March 30th We drove out to Hwy 93 heading west on Mile Marker 163 1/2 we turned in to a staging area. We drove out and shortly we could see the large mountain called Shiprock, elevation 2288 which rises of the desert floor. Surrounding it are several mountains which dwarf it. We drove down the wash and up the hill to get close to hike to a plateau on Shiprock.
On the way we heard some noise, which turned out to be two large wild burrows standing in the shade of the palo verde tree. They were keeping an eye on us.
After we left the wash and headed toward the Santa Marie River, where we crossed it with some water in it. We came to a Y not going to the right where you will find mines, but went to the left where we found forgotten mining equipment, ground core samples and machinery. We drove into the river and had lunch on the shaded river bank as the temps were in the hight 80's. The trail continued but we could not see it.
We returned to the river and went on the SW side of the river on a trail which winds thru the rocky mountains coming to a overlook of the river and rock outcroppings. We returned the same trail riding 17 miles, but it took 5 hours including lunch and scenic breaks.