March 28, 2016

Palace Station, Bradshaw Mountains near Crown King, Az

35 miles

  We drove north of Peeples Valley, Az, to Wagoner Road.  Turning East, this is a gravel road for a mile, then it is tar. We drove in 9.1 miles, crossing the Hassayampa River and passing beautiful ranches. We turned Left on Crooks Canyon Road, in a quarter mile,  stage at the wash or the next pull off to park and stay out of the way, as this road is busy with traffic.  We headed out staying on the NF marker # 94C. We passed thru a great sandstone valley with a view of Battleship Butte.

IMG_3010 IMG_3023
IMG_3036 IMG_3073

Then you are traveling over huge rolling hills full of scrub brush, yet there’s views to see. We made it to the pine trees for lunch.

IMG_3085 IMG_3082
IMG_3107 IMG_3090
IMG_3103 IMG_3101
  Then headed on to Palace Station, on Bodie Mine Rd.  A cabin built in 1874 By Spence Family.  It is the oldest structures in Arizona, it served as a stage station on the Senator Trail from Prescott to Phoenix until 1910.   At this point you hit the Senator Highway ( this is NOT  a highway, more like a 4x4 dirt road) and Walker Road. Crown King is 24  mi and Prescott is  15 mi.

IMG_3108 IMG_3109
IMG_3113 IMG_3118
IMG_3130 IMG_3126

We returned another route, passing numerous other trails, crossing over creeks and trying to find the larges cottonwood tree.


March 3, 2016

Wickenburg massacre site & Reserve Bank Copper Mine

Wickenburg, Az  54 miles

Today our group had 30 rigs, cutting across the desert from Congress, Az towards Wickenburg, Az.

Good thing we had a leader who knew the route, because there are numerous trails shooting off. We arrived at the Reserve Bank Copper Mine, where Gary Huetson goes down into the shaft and mines the copper. Joyce Ramage then works with the raw material and forms it into handmade jewelry.

   First our drive across the desert.  Many  folks haven’t ridden out thru the desert, and it is quite diverse. Certain cactus, only grow in special elevations, south or north facing ranges, or places where there is more water. Below is a tall Yucca plant, it is quite tall, the natives used this plant for baskets, shoes and food. The Saguaro, tall cacti holds many gallons of water and bears a fruit, and birds use it to nest in. The  ocotillo leaf out and bloom when they receive water, watch out for their thorns. The short teddy bear chola has more needle like spines all over it. Watch out they call it the Jumping Chola!

IMG_2741 IMG_2747
IMG_2766 IMG_2771
IMG_2780 IMG_2772

Gary took us down 40ft for a tour of his mining shafts. This mine began in the 1880s. It is 60 degrees down below.

IMG_2787 IMG_2790
IMG_2796 IMG_2782

On the way back to Congress, we stopped by the famous Wickenburg Massacre Site.  On Nov. 5, 1871, the stage coach with 8 passengers, en route to Calif. were (supposedly) attacked by Yavapai indians. 6 people died.

IMG_2816 IMG_2823
IMG_2821 IMG_2829

So next time you are driving thru the desert, just think of all the history and hidden treasures, that you can’t see!