have to join the association (rather steep for us) to be able to pull in there and go to work.

    Isn't it interesting that you (and we!) deplore the litter that our own generation and the next leave lying around the desert, yet we find the old tin cans and other detritus from the mining and pioneer days fascinating and quite enjoyable. It's all a matter of perspective, I guess! Is it history? Or is it trash?

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  8. Made the same 'good trade' quite a few years ago. :)

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  9. I'm loving your blog,the pictures and the fact you spend what seems like quite a bit of time doing it every day is amazing.I'm not able to travel so I'm enjoying the trip you are on.I can't wait to read the blog every morning.Thank you

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  10. Good luck on the house! Love the picture of Cora and Pheebe.

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  11. Nice to see those crested saguaros, thanks for sharing. Good luck with you house adventure.

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  12. From the pictures you posted of the interior, I think it looks like there is potential in that house. If you don't get your hopes up too high and just go with the flow, the results will be exactly right for you.

    Loved the groaner, and like Judy, I made the same trade a while back. Best bottle of wine I ever drank!

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  13. OK, I'm definitely going out to search for those crested saguaros. Very Cool!

    Like the knotty pine and fireplace. Hope the deal goes your way.

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  14. butterbean carpenterThursday, March 01, 2012

    Howdy Bunch,
    Out here in the West Texas desert we have lots of TERMITES in the ground;
    be sure and look for signs!! The house looks taken care of AND IT HAS A CLOSET!! Pheebs better watch out;
    MM has a 'I'm agonna get it look" on her stump-nose.. There are more 'miners' heading that way, even in covered wagons, in this day and time.
    When you get moved out there y'all can 'buy' you a claim and prospect!!

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  15. The big green frog rock? Is that real or is it like the photos on National Enquirer - you know, Bill Clinton shaking hands with an alien and all that...

    Inquiring minds want to know more.

    :) Chinle

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  16. Loved those neat cacti...Isn't Mother Nature amazing?? Inside of the house looks pretty good to me...Keeping our fingers and toes crossed..this might be "the one"...

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  17. Beautiful photos of the crested saguaros. Such a magnificent plant. I like the pictures of the house too...looks nice. Interesting that so many people are mining for gold. Seems like a hard way to make a living.

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  18. Enjoyed your blog and great pictures, as always. Learn something every time I read.

    Who won the "battle" of the bone? ;-)

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  19. I apologize. I meant to wish you good luck with the house.

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