Sunday, October 25, 2020

Short Afternoon/Evening Trip up the Hassayampa

One of the Pools on the Hassayampa at the Box Canyon

Friday afternoon.  Paul gets off work around 2, and I was  already home and antsy to go do something.  We had planned a trip for Sunday afternoon after I got off work - but we decided to do it Friday instead - we wanted to work on some recovery skills for me before my Offroad Recovery course on Saturday.  So off to the Hassayampa we went!

We didn't know what we might be facing on the way up there after the turnoff onto Rincon Road.  I've been hearing about how the Hassayampa is closed due to portions of it being private, and the land owners had had enough of the trash and tearing up of the landscape.  But we went up anyway.  The usual turn into the river bed is fenced off and signed with no trespassing, private property.  However, we continued up Rincon Road and found another access point onto the BLM portion of the Hassayampa right before the Box Canyon.  So into the soft sand of the river bottom we went.  

Paul and I are both VERY familiar with the Hassayampa river bottom.  We've been up there together, and we've been up there separately - both of us have explored pretty deep back on the river - again, together and separately.  But this time, I had spent some extra time pouring over old topographical maps, etc. and found a few new places that we wanted to stop, as well as a stop by my old friend Jim Fox's house.  

We didn't expect much water in the Box Canyon because we've had such an incredibly dry summer here.  So we were surprised to find the river flowing and some deeper-than-usual pools of water.  Of course, they were nothing for the FJ - and even if they were deeper, Paul has a snorkel - his truck is a Scuba Driver!  Hahaha 

So we barreled through the pools (see the video) to head up to Jim Fox's house.

Now - Jim Fox - he was an old timer that lived in a small house up over the Hassayampa. He is also known as Hassayampa Jim.  Quite a few years ago, some folks who were trying to be kind talked Jim into moving into Wickenburg to an assisted living home.  Jim passed away there shortly after.  I used to take the quad up to visit Jim and take him VCR tapes.  He was a lovely old character, and LOVED visitors!  Unfortunately, we were unable to get to his old house as it is now on private ranch land.  I intend on reaching out to the ranch to get permission to go pay my respects to his memorial and his home.  Jim Fox was one of those people that I just loved to sit and talk to.  He reminded me of my Grandpa Jim.  

Old homestead that Paul and I visited before...

So - as we were unable to get to Jim's old house - we went up to a homestead that Paul and I had explored together back in February or so - but we had gone at night.  Today we got there before the sun went down.  I have absolutely no history on this homestead at all - but it consists of a house, an old shed, some kind of building with a ladder down to the river, an old barbeque wagon, and some other miscellaneous oddities - like what appears to be a concrete tub buried in front of the house.  This little homestead has lots of trash to explore, and leaves one wondering about the person who lived there.  

We decided to keep going up the river bottom even though the sun was going down as there were several other cabins we want to see.  Ones that neither of us knew about prior to my topographical map searching.  

The well at the second site

The next place we stopped no longer had a cabin.  But it appears one WAS there at one point.  The highlight of this stop, however, was the HUGE tree!  I'm still trying to figure out what KIND of tree this is - but the trunk was as big around as the FJ!  It was MASSIVE!  There were old cut timbers, and an old well, along with a rock wall and some concrete foundation things.  It was a beautiful little area - tucked back up and off the river bottom - got some pinstriping going back in there - but it was a new area we hadn't explored before!

At this point, it was dark and we decided not to go up to the other cabins (two we hadn't been to, and the furthest one we had both been to in the past).  So we decided to head back.  

The ride back was uneventful, but going through the pools of water in the box canyon at night was AWESOME!  Look at this beast of a truck drop down into the pools and pop right back up out of them - we're a boat!  Paul and his truck never fail to amaze me.  

After discussions on how to air down, and air up, the tires, and Paul having me do it - I felt as though I was ready for the Offroad Recovery Class the next day - and I was!!  Thanks to Paul's training, I was more than capable of handling anything they could have thrown at me.  Next up - Paul taking me out to do some actual recovery work to learn how to work the winch, etc.  Because in the next few weeks...Calamity Jane is getting a new (to her) bumper, a winch, a lift and a new (to her) roof rack.  She just got new (to her) kick out sliders installed while I was in class yesterday (again, thank you Paul).   

So keep an eye out - Calamity Jane will be beefing up here soon!

Lewis & Clark looking pretty awesome!

1 comment:

  1. So neat going through the canyon. Kind of like Lake Powell on a houseboat going through all the beautiful rock canyons. Calamity Jane will have fun!