Saturday, January 30, 2016

JEEPING THROUGH WICKENBURG’S BOX CANYON & THE NARROWS

DSC_0029

The word ‘SNOW’ has been taken out of our weather forecast for Monday but we are in for a few mid 40’s temperatures & probable rain in a couple days.  That’s Okay, I think we can handle that.

DSC_0004

DELIBERATING WHETHER TO PROCEED DOWN A VERY ROCKY ROAD TO THE LEFT

A popular hiking & Jeeping spot just Northeast of Wickenburg is called Box Canyon & the Narrows.  We couldn’t exactly remember if we had been through this area about 4 years ago or not so this morning all 3 three of us loaded ourselves into the Jeep & off we went to see if we had been there before.  Beautiful sunny Saturday morning with about perfect temperatures.  With rain & colder weather headed our way we figured today was the best day to go.

DSC_0001

DSC_0003

DECIDED TO WALK DOWN THIS ROAD FIRST TO CHECK IT OUT

Directions were pretty clear for us to follow & find the spot on Scenic Loop Road where a turn off to the right leads us a wee distance to a short stretch of rough, rutted, & a very rocky road/trail leading a couple hundred yards down to the Hassayampa River bed.  Figured we had better stop & have us closer look at that rough stretch before attempting to drive ourselves down there.  I wasn’t worried about our Jeep Liberty doing this stretch but I was a bit worried about the street tires we have on Libby.  These tires are not really meant for this type of terrain & with their thinner sidewalls one is always taking a chance sharp rocks may punctures something.  I was leaning towards not attempting it when a pick-up truck came bouncing up behind us with a bunch of kids in the back.  Without hesitation it headed it’s way around us & down towards the river bumping it’s way over the rocks & ruts.  Well that was it & away we went not long behind him taking our time & being careful not to bottom out on any of the many protruding rocks.  Minutes later we were on the river bed & in the water.

DSC_0005

SLOWLY MADE OUR WAY OVER THE SHORT ROCKY SECTION

We knew if we turned left upriver that direction would take us to the Narrows & if we turned right we could head for Box Canyon & eventually Wickenburg.  Decided to head upriver first & check out the Narrows.  What a lovely spot this was & we knew right away this was not the dry section of river bed we had traveled a few years ago.   The Hassayampa River for the most part runs underground except for a few places like this where it runs above ground & in this area it runs maybe a mile or two before disappearing again.

DSC_0008

SPOTTED 3 ATV’S & A JEEP WRANGLER UPSTREAM OF US

DSC_0010

FELT A LITTLE NERVOUS ABOUT THIS WET SAND BUT WE WERE FINE

DSC_0011

Anytime water is encountered in a dry arid desert landscape like this it is truly a delight to see & especially here as it flowed at a steady clip gurgling along through gravely stones.  I also noticed how crystal clear it was & I wondered if one could have easily bent down & drank it without any ill effects.

DSC_0012

DSC_0013

THERE GO THE FOLKS WE HAD SEEN IN THE PICK-UP EARLIER

DSC_0014

DSC_0016

OMG PHEEBS IS IN THE WATER

DSC_0017

DSC_0018

PEOPLE SURE LOVE TO WAVE AT EACH OTHER IN THESE HERE PARTS

DSC_0019

Nowhere did we encounter any deep water & I’d say the average depth of water we drove through was maybe 3 inches or so.  The sandy riverbed itself was fairly wide with the sometimes 3 foot wide shallow water channel running basically in the middle & then at times stretching from canyon wall to canyon wall.  One definitely wants to be in 4-wheel drive through here & a couple times I could feel the soft pull of the wet sand on the tires a bit.  Headed up stream with tall rocky cliffs on either side to where the cliffs closed in on the water channel then opened up again.  We had just driven ourselves through the Narrows & ahead the land appeared to flatten out a bit so we carefully turned around in the sand & water & headed back downstream.  Thought to myself, ‘WOW’ what a Neat-O place & for sure Pheebs & I would be coming back to do some photography here.

DSC_0021

YES INDEED 4-WHEEL DRIVE IS DEFINITELY A GOOD IDEA HERE

DSC_0022

APPROACHING THE NARROWS

DSC_0023

DSC_0024

IN THE NARROWS

DSC_0025

WE WERE DEFINITELY PUSHING A LITTLE WATER AROUND THIS MORNING

DSC_0026

TURNED AROUND & HEADED BACK DOWNSTREAM

We passed the rocky trail road we had used to enter the river bed & headed another half mile or so downstream in the direction of Box Canyon.  The pick-up truck we had seen was stopped here & the Mennonite folks were out alongside the river bed enjoying the day.  They directed us to the Box Canyon area which we might have missed had we not stopped to double check on the correct way to Wickenburg.  We have been to & through various Box Canyons before & I had it in my mind that it would be a big scenic Canyon.  Well it was scenic but it sure wasn’t big.

DSC_0027

DSC_0028

DSC_0030

FIGURED IT WAS BEST TO KEEP THE WHEELS MOVING EH:))

DSC_0031

DSC_0032

DSC_0034

THE FURTHER NORTH WE WENT THE DRYER THE RIVER BED BECAME

Parked the Jeep & walked a short distance up into a grove of Tamarisk trees & sure enough there at the far end of a rock face was a narrow opening.  Right away I thought it looked more like a Slot Canyon than a Box Canyon.  We walked through soft sand a few hundred feet into the slot & the small canyon widened a bit then abruptly ended with tall jagged cliffs towering above us on three sides.  This is one of the places water comes thundering through a narrow slot in the rocks during summer’s rainy Monsoon season.  By the way the Hassayampa River where we were driving today becomes an absolute raging torrent of water during Monsoon season sweeping everything in front of it away including sections of Wickenburg over the years.  Not a place to be in June, July, or August methinks.

DSC_0035

AT THE ENTRANCE TO BOX CANYON IS THIS BIG PILE OF CAMPFIRE ASHES

DSC_0036

I THOUGHT FOR SURE WE WERE HEADED INTO A SLOT CANYON HERE

DSC_0037

DSC_0038

THE CANYON ENDED HERE THEREFORE MAKING IT A TRUE BOX CANYON

DSC_0039

DSC_0044 DSC_0040

ON THE RIGHT IS THE NARROW SHUTE WHERE WATER RUMBLES THROUGH FROM ABOVE TURNING THIS AREA INTO A CHURNING WATERFALL

DSC_0043

LOOKING STRAIGHT UP THE LITTLE CANYONS STEEP & RUGGED WALL

DSC_0042

LOOKING BACK OUT TO THE CANYON’S ENTRANCE JUST A SHORT DISTANCE AWAY

DSC_0046

WALKING BACK OUT TOWARDS THE HASSAYAMPA RIVER BEDDSC_0048

THE MENNONITE FOLKS ARE HEADING BACK TO THEIR PICK-UP TRUCK

DSC_0003

DSC_0047

LOOKING BACK TOWARDS THE ENTRANCE TO BOX CANYON

DSC_0049

DSC_0050

DSC_0051

Not long after leaving the Box Canyon area we noticed the above ground water disappeared underground again & for the rest of our drive towards Wickenburg on the river bottom the sand became dryer the further we went.  Amazingly enough we finally reached a paved road running across the river bed & I immediately recognized it as Rincon Road which I knew led to highway 93 just a few miles to the west.  We turned left & headed down Rincon to Blue Tank Road where I again turned left into another river wash.  This was the back way leading to Constellation Road & the back way into Wickenburg.  In fact it leads right to McDonald’s parking lot & that was exactly where we were headed.  Kelly had coupons:))

DSC_0060

HERE COMES SOME HAPPY FACE ICE CREAM:))

DSC_0062

DSC_0063

OH NO DAD’S GONNA EAT IT ALL:((

DSC_0064

NAWWW DAD WOULDN’T DO THAT, HE ALWAYS SHARES WITH HIS  MOST BEST PAL

I was happy to see readers enjoyed my copy & pasted Wall Street Journal post about Charlie Kempthorne.  As I read the WSJ article a couple days ago certain lines jumped out at me.  Here are those lines……He grumbles about former teachers, analyzes his shortcomings, and admires his wife & children --- “You tend to pick your words more carefully when writing for the world to see, worrying about being judged or hurting someone’s feelings” --- “It helps me understand my life better” --- Taking 15 or 20 minutes to write freely about emotions, secrets or upheaval can be a powerful tonic --- writing privately about traumatic experiences, even for as few as four consecutive days, can reduce stress, help people sleep and improve their immune systems --- When you translate an emotional experience into words, it organizes them in ways not organized before. It makes them simpler and easier to get past --- There is some evidence that writing about emotional issues on social media can be beneficial for health in ways similar to writing privately --- He had long dreamed of writing a great novel but felt inadequate --- Often, he has no idea what he will write until he opens the folder labeled “My Journal” on his computer --- Once he starts writing, he begins to remember things, people, conversations --- He prefers the computer to longhand because typing is fast. The faster he writes, the better he writes --- I have a lot of regrets as to what I did with my life --- The good thing about writing over such a long period of time, he says, is that it has given him a chance to revisit events and people in his life --- the act of writing daily allowed him to focus more intently on some memories and see what they meant……..

DSC_0053

SPOTTED A CAVE HIGH UP THE ROCKY CLIFF FACE

DSC_0001

THIS LADY IS HIKING UP IN THE DIRECTION OF THAT CAVE

DSC_0002

LADY IS AT BOTTOM RIGHT & CAVE IS AT TOP RIGHT & IT’S A STEEP CLIMB ALL THE WAY UP…..GOOD LUCK!!

So there you have it with each one of those above lines meaning something special to me.  Also imagine my surprise Friday night when I saw Charlie Kempthorne himself had actually left a comment on my post.  And that too meant something special to me……………..:))

DSC_0057

NEAR THE BOX CANYON SITE WE CAME ACROSS THE RUINS OF AN OLD STONE CABIN

DSC_0056

MUST HAVE BEEN THE KITCHEN HERE WITH THIS OLD FIREPLACE & CHIMNEY

DSC_0054

THIS OLD STONE CABIN STOOD ONLY A HUNDRED FEET OR SO BACK FROM THE RIVER BANK

GROANER’S CORNER:(( An old man was wondering if his wife had a hearing problem. So one night, he stood behind her while she was sitting in her lounge chair. He spoke softly to her, "Honey, can you hear me?"  There was no response.  He moved a little closer and said again, "Honey, can you hear me?"  Still, there was no response.  Finally he moved right behind her and said, "Honey, can you hear me?"  She loudly replied, "For the third time, YES!!"

17 comments:

  1. Wow...looking at the box canyon and the river, one really needs to be aware of the weather upstream. What a beautiful day you three had!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Box Canyon is gorgeous isn't it? We love it round there. Have fun!

    ReplyDelete
  3. What another interesting area to explore.
    Seeing those mennonites remind me of back home.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a neat find, a person could spend a lot of time exploring around that area.
    Interesting take on a daily journal.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Now that looks like a fascinating place, though i'd hesitate before driving down that rocky road or through the river. Look forward to more pix if you go back. And our dog gets the end of the cones too!

    ReplyDelete
  6. The last time we were in the narrows and Box Canyon, I would guess some time in December/early January, we watched a couple almost bury an ATV in one of those larger puddles--tread lightly--the mud does get deep in places! That's one of our favorite ATV rides especially in the later spring months when it gets warmer!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Now that I call a nice trip. I too love those canyons one can explore. The scenery is just sooo beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Beautiful canyon. We've got to visit that area one of these days.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great post and pictures about the trip. Job well done!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh I love this day trip!! It looks like the perfect day :-)))) Always enjoy water in the desert.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Looks like great fun, although I too might have been a bit nervous about that wet sand. It can be pretty deceiving. Love the photos, and the re read of the kempthorne piece was perfect. Only problem for me is that when I go back to the old daily journals I have from the 60's and 70's I am terribly embarrassed for myself. So grateful those things are NOT online. Thanks for a great read, Al.

    ReplyDelete
  12. That rocky road reminded my of the road to Charlie Bell pass near Ajo..We took our truck down it, but it wasn't wet like you found. I LOVE the remains of that old stone house...I would be touching everything, trying to channel some history for sure!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Great post, as usual. Thanks for sharing your sights and insights. I'm wrapping up my first Quartzsite boondocking experience and I'm headed to Congress to get weighed (my rig that is!). I too am an amateur photographer and I am hoping you may be willing to point me to an accessible (by Honda CRV) spot or two that I might explore. I like to hike but am not in as good a shape as I hope to be in by the the end of my trip. My email is fleming27858@gmail.com. If you have time to reply, it would be greatly appreciated. Would love to meet you both but don't want to invade your space. Thanks! Rhonda

    ReplyDelete
  14. Some of that gorgeous wash looks a little dicey, but I'd go if someone else was driving.

    ReplyDelete