Brewed myself up a coffee in our ‘Bodum French Press’ one cup coffee maker, tossed the last Safeway Blueberry muffin into the microwave for a few seconds, grabbed my cameras, loaded up the Pheebs and we were off out the door into the Jeep. Again, no idea where we were going so we just went anyway until we reached wherever it was we couldn’t think to go.
HEADING WEST ON HIGHWAY 71 UNDER CLOUDY SKIES THIS MORNING
THE DUSTY LITTLE TUMBLE DOWN TOWN OF AGUILA STRAIGHT AHEAD AND CAN YOU SEE WHAT IS KNOWN AS THE ‘EAGLES EYE’ IN THE SMALL MOUNTAIN ON THE LEFT
Despite an overcast sky and 45F temperatures we were fine in the Jeep. Fired up the heater for some comfortable warm air, cranked down Pheebs window halfway for a a refreshing breeze and turned on the dome light to simulate some sunshine. We were good to go:))
CLOUDS ATOP HARQUAHALA MOUNTAIN
DESERT SCENERY ALONG THE SOUTH SIDE OF HIGHWAY 71
By the time we reached the end of Ghost Town Road about a minute after we left the house I decided to turn right on highway 71 and head west. My other 2 options were heading north on highway 89 towards Yarnell or south to Wickenburg. We have been in both those places have a dozen times or more in the last 3 weeks so west it was and off we went in the direction of Aguila. (pronounced A-gee-aa)
WE’RE GETTING CLOSER TO THE EAGLES EYE AS VIEWED FROM THE NORTH SIDE
It was on this same stretch of road I took the ‘Mountains In The Mist’ photos last week. Highway 71 from Congress to Aguila covering 25 scenic miles is a favorite drive of mine simply because of how it lazily wanders along in a relative straight line across the desert floor with very little traffic on it.
Harquahala Mountain loomed closer the further we went. Toyed briefly with the idea of making a run up the mountain but thought better of it. Had forgot to take the cell phone and with the rocky road climb up Harquahala it was no place to go alone without a cell phone or hard hat in case one fell of the road and tumbled down into a deep canyon.
From 71 we turned right on highway 60 and drove the short distance into Aguila turning left onto Eagle Eye Road heading towards Harquahala Valley about 40 miles away. Knowing we weren’t going to go that far we just kinda puttered along south of Aguila for about a mile until I spotted a sign saying ‘Eagle Eye Cemetery’. I’ve always liked wandering through old out of the way cemeteries looking at things so off we went in search of it. Luckily it was only a few hundred yards off the road.
WITH A GLOOMY SKY OVERHEAD IT SEEMED A FITTING DAY TO GO PROWLING AROUND IN A CEMETERY
THE EAGLES EYE IS IN THAT KNOB AT TOP LEFT
ALL VETERANS SITES ARE MARKED WITH AN AMERICAN FLAG
HARQUAHALA LOOMS IN THE BACKGROUND
SOME MARKERS ARE SIMPLY DONE
The difference in cemeteries out here in the west we have seen and the cemeteries at home in Ontario is quite remarkable and the one Pheebs and I walked through this morning was a good example of that. Plots didn’t seem to be organized in sections or rows but were sort of scattered about in a willy-nilly fashion. We have seen this before in western cemeteries. I always find it interesting to read the inscriptions on the stones or old wooden crosses often just stuck in the ground. We have come across graves in places other than cemeteries out here in the West.
THE TOWN OF AGUILA CAN BE SEEN IN THE BACKGROUND
I SUSPECT THE PERSON HERE MAY HAVE BEEN AN AVIATOR
WONDER WHAT THE STORY IS BEHIND THIS FELLOW
A HAND HEWN RESTING BENCH
HARQUAHALA MOUNTAIN ALWAYS PROMINENT IN THE BACKGROUND
Bit of a cold wind blowing through the cemetery but no matter I was dressed good and warm and of course Pheebs had her fur coat on. A smattering of diffused sunlight began appearing as I noticed skies were very slowly beginning to clear. We were on the east side of Harquahala Mountain and how nice Harquahala looked with a few brief morning sun splashes touching down close to her peak.
SAW THIS SET UP UNDER A COUPLE PALO VERDE TREES
I’M SURE THERE ARE SOME PAINFUL MEMORIES HERE
From the cemetery Pheebs and headed back to Eagle Eye Road and turned left heading another couple miles or so until we saw a familiar desert road turn off for Tonopah about 40 miles away. Tonopah is on Interstate 10.
A CLOSE UP 300mm TELEPHOTO VIEW OF THE EAGLE’S EYE FROM THE SOUTH SIDE
We ventured down this hard packed sandy gravel road for maybe a mile before turning around. We had already done this desert highway in the Spring only in reverse one morning when we headed out Vulture Mine road then instead of turning left for Tonopah we turned right for Aguila. I remember it as being a very dusty road with a lot of rumbling gravel trucks on it so we made our way back to Eagle Eye Road and headed back for Aguila as skies ever so slowly began to get a little brighter.
PHEEBS AND I TRAVELED THIS LONG AND DUSTY DESERT HIGHWAY BACK IN THE SPRING COMING FROM THE OTHER WAY
WE HAVE ALREADY TURNED AROUND AND IT WAS FROM THE SPOT I TOOK THE POST’S HEADER PHOTO WHICH WAS BEHIND ME
Half a dozen more photo stops along the way and we were back to Congress pulling into our driveway right on the stroke of High Noon. Another relaxing morning spent in the arms of Mother Nature again. I sure would be lost if it wasn’t for our morning drives, walks, and short hikes whether it be back home in Bayfield Ontario or out here in the mountains, valleys and deserts of the South-west. A few hours out with Pheebs most mornings sure shortens up what are otherwise long boring days for me sometimes. No schedules, nobody telling us where to go or what to do or when to be home. We are free to think our own thoughts and kibbitz back and forth like a couple of Crazy-O’s. Stop where and when we want, grab a burg here or a Sub there. It’s quite the life we have and for as long as we can keep doing it we are going to keep doing it……… And for anyone interested in reading about the day Kelly, Pheebs and I rough and tumbled our way up to the very top of Harquahala Mountain and made it safely back down again you can read my post about our Jeep Wrangler trip by clicking this link….. Our Toughest Jeep Challenge Yet. You might be surprised to see what we found up there……………
I HOPE TO HAVE MORE PHOTOS OF THIS MORNINGS JOURNEY IN TOMORROW NIGHT’S POST
GROANER’S CORNER:(( A famed English explorer was invited to Dartmouth to tell of his adventures in the African jungle. "Can you imagine, a people so primitive that they love to eat the embryo of certain birds, and slices from the belly of certain animals? And grind up grass seed, make it into paste, burn it over a fire, then smear it with a greasy mess they extract from the mammary fluid of certain other animals?"
When the students looked startled by such barbarism, the explorer added softly, "What I've been describing, of course, is a breakfast of bacon and eggs and buttered toast."
“I mixed up the cardiac resuscitation equipment with the lie detector, but I will de-fib you later.”
A young lad was visiting a church for the first time, checking all the announcements and posters along the walls. When he came to a group of pictures of men in uniform, he asked a nearby usher, "Who are all those men in the pictures?" The usher replied, "Why, those are our boys who died in the service".
Dumbfounded, the youngster asked, "Was that the morning service or the evening service?"