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!

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

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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.

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

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