WEDNESDAY NIGHT WE ATE SUPPER BY CANDLELIGHT
Kelly & I have remarked several times how fortunate it was Leslie & Peter decided to come this week with Arizona’s sunny skies & warming temperatures instead of last week’s cold dark rainy days.
Under another big bright sunny Arizona sky we were all piled into the Jeep once again including Pheebs riding shotgun in the back. As the crow flies I’d say the Wickenburg Massacre site is maybe less than 10 miles from our house but to get there we had to head south down into Wickenburg on highway 93 then cut over on Vulture Mine Road to higway 60 & hook back north again before turning east into the desert. Probably about 20 miles to get to the site by Jeep wheels. I figured we would come back the same was but as it turns out we didn’t.
I FORGOT TO TAKE A FEW PHOTOS OF THE MUD HOLE WE HAD TO PLOW THROUGH BUT HERE’S OUR TIRES
The difficult to find Jeep road from highway 60 between mile markers 101 & 102 weaves it’s way for miles through countless Creosote & Mesquite scrub. Just before we reached an old tumble down ranch we did come across a rather short stretch of dubious road. Last week’s rain had pooled in one spot turning the road into a quagmire for maybe 50 feet or so. Deep ruts of mud & water. I figured no point in even stopping to talk about it so we just barrelled right into the slippery oozing mud & grunted our way through it & right out the other side. Had we not had 4-wheel drive we would have still been there tonight trying to dig ourselves out.
Minutes later we stopped for a leg stretch & a look around at the old derelict ranch Kelly & I had stopped at once before. Always a few mysteries in the desert & this area had a few of it’s own. We walked around looking at all the old timbers, a bullet ridden water tank & another tank surrounded by fencing with razor wire around the top. Also checked out some large cattle pens. Twenty minutes later we were back in the Jeep & headed further out into the desert scrub. I knew the massacre site was not far as we made our way through another steep narrow mud pit which led uphill along a narrow rocky ridge. Fortunately we knew exactly where to go as we followed a turn off down through & along a dry river bed to where the trail led up out of the wash to the massacre site about a hundred yards away. Now rather than talk about what happened here or show you the grave sites etc I’ll just direct you to the post I wrote last time Kelly & were here on Thursday February 27th 2014………This Morning We Searched For & Found The Wickenburg Massacre Site. In this post I have links to sites regarding what did or didn’t happen here back on November 5th 1871.
LOOKING AT THE RUINS OF AN OLD FALLEN DOWN RANCH HOUSE
OUR CHIEF SCOUT CHECKS THE TRAIL AHEAD
CHECKING OUT AN OLD CORRAL BELOW
A JUMBLE OF CORRAL BOARDS
We probably spent about 25 minutes or so at the site looking around before deciding to move on but now we had a choice to make. We could turn around & go back the long way we had just come or we could take a chance on another route that we thought might lead us back to highway 60 a lot quicker. Well, we never did make it back to highway 60 the way I thought we might. Instead shortly after we left the site heading south the road dropped down into a very sandy wash & little did we know how long we were about to spend traveling in that dry river bed.
AT THE WICKENBURG MASSACRE SITE READING THE 1871 RULES FOR RIDING IN A STAGE COACH
ON THE ROAD BEHIND PETER IS WHERE THE STAGECOACH WAS AMBUSHED
VIEWPOINT FROM THE AREA WHERE THE SHOOTERS WOULD HAVE BEEN
KELLY READING ONE OF THE MARKERS WITH WICKENBURG BEING OFF TO THE UPPER RIGHT & THAT IS THE DIRECTION WE HEADED WHEN WE LEFT
PETER & LESLIE AT ONE OF THE GRAVE SITES
LESLIE POINTS IN THE DIRECTION THE SHOOTERS WERE
Again had we not had 4-wheel drive we certainly would have not driven far before we would have been stuck up to the axles in soft sand. As it was I could feel the sand slowing us down as Libby kind of sashayed herself with all 4 wheels pulling & pushing to the best of her ability. It was a true test for her as I had never had the Liberty into any length of soft sand before. Little did we know we had about 6 or 7 miles of sand driving ahead of us. Didn’t know where we were or where we would end up except I knew we were heading south in the general direction of Wickenburg. Thought occured to me a couple times about turning back but that presented it’s own problems. We had momentum going for us & I did not want to stop & try turning around. That’s how people get bogged down in sand.
THIS SANDY WASH TOOK US ALL THE WAY TO WICKENBURG
I don’t know how long we made our way along that wash but I did notice we were steadily descending a slight sloping grade for much of the way. About the time we thought we may very well end up deep into Mexico somewhere we came up behind 3 lady riders on horseback. I slowed down just enough to keep our wheels moving & gliding by slowly asked the ladies where we were & was it possible for us to get out of this wash alive. Asking how much farther to civilization they said about a mile or so. Don’t stop just keep going they said. Thanks ladies & about a half mile further along we stopped.
CAME ACROSS THESE 3 GALS ON HORSEBACK HEADING SOUTH
The wash was very wide at this point & we had sorta lost the trail of tire tracks we had been following plus there was a low slung railroad bridge ahead of us. I saw what looked like a small stretch of hard gravel so I pulled over onto that & shut er down. It was time to get out & have us a look around to see if we could figure out where the river bed trail was. Peter headed off over to the right embankment where we saw a narrow road steeply climbing out of the wash. I walked ahead to have a look under the railway bridge & yup there were tire tracks leading through there. Not what I would call a great overhead clearance but figured we would be OK with the Jeep. By this time the horse riders had caught up with us & with a few passing words of needed encouragement they said again for us to keep right on going.
WITH A RAILROAD BRIDGE AHEAD OF US AT THIS POINT WE HAD SORT OF LOST THE TRAIL
And keep on going is what we did because while stopped near the railroad bridge we had noticed something a bit disconcerting. We were being watched!!
I FIGURED THE SPOT WE WERE IN WAS WHERE PEOPLE OFTEN GOT THEMSELVES STUCK & THIS BUZZARD GANG KNEW THAT & WERE JUST WAITING FOR US TO WEAR OURSELVES OUT:((
THERE SURE WAS ONE BIG BATCH OF BUZZARDS HERE
AFTER WATCHING OUR CONFUSEMENT FOR AWHILE I HAD A FEELING THIS FELLOW FLEW OFF TO INVITE SOME OF HIS FRIENDS OVER FOR LUNCH
<<< AND THIS GUY EVEN HAD THE GALL TO FLASH ME WHEN I WALKED BY!!
Peter instinctively ducked his head as we rolled under the railroad bridge & it wasn’t long before we began seeing houses atop the steep river bank on our left. I think we all breathed a sigh of relief but we were still not out of the dry washes sandy grip yet & we still did not see any exit out of the wash. That is until all of a sudden we saw a car cross our path about a quarter mile ahead then another & another. We soon reached a paved road running right across the wash. I stopped & almost instantly recognized where we were. This was Vulture Mine Road between highway 93 & highway 60. We had come out right beside the railway tracks & this was a piece of road we were very familiar with. From Congress this was the way we go to Safeway for groceries & I knew Safeway (where we were headed for anyway) was just a mile to our right. I think we all had relieved smiles on our faces including Pheebs. I think even my grumpy looking face actually cracked a wee smile as well.
AS LONG AS WE KEPT MOVING TODAY & HAD TIRE TRACKS TO FOLLOW WE DIDN’T FEEL QUITE AS LOST AS WE COULD HAVE THOUGHT WE WERE
Before heading into Safeway we decided to grab a bite to eat at another place Kelly had heard good things about. On highway 60 from the Safeway intersection we headed south towards downtown Wickenburg. It was only about a mile before we made a right hand turn into The Pie Cabinet & Coffee Bar. Well I liked the looks & yummy baking smells of this place right off the bat. We weren’t long in ordering us up some grub & a big thanks to Leslie & Peter for buying us lunch for the second day in a row. Liked the inside ambience of this place & we were soon seated at a big round table. Kelly & I split a really tasty Roast Beef & Panini sandwich with Leslie & Peter splitting an equally tasty Hawiian Panini sandwich. Don’t let the word Panini scare ya Mike it just means the toasted type of bread used. They have BLT’s here as well as breakfasts etc. Kelly & I split a coffee & everybody had a delicious slice of pie. Lemon Merangue for me.
HERE WE ARE AT THE PIE CABINET
ORDERING UP OUR SAMMICHES
THIS WOULD BE OUR TABLE
I TOOK A FANCY TO THIS COWBOY LAMP
SOME NEAT OLD STUFF IN HERE
LESLIE & KELLY ARE SURE EYEING UP THAT ROAST BEEF PANINI SANDWICH……AND IT WAS AS GOOD AS IT LOOKS TOO
A quick stop at Safeway for a few items forgot the previous day & we were soon on the road headed for Congress. It was shortly before 2 that we rolled through our gates. It had been another great & rather adventuress day trip & it’s those kinds of days that I like best. Something new to see, somewhere new to go & some new concerns along the way to put a bit of an edge on one’s fear factor that they may get stuck out in the middle of nowhere at any moment. Must say a few times today in that wash I had visions of us having to gather wood to put under our tires to try & dig ourselves out of what seemed a never ending sand trap. Thanks Libby you showed your true merit today:))
GROANER’S CORNER:(( A Cowboy’s Guide To Life::
- Never squat with yer spurs on.
- There's two theories to arguin' with a woman; neither one works.
- Don't worry about bitin' off more than you can chew, your mouth is probably a whole lot bigger'n you think.
- If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around.
- Never smack a man who's chewin' tobacco.
- It don't take a genius to spot a goat in a flock of sheep.
- Never ask a barber if he thinks you need a haircut.
- Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
- Always drink upstream from the herd.
- If you're ridin' ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it's still there.
- Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier 'n puttin' it back in.
- Finally, never miss a good chance to shut up.