Sunday, March 29, 2020

Agua Caliente, Date Ranch Rock House and the Stout Hotel in Gila Bend - More Social Distancing

AZBackroadsGirl's FJ Cruiser - looking particularly awesome
Today's outing was to places I've been to before - so not much history - just a few pictures.  We started out headed to Agua Caliente (see the posts in 2010 for history).  We stopped at the cemetery - which is still kept up, but I was dismayed to see that at least one of the fenced grave sites has been toppled.  Here are the 2010 and the 2020 photos...

Much of the rest of the cemetery looked to be in decent shape.  They have placed HUGE flags on the veteran grave sites, which was a nice touch, but they are looking a bit weathered.  But it was still a nice walk around a cemetery I've been to many times.  

Agua Caliente Resort - Front Porch

Then we were off to the Agua Caliente resort - nobody was around today, so Paul and I walked all around the grounds, and checked out some cool stuff I had never seen before.  For instance, I discovered that the main portion of the building is adobe.  Please note that this IS private property - if you choose to walk around, please do not touch anything, do not take anything, and do not damage anything.  There is a caretaker building in the back.  

Hyder, AZ

After we finished exploring around Agua Caliente (and turning all the knobs and flipping all the switches), we were off to Hyder - a quick hop, skip and a jump away.  I still don't know much more about Hyder other than it was one of the training spots of General Patton in WWII, and according to some additional sources, during the 60's it housed a foreman and his family, along with other "track gang" folks for the Southern Pacific Railway.  

Dateland Rock House
After discovering that we would not have enough time to make the entire loop, we chose instead to head back towards the I-8, and check out the Dateland Rock House.  This house was supposedly built in 1902, and was possibly visited by Bill Cody (yes, THE Buffalo Bill Cody).  His name and the date are scratched into the wall of the home, but the entire building was covered in bees, and, well, we all know I don't do so well with bees.  So we practiced social distancing with the bees as well.  I stayed 6 feet away.

Stout's Hotel - Gila Bend, AZ

As we headed back, we decided to take a quick stop at the Stout Hotel in Gila Bend.  This hotel has always looked run down and derelict.  It appears that it used to be the absolute place to see and be seen when one was traveling from California to Old Tucson Studios for filming - and you can see bits of the glamour even now.  Lucky for all of us, as of 2018, it was placed on the National Historic Register, and the town of Gila Bend is trying to figure out how best to utilize the space while saving the hotel.  Paul and I both kind of fell for this old building - I look forward to a day when maybe they will open it again and we can go see more of the inside!  

And the time came for us to end our trip - as we were headed up the 85, I wanted to take Paul to see Hobo Joe.  Everyone knows I love Hobo Joe - he's kind of "my" Roadside America thing - so I took Paul to see him.  But he wasn't there.  Mild panic set in, but I did a quick search and found that he had been refurbished and VERY recently put back on display in the main part of Buckeye.  But we didn't have time to go see him - SO - I dropped Paul off, and I went back.  I had to look for my Hobo Joe.  And I found him.  Whoever did the restoration did an absolutely beautiful job, and while he feels a bit out of place where he's at, hopefully he will remain well kept and he can be watched over.  Even Bailey was a bit bummed when I initially told her Hobo Joe was gone - but then I showed her his new home, and how lovely he looked.  She was pleased as well. 

Hobo Joe from the Hobo Joe Coffee Shops

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