Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A GREAT 8 HOUR JEEPING DAY TO CASTLE HOT SPRINGS WITH JIM & BEV

DSC_0012

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.

DSC_0038

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:((

DSC_0076

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.

DSC_0001 DSC_0003

BEV, JIM, & LESLIE WITH SOME DRINKS TO GO

DSC_0005

WE’RE OFF:))

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.

DSC_0011 DSC_0018

JIM TELLS US A BIT ABOUT THE STAGE STOP & WATER IN THE CAVE

DSC_0022 DSC_0016 DSC_0019

DSC_0023 DSC_0026

HAD TO TAKE IT SLOW COMING DOWN BUT 2 OF THE GALS STEPPED IT RIGHT OUTDSC_0027

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.

DSC_0030

DSC_0038 DSC_0047DSC_0039

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. 

DSC_0035 DSC_0036

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. 

 DSC_0051DSC_0055 DSC_0058DSC_0063 DSC_0064

ALWAYS SEEMS TO BE LOTS OF BULLET HOLES IN EVERYTHING OUT HERE IN THE WEST

DSC_0060 DSC_0061DSC_0056

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.

DSC_0067

DSC_0069 DSC_0073

DSC_0085

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.

DSC_0093

GOT ANOTHER WINDMILL FOR YA MIKE

 DSC_0098 DSC_0095

 DSC_0100 DSC_0099

DSC_0096

DSC_0072 DSC_0103

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.

DSC_0109 DSC_0110 - Copy

STONE WALL ON RIGHT AS PALM TREES SUDDENLY APPEAR AHEAD ON LEFT

DSC_0118

DSC_0121

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.

DSC_0111 - Copy DSC_0113 - Copy

A WALK INTO A PALM GROVE

DSC_0115

DSC_0116

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:))

DSC_0125

DSC_0296 DSC_0297

THIS WAS THE HEART OF CASTLE HOT SPRINGS

DSC_0127

DSC_0129

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. 

DSC_0130

DSC_0131

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.

DSC_0132

DSC_0133 DSC_0134

WE TOLD PETER IF HE STOOD ON ONE LEG FOR 3 MINUTES HE MIGHT GET A FREE PIECE OF PIE

DSC_0137

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………………………. 

DSC_0105

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."
(James Herriot)
- 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.

14 comments:

  1. A great Jeeping day you had in the desert. and pecan pie at the end.
    Hope Dally is found alive.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, gosh...after such a wonderful day to come home to such awful news...I hope Dally gets found. Now I'm going to worry about her...We actually train our two dogs to not go out the gate as we are only a block from a VERY busy street...sigh...
    Cheryl Ann

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a wonderful trip--we might just have to twist your arm to take us on that journey one of these days! Great photos--are the big hotel building and hot springs still being used?? Hope Dally is found.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a fantastic day!! I really enjoyed following along. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Kelly looks like she is feeling pretty good. Hope everything is going well in that area.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Whoa, what a nice adventure you had. Hope that Dally re-emerges soon.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Fantastic Day Trip. Thanks for sharing, amazing all the neat places you find close to the Casa.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Please, please, please lets hope Dally is found uninjured!

    ReplyDelete

  9. What a wonderful trip you all had, sorry to hear about Dally. Hopefully he will find his way back home.

    ReplyDelete
  10. That's a full day for sure. I hope Dally gets found tomorrow and that she is okay. Always sorry to see a dog on the loose.

    ReplyDelete
  11. You sure have some great hikes and backroads. Beautiful scenery!

    ReplyDelete
  12. What a great jeeping journey! That kind of day is right up our alley! Hope little Dally shows up safe and sound?

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
    Karen and Steve
    (Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard
    http://kareninthewoods-kareninthewoods.blogspot.com
    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

    ReplyDelete
  13. For some reason I can't scroll through your comments. The pleasure is always ours to have you and Kelly along on jeep excursions. We're looking forward to more and plan to do some exploring to find other routes. Sorry about Dally...

    ReplyDelete