PHOTO TAKEN BY JIM ON OUR GREAT JEEP JUMBLE TODAY
(this is Tuesday’s post)
Had one of those ‘late posting’ posts Monday night so folks on the east side of the country will see it as posting on Tuesday instead of Monday. I try to get my post published by 10 p.m. Arizona time but of course due to circumstantial circumstances I do not always make my deadline. And it looks like the same thing is going to happen again tonight.
Readers may remember Bev & Jim & the great Jeep Jaunt we had with them last winter out into the back country East of Wickenburg. Well today we all headed out again on a similar track. Unfortunately ‘all’ didn’t include the Pheebs this time. We just didn’t have room in our little Wrangler for 4 people & a Pheebs:((
Kelly, Leslie, Peter, & I drove over to North Ranch about 9:45 & met up with Jim & Bev. Jim, a gold prospector in his spare time knows all the back roads, hills & dales in the area so he had a route picked out for us today. We followed Jim & Bev’s Jeep out of North Ranch heading for Wickenburg. First stop…..McDonalds because it was right on the way to our desert destiny.
BEV, JIM, & LESLIE WITH SOME DRINKS TO GO
We at first tracked the same route we had taken last winter & that led us up a wash to the old Sayer Stage stop. Not much left anymore except some weathered wooden timbers, & crumbling cracked cement floors. A couple large water tanks are here & it is a watering area for cattle. Behind the stage stop ruins & up a moderately steep rock strewn & potential ankle twisting path can be found two cave like entrances with clear spring-like water in especially one of them. There is evidence of a one time water fall here. An interesting stop.
JIM TELLS US A BIT ABOUT THE STAGE STOP & WATER IN THE CAVE
ON THE WAY TO OUR NEXT STOP
From the stage ruins we took a different route than last time & Jim led us through some of the prettiest canyons & mountains. Hills were alive with Saguaro Cactus as the jostling dusty road wound it’s way through dry river beds , up inclines, & around some tight curves. The Bradshaw Mountains loomed as our visibility stretched for miles across green canyons, rock bluffs, & towering rocky peaks.
Stopped by some cattle pens for a lunch break & a leg shake. Kelly & Peter rode in the cramped back seat of the Wrangler while Leslie rode shotgun up front in the passenger seat. Of course I had the best seat in the house right behind the steering wheel. I’ve been on a few back seat Jeep scrambles over in Borrego Springs a few years ago so know how difficult it is getting in & out of a 2 door Jeep Wrangler not to mention cramped in there with your knees up around your ears somewhere.
LUNCH BREAK & A LEG SHAKE
Jim pulled over at one point & pointed to some old weather beaten shacks. We disembarked the Jeeps & walked in a hundred yards or so to have a look. Three old obviously abandoned buildings stood in a clearing. They had all been lived in at one time or another but their state of live ability had long passed. Some peeling wallpaper, floorboards rotted through, a few old pipes scattered about & of course bullet holes in the walls. Shotgun I think.
ALWAYS SEEMS TO BE LOTS OF BULLET HOLES IN EVERYTHING OUT HERE IN THE WEST
Seemed the further we headed the more scenic things became. We were somewhere South-East of Wickenburg moving in a South-Eastern direction for most of the day. Didn’t know it at the time but we were heading in the direction of Lake Pleasant just north of Phoenix. This was actually the trip we had planned to go on with Jim & Bev back in March of 2012. We had to back out of the Jeep tour at the time because we were right in the middle of house negotiations with our Prescott Realtor.
Another stop had us at an old active windmill not far off the road. Two water troughs here were being fed cold clear spring water from the windmill. Cooling green grass was abundant under the Mesquite trees around the tanks & windmill. How nice to see water & grass together out there in the rough & tumble dry dusty landscape. Thought to myself, ‘what a great place to leave a Critter Cam for the night. Lot of animal tracks in the soft sand nearby.
GOT ANOTHER WINDMILL FOR YA MIKE
JIM SPOTTED SOME JUNK ON THE DESERT FLOOR SO WE STOPPED TO CHECK IT OUT
Another 40 minutes or so rumbling our way along we came around a corner where the road was bordered on the right by a stone wall alongside the road. Obviously built to hold a river back in Monsoon season. Immediately to the left we saw large Palm trees & an expanse of green grass. Some building structures at the foot of a rock base. We had reached the northern edge of CASTLE HOT SPRINGS. The site enjoys a rich and lengthy history stretching back to the pre-settlement Apaches who attributed healing powers to the hot, clear water that poured out from the canyon rock. Castle Hot Springs served as the first territorial capital of Arizona as well as a retreat for wealthy businessmen, politicians, and even presidents. These waters were advertised as a cure for a long list of ailments and are the source of a verdant oasis in a landscape dominated by cactus and desert scrub.
STONE WALL ON RIGHT AS PALM TREES SUDDENLY APPEAR AHEAD ON LEFT
HORSE STABLES IN FOREGROUND & GRASSY AREA SURROUNDED BY PALMS
We pulled the Jeeps over & got out. A short walk up the road led us into a grove of Palms where we could see piping in & on the ground from the days when this was a literally an Oasis in the desert. Another short walk up the road gave us a view of the grandness that once was. It was the horse riding area back in the era of the Spa’s hay day. Tall stately Palm trees ringed what looked like a large football sized green grassy area. Maybe they played Polo here many, many, years ago back in the 1920’s. Tall mountains surrounded us on all sides.
A WALK INTO A PALM GROVE
CHECKING OUT SOME PALM TREE DROPPINGS
A short drive led us by more Palm groves scattered along both sides of the gravely road. Around a corner & down through a bumpity wash we entered a turn to the left & immediately could see an abundance of tall Palms framing what looked like an expanse of cleared desert sand. We were at the heart of Castle Hot Springs. A grand looking old building hove into view back from the road quite a ways. Reminded me of Georgian mansion. This was the hot springs area itself. I began to imagine the grounds filled with people from afar. It is said folks from all over the world came here to these refreshing & healing mineral springs. Native Indians, Presidents, politicians, dignitaries & wealthy business folks. What a grand place it must have been in it’s day. And what a grand day it was we had with Bev & Jim. It was at this point, our last stop, that we all said our good-byes for the day. Although we did convoy all the way back to Wickenburg we had different destinations when we got there. A great big huge ‘Thank You’ to Bev & Jim for another great Arizona Jeeping day:))
THIS WAS THE HEART OF CASTLE HOT SPRINGS
SAYING OUR GOOD-BYES AT THE CONCLUSION OF ANOTHER GREAT DAY
Before we all reached pavement again I was surprised how close to Lake Pleasant today’s journey had taken us. I recognized the lake far off on the horizon & the point where gravely sand turned to pavement was familiar.
LESLIE TAKES SOME PICS OF A WILD BURROW
Kelly & I had just been on that road in that area back in early December I think. From Lake Pleasant back to Wickenburg (on smooth pavement:)) was about half an hour. Our destination was Basha’s supermarket for some milk but we didn’t quite make it. A last minute decision from the back seat had me slingshot around a round-about & head back about a block to IKE'S COOK SHACK. It was 4 o’clock, we had been on the trail since before 10 in the morning & we were hungry. Good food all way round & especially the yummy Pecan pie.
WE TOLD PETER IF HE STOOD ON ONE LEG FOR 3 MINUTES HE MIGHT GET A FREE PIECE OF PIE
KELLY TRIES THE SPAGHETTI
Quick stop at Bashas where Leslie picked up some milk & we headed it for home just as the sun was setting. We sure had one happy exuberant little doggy when we got back. It’s a wonder her bum didn’t fly off from all the tail wagging. But our happy feeling was cut short. We were just unloading the Jeep when a young fellow walked in the driveway asking if we had seen a tawny colored dog. He said the dog’s name was Dally. Someone had left a gate open this afternoon & Dally had got out. Pheebs & I right away jumped into the Jeep & took a drive around the neighborhood. Nothing. Leslie & Peter walked around the block & said they heard a dog barking over by the school. Kelly, Pheebs, & jumped back in the Jeep & head out again but to no avail. So at the time of this posting tonight Dally is still missing. With the number of Coyotes coming in from the desert each night I am not too hopeful for Dally’s survival. We will again look in the morning……………………….
GROANER’S CORNER:(( A politician was running for re-election and was talking at a campaign stop to his constituents. "My opponent has called me a liar. Rest assured, I have never lied to you. The only problem I have is that the facts don't always match up with what I believe."
- Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.
- Home is where your pet is:))
- "If having a soul means being able to feel
love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals
are better off than a lot of humans."
- The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails -William Arthur Ward
- The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...AL.
- It is not so much having nothing to do as it is not having the interest to do something....AL.