Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Father's Day Weekend, Cemeteries and Corona Satellite Markers - AZ in the Scion

The xB at the Gila Bend Pioneer Cemetery
Well, it's hot.  If you live in Arizona, you know that already.  If you live elsewhere, well, you likely know that as well.  It's almost too hot for camping up north, but even if it wasn't, gas prices are hitting everyone hard in the wallet these days.  So we decided to have a "paved road" outing on Father's Day.  Just me, my guy Paul, and the cute little xB.  
The beautiful and well kept Guadalupe Cemetery
So we started out our early morning at Lux on Central for Paul's all time favorite breakfast out - Biscuits and Gravy with scrambled eggs and cheese, and a side of bacon.  After filling and fueling up, we headed out to the All Souls Cemetery.  I, unfortunately, did not take any pictures of this cemetery, but there wouldn't have been much to take a picture of.  The All Souls Cemetery/Asylum Cemetery is the State Hospital/State Insane Asylum cemetery.  So for the most part, it looks like a long green lawn.  But if you look closely...there are row and section markers.  A few headstones.  Unfortunately, many of the records were destroyed in a fire, and therefore grave locations are few and far between.  It is estimated that some 2400 people are buried here...of which there appears to be about 400 or so that there are records for.  We drove around the outside of the fencing, and then decided to head off.  
The first calibration target
Our next stop was to a unique cemetery - the Guadalupe Cemetery.  The Guadalupe Cemetery is, in my opinion, unique in Phoenix as it is a Town/City Cemetery, but it appears to be maintained primarily by the families of the deceased.  It was immaculate and colorful, and even at the early hour of 7 or 7:30 a.m., there were families there tidying up graves and wishing their fathers love.  This historic cemetery of the Yaqui Indians and descendants of Mexican heritage has been around for over 100 years by all counts, and 130 by several others...the land was officially transferred to the Town of Guadalupe by the Diocese of Phoenix (and prior to them, the Diocese of Tucson in 1969) in 1979.  As Sugg Homes (developer) decided to turn the farm lands out there into new developments, they agreed to build an iron fence around the 5 acre cemetery and to pave the access road and parking area.  
Nicer and better kept Satellite Target
The cemetery is bursting with color - flags and other traditional adornments decorate the resting places of loved ones.  As the cemetery was bustling with activity, we opted to be more respectful and not to wander around.  It is, after all, Father's Day, and I'm sure many were there to spend time with their fathers.  It was a beautiful stop and very endearing to see people out tending to the graves of their loved ones.
Survey Marker at the above calibration marker.  
Next stop was supposed to be a quick hop down the I-10 to Casa Grande.  But as per the usual, it was no quick hop.  I-10 was closed all the way down to the 202, so we headed south on side roads until we could jump back on I-10 and head down to Casa Grande.  After a quick stop at a Dutch Bros for more tea and coffee, we headed off to our first site down here...the Corona Satellite Calibration Targets.  
Look at us getting 64.4 mpg in the Scion when we keep the RPM's really low and we drive slow.  Hahaha
Now, before I start this section of our "tour" - I do want to make mention that I know that the concrete crosses around Casa Grande were NOT used for the Corona project - or any other spacecraft calibration.  The were constructed for the calibration of aerial photogrammetry cameras to validate maps.  BUT - as is the norm on the inter-webs, there is a TON of false info out there about these.  The US Air Force DID use them for aircraft camera calibration, but it wasn't used for space based intelligence camera systems.  
The best marker we saw on this trip...
The Casa Grande Photogrammetric Test Range was a 16 x 16 mile grid of 60 foot targets.  Each target was spaced approximately 1 mile apart.  They provided a fixed spatial grid for photogrammetric calculations for mapping camera calibrations/validation.  The targets were maintained from 1959 to 1972, and about half of them are still visible on Google Earth and on the ground.  
A close up of the "manhole" cover
Each of the targets has a manhole on the west arm of the cross and the manhole has a cement cover with still reinforced bars.  According to the Cold War Museum, the six pieces of rebar which protrude from the concrete cover were used to hold a laser designator.  The targets were abandoned in 1972.  I've been to some of these targets many times over the years, but Paul had not seen one up close, so we went to a couple.  The first one we went to was not in great condition - but the last one was in great condition!  So another check off of Paul's exploration bucket list (and no, we did not visit all 140-something of these targets...but we did visit 4 or 5 on our trip).  
The VERY creepy partially filled grave in the Galilee Baptist Church Cemetery.  
After visiting the targets and the sight of an old slaughterhouse (which was long ago torn down), we headed up to historic Casa Grande, then into Maricopa to catch the Maricopa road out of town and towards Gila Bend.  As we wound our way through the southern Estrella Mountains and the southern Sevenmile Mountains, we stopped in a tiny little "town" (town is an overstatement for this town) called Mobile and went to the Galilee Baptist Church Cemetery, also known as the Mobile Cemetery.  This Cemetery is a private cemetery, and backs up to an old abandoned hacienda of some kind.  It is very remote and appears to have burials back as far as the 1930's.  We did not go inside the cemetery, but we did find a grave hole that had been dug and partially filled back in from erosion.  Kind of creepy...
The grave site of little Maria Consorcia Urias at the Bosque Cemetery.

Little Maria Consorcia Urias' grave at the Bosque Cemetery - close up
We left Mobile and headed to Bosque.  Which literally has NOTHING except this grave of a young girl named Maria Consorcia Urias.  Maria died on June 24th at 2 days old.  A boy scout created the fenced area around Maria's grave, and now it is the only thing you can see of Bosque.  There are supposedly two other individuals buried here (per find-a-grave) but where is anyone's guess.  
What appears to be an old schoolhouse in Gila Bend, AZ
We left the Bosque cemetery and headed into Gila Bend.  There were three cemeteries here to see - the first one we went to was the Hee-A-Han Park.  We could not find an easy way into the cemetery, so we drove around it and then decided to move on to the more historic/pioneer cemeteries.  
Stout Memorial Park/Stout Cemetery
Our next stop was the Stout Memorial Park.  I have little to no information regarding the Stout Memorial Park, or Stout Cemetery.  It is out in the middle of nowhere on the road to Ajo...but it can't be seen from the road.  There are graves here dating from the 1920's to the 1980's.  There are many concrete tombstones that have been recently updated and placed, along with some of the regularly seen homemade ones.  It was a pretty little cemetery in the middle of nowhere - with more tombstones than usual.  
Aquila Guzman's grave at the Stout Cemetery (1891-1920)
Our last stop in Gila Bend was to the Gila Bend Pioneer Cemetery.  The Gila Bend Pioneer Cemetery is still active, and the City is still selling burial plots.  It is a lovely and well planned out cemetery, with trees and benches and lots of care taken of each burial site.  The oldest grave I could find was 1957, but there may definitely be older ones.  We did see a gorgeous Northern Desert Iguana - he was white and brown, and ran SO fast!  He was absolutely stunning.  
Gila Bend Pioneer Cemetery

Gila Bend Pioneer Cemetery
Our very last stop on our cemetery Sunday was at the Liberty cemetery.  The Liberty cemetery is one of the first established cemeteries in Maricopa County.  There are over 500 burials according to the records, of which more than 400 have been located and marked.  Burials began in this old cemetery prior to 1900, and the last burial was made in 1962.  The cemetery is actively being researched and kept up by descendants of the buried and by the City.  The founding fathers of Buckeye, AZ are buried in this cemetery...
Liberty Cemetery
It was a hot and dusty day, but we managed to get out and learn something!  We went to La Santisima on the way home for gourmet tacos - filled ourselves up, and went home fat and happy - with new knowledge of our state and having seen areas of the state that neither Paul or I had been to.  
La Santisima taco trio - Shrimp, Carne and Mole - Yum!
See - there's stuff to do in Arizona - even when it's blistering hot outside.  
Northern Desert Iguana - dipsosaurusdorsalis



Thursday, April 14, 2022

Red Creek, the Red Creek Backcountry Airstrip, and the Verde River...

The Verde River at the start of the Red Creek Rapids
Its starting to get hot in Arizona.  Paul and I haven't been camping since January when we did the Mohave Trail.  We both ended up sick part way through that trip, and we just haven't been camping since.  I mentioned to Paul earlier in the week that we should go camping - and that I didn't care where.  He suggested the Red Creek airstrip and I immediately agreed.  The Red Creek airstrip is a backcountry airstrip that is maintained solely by the pilots who periodically land there.  The airstrip itself is only 1200 feet long, and has a long history of causing small aircraft crashes (6 that I can find info on in the past 15-20 years) due to the unevenness of the terrain, as well as the potential downdrafts and crosswinds of the several canyons coming together.  The Forest Service does not encourage the use of this airstrip, but people use it regularly despite this.  The Forest Service has a brochure on the Red Creek airstrip due to the safety issues.  
Cooking breakfast at Camp 7 Springs - I'm freezing and Paul gave up his jacket!  
We decided to head out on Friday afternoon, not to get to the airstrip, but to get up to Camp 7 Springs in the Tonto National Forest for our first night of camping.  We stopped and grabbed some In-N-Out on the way out of town, and headed down the long FR24 (Camp 7 Springs) road.  We pulled into the dispersed camping area before the sun went down, and although neither of us are fond of dispersed camping areas, we decided to stay put and set up so we would be set up by dark.  We hurriedly set up the tent and got it all closed up because there were mosquitoes everywhere.  Because Friday is an early day for me as well as Paul, by the time the sun had gone down around 8 or so, we were ready to turn in for the night.  The camp area was not crowded, which surprised me.  A nice family with two younger kids and a 9 month old baby showed up shortly before we crawled into our tent, and their kids were thrilled to be camping, obviously!  
Red Creek - absolutely stunning views!
Paul and I watched the stars through the top of our awesome Marmot 6P tent and slowly drifted off to sleep - I vaguely recall asking Paul to turn off the moon because it was so incredibly bright...  Around 10:30 I woke up to the sound of something sniffing around outside our tent.  I assumed it was the family across the way's dog - but no - there was more than one animal, and I could hear their dog whining.  And whatever they were, they sounded BIG.  I tried to get Paul's attention, but he was sleeping the sleep of a man who had never slept, so I slowly put on my glasses and lifted my head to look out the back of the tent, worried we were going to have javelinas or some other large but unpleasant animal.  But there was a herd of horses just standing around, occasionally eating leaves or grass shoots around our tent.  They were avoiding the tent, but they were aware I was sitting there looking at them.  The horses hung around the campsite area most of the night.  Early in the morning when Paul and I first woke up, we were freezing cold (the temperature was 37 degrees outside) and the horses were still around.  We pulled the quilt over us both and we snuggled down and went back to sleep for another couple of hours.  
A grumpy little cow I named "No Face" after the Ghibli Spirited Away character - my kiddo loves Studio Ghibli
We woke up as the sun was just cresting over the ridge behind us - me insisting that I wasn't getting out of bed until the sun was up because I was freezing.  Paul got up, got a jacket, and made me my hot tea and I finally crawled myself out of the tent to make us some breakfast.  Paul bundled me up and he and I set up our camp kitchen so we could make our usual camp breakfast - eggs with onions, tomatoes, mushrooms and avocado (well, avocado on mine anyway - Paul isn't a fan - I know, he is weird) with a side of cherry wood smoked, thick-cut bacon.  By the time we were done with breakfast, the sun was warming us both up and we tore down camp, packed the truck, said goodbye to the family across the way, and headed out for Red Creek.  
More gorgeous views of Red Creek...I mean, you can't take a bad picture here!
The trip up FR24 to FR269 (aka Bloody Basin Road) was uneventful.  We then traversed Bloody Basin for a few miles before turning off onto FR18 towards Red Creek.  The road was easy and not at all difficult.  Until we dropped into Red Creek.  Then things got fun.  Lots of big rocks to crawl over, huge trees with root systems sticking out everywhere, more rocks to crawl on, and lots of sand and water.  Red Creek flows along a stunning green canyon and the road through it to the Verde is full of stunning views!  So much green in a red dirt canyon.  Absolutely gorgeous!
The rock obstacle on the way to the Verde
Another beautiful view - until you see the dead cow on the left and all the turkey vultures.  It smelled terrible...
As we came to the first obstacle (a big gnarly tree with a huge root system you had to maneuver around), we saw a young man with a canoe and a kayak.  He seemed to be by himself, and there were no vehicles around (there had been a few up at the top before we dropped into the creek).  We asked the young man if he was okay, and he indicated he was, so we proceeded on.  After the first obstacle, we then dropped into Middle Red Creek (which Red Creek flows in to).  At the confluence of the two creeks, we saw another man with a kayak.  He waved, so we stopped and rolled down the window and he asked if he was headed towards the Verde, and we said yes, but that it was 3.1 miles away.  He said okay and went back to walking...with the kayak.  
Getting ready to do some rock crawling to the right there...
On we went, over the obstacles, through some fun tippy spots, and then we finally came out of the creek at the Verde River - right at the Red Creek Rapids.  We were so excited to be the only ones there, and we were able to set up right by the river so we got the rustling of the cottonwoods, the sound of the rapids and the cool breeze that runs up the canyon.  We set up camp, then decided to drive up to the air strip.  The trail from the Verde to the airstrip up on top of the mesa is sketchy and has been washed out and repaired, but there are a few spots where we were dangerously close to the edge.  Like if I had opened the passenger door to step out I would have fallen 50+ feet straight down.  I held my breath and Paul, as he always does, navigated the Lewis & Clark right up and over everything safely.  
While this sign states that this is part of the Matazal Wilderness, that is actually across the Verde...
The fire pit, picnic tables and horseshoe pits.  Behind the bush to the right are the tools to maintain the airstrip.
Looking east down the airstrip.  All takeoffs happen this direction.  
The windsock, which I was shocked was up and flying.  Everything I've read stated it may or, more likely, may not, be flying.
We were surprised at the airstrip.  You cannot see it until you are right on it due to the brush being so tall out there.  On Google Earth, the mesa looks like a giant flat surface without much on it, but in reality, it is heavily covered in desert brush and the airstrip is even rougher than I expected - particularly at the east end where the planes touch down and take off.  Pilots have done an excellent job in keeping it fairly groomed, and there are tools out there to rake and groom the strip with.  There is also a picnic table and a set of horseshoes.  Paul even threw a ringer!  Other than that, this desolate little airstrip is just a red dirt strip in the middle of nowhere.  
Be sure to watch this one all the way through!
The Lewis & Clark at our campsite right next to the Red Creek Rapids on the Verde River.
One of the best campsites we've ever experienced!
We went back down to our camp site just as a group of ATVs and side by sides showed up.  They came down to enjoy the river and we took our chairs down and sat in the river and talked with them for a few hours.  They indicated they too had seen the kayakers/canoers/hikers and had spoken with them for a bit.  They were still headed this way, and were expected at the Verde around 2 or 3.  
The super-impressive group of canoe/kayakers!  These folks have some serious stamina!!!
I decided to take a short nap, and it was short...we had put the fly on the tent this time to help keep us warm, and it was working - a little too well - so out of the tent we went, and back down to the water.  Just as the kayakers and canoers had shown up.  We sat down and chatted with them for a bit.  They indicated that they had thought it was a 1/4 of a mile hike - not 4 miles - from their parked trucks.  I felt so bad for them - they had two full size canoes, and three or four kayaks.  They CARRIED THEM THE ENTIRE 4 MILES THROUGH THE CREEK.    But they were all such good sports about it, and were raring to get on the river.  I took a ton of pictures of their take off - they were heading down to Sheep's Bridge, which is roughly 7 miles as the crow flies from where we were, but is more than 20 "river miles" down the Verde.  They planned to set up camp somewhere along the Verde around 5 or so, then finish up on Sunday.  We wished them well, took pictures as they left, and then we had one last grouping of visitors - three Jeeps and a quad.  
Dragonflies were everywhere...and my new phone takes amazing up-close photos!
After they left (around 4 or so), it was just me and Paul for the rest of the evening.  It hasn't quite cooled down yet (and Saturday was a hot day!  It was in the 90's), so we sat in the truck for a bit having some coffee/tea and listening to the Sirius Radio 1940's old radio programming.  We listened to the Jack Benny show and to Tom Corbett's Space Cadet show - where I learned that for $0.25 and the box top to some Kellogg's Pep cereal I could get some space goggles too!  I made us some steak and stuffed mushrooms and we listened to another weird and creepy show called Lights Out - Sub-Basement.  Paul built a fire as the sun had gone down and the chill was setting in, and it was glorious - the rush of the river, the jostling of the cottonwood leaves, and the crackling of a fire.  
We took a bit of time to cool off in the river...
Apparently just sitting in a chair wasn't enough for Paul - he needed to play king of the rock...in the middle of the river.
We fell asleep warm and cozy in our tent - the fly on, but the two fly doors opened so we had some air flow and could hear the river.  We both slept incredibly well - I'm not sure I woke up at all.  Around 5:30 in the morning Paul was wide awake (and apparently had been for a bit), and as I rolled over, he decided it was time to get up.  I said sure, then promptly waited for him to exit the tent and I sprawled across our sleep mat and tried to get another 15 minutes in while he made tea and coffee and got the fire up and going.  
An extremely healthy and beautiful ocotillo 
Cactus blossoms everywhere - this is a Hedgehog Cactus blossom.
The rock obstacle on the way back from the Verde
I finally got up, and made our breakfast.  We packed up camp, said goodbye to one of the best camp sites we had ever had (and we both agreed on that) and headed back out Red Creek.  We didn't see a single soul coming out of Red Creek, and the drive out on FR269/Bloody Basin Road was uneventful until we were almost at the Horseshoe Ranch, where there were a number of vehicles/dirt bikes stopped and the people were looking over the edge of the road.  As we pulled up, we saw a Prius had gone off and was clinging for dear life to a tree - the only thing holding it from rolling all the way down into the canyon.  It had to have just happened because the windows and body panels were all still intact.  In Arizona, everyone and their brother feels a need to shoot up vehicles left on dirt roads...so we knew this was a recent "accident."  There was nobody inside, and the car was locked, so we left it.  
Someone took a Prius where it shouldn't have gone...
We aired up by I-17, and then went down to Chilleen's on I-17 for our usual bite to eat.  We were home before 3, cleaned out the truck, showered, and spent the rest of the day just relaxing some more.  
Traversing part of the Great Western Trail
It was an amazing weekend.  We saw deer, horses (up and close!), lots of cows, some fish and had a stunning campsite.  We met some people who were truly impressive (who carries canoes and kayaks 4+ miles?  Rich and his gang do...) and all in around just had a truly relaxing and beautiful time.  No phone service means the only thing I used my phone for was pictures - and the setting was so amazing, the pictures don't even do it justice!
Sunrise on the Verde River
Big thanks to Paul for letting the Lewis & Clark get totally AZ Pinstriped, and for having the confidence to crawl over some of the stuff we crawled over.  As always, he got us out safely!  One of the best 4X4 drivers I know.  My Dad, my brother, and my Paul - fearless but not stupidly so.  Just breathe baby, breathe...
Sunrise on the Verde River

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Superbowl Sunday - Our Way - Wickenburg Mountains

The Lewis & Clark at an unnamed mining site with the concrete pool 
Neither Paul nor myself are football people.  I mean, I like the commercials during the Superbowl, and sometimes that half-time shows are awesome (this one ranked high - I liked it, and I don't even like rap music), but generally speaking, there isn't much that will draw me to watching the Superbowl unless the Denver Broncos are playing (you can take the girl out of Bronco country, but you can't take the Bronco love out of the girl).  
Anderson Mill from the truck
Anyway - I digress.  Paul and I had a rare weekend without much to do, and decided to go up and explore the area around Anderson Mill - a place we've been to before, but we've always stopped at the Anderson Mill and have never gone further.  So we got up, went to First Watch for breakfast and had amazing omelets, then we grabbed some gatorade, a few granola bars, and off we went!
The Underwood Family memorial area with one of the wells off to the right
The drive out to the trail was uneventful.  The day was absolutely beautiful.  I started out wearing a sweatshirt because it was 44 degrees outside in the morning, but brought a t-shirt to change in to.  We turned on my bluegrass playlist and drove out to the Wickenburg Mountains at the base of the Bradshaws.  
Lewis & Clark below the Climax Mine
As we turned on Castle Hot Springs Road to go north to Anderson Mill, we noted there were several dirt bikes and side by sides out and about, but not as many as one might expect on a Sunday.  So we knew we would mostly have the trail to ourselves, and could enjoy exploring without being in someone else's way, or they in ours.  
Climax Mine Adit
We turned off the Castle Hot Springs Road onto the North Mine Road.  As we headed up the North Mine Road (which I didn't realize was a named road), we saw that someone had been placing "street signs" on poles with solar lights on the top along the route almost all the way up to Anderson Mill.  We are thinking perhaps it was one of the mining clubs that mines in the area - there were lots of signs for a mining club and directions to their dig sites, as well as reminders that they are private property.  So we drove by, enjoying the beautiful weather, windows down because there was no dust and it was a whopping 73 degrees outside - absolutely perfect outdoor weather!
Looking up at the Climax mine
We didn't get out to explore at Anderson Mill because we had planned to come back this way so I would take more pictures then, as well as find a geocache in the area.  But plans don't always work out, do they?  Off we went to head up the wash to find the old miner's homestead and Underwood grave/memorials.  
Old mobile home that has been pushed down the mountain
As we drove slowly through the San Domino Wash up towards Eddie Wash and turned the corner, the graves were very obvious.  We parked the truck and walked around for a bit.  There are three "graves" of people, and a fourth of a dog.  According to a family friend of the Underwoods, they used to hunt deer and javelina out in the area for 50 or more years.  The area where the graves of JR (Johnny Lee Roy), BJ (Bill) and JP (June Patricia) is located at their original camp site, however at some point an old miner took it over and built himself a little home there, and then the Underwood family moved up Eddie Wash to camp.  This family friend states that nobody is actually buried there except the dog - they are memorials that indicate where ashes were scattered...
Front of the mobile home
There are at least two wells - one capped, one is not and is 30+ feet deep - you wouldn't want to fall down in there - no way to get out.  The old miner's cabin is up on top of the little clearing where the graves are.  It appears to me that there may have been a swing on a branch here - something was tied around this branch down by one of the wells.  It is very shaded here and would be a great place to have a little get away, although I'm not sure I'd want to be there during a flood.  
I wonder what was tied onto this tree...a swing maybe?
After exploring the area, and still intending to come back out the way we went in, we pushed onward to look at another mine/cabin area I had found on Google Earth.  I have absolutely no information about the mine we were headed to, except that when we drove up the steep ridge, we came to a nasty little washed off area that washed off down both sides into canyons on either side.  Paul, in an effort to save my sanity, said we could make it, but did I really want to see this random no-name mine?  I said nope.  So we backed down the very steep side of the mountain back down into the wash, and went up to the next turn off to the Climax mine.  
Fat Gila Monster meandering down the side of the mountain.  Didn't even care about us.
The Climax mine is an old tungsten mine that doesn't appear to be worked any longer.  I know that in 1942 it was being mined for Tungsten and other minerals, and in 1953, a James Kaler owned it.  Mr. Kaler still owned it in 1958, but officed in Colorado.  The Climax claims were also referred to as the Patchen claims, which may be a reference to the Patchin Camp that is nearby on the topographical maps (but has nothing at the site).  As we pulled up to the Climax mine, we parked down in the canyon where 4 roads came together, and looked up the steep hill to where there was a toppled out-building and a TON of junk.  Metal and wood and old conveyor belts lying around everywhere.  As Paul hiked up the steep trail, I took pictures of the canyon and junk and then then started hollering up at the out-building at Paul so I could take pictures of him.  Nothing.  No sound at all.  Finally, Paul pops his head out and says he had gone into the mine a few feet.  I start heading back to the truck and I hear Paul talking to someone...so I haul my butt up the side of the mountain, where Paul and I met the nicest couple - Rick and Sharon.  They were parked up top in their jeep and spoke to us about other mines and things to see while tootling around the Wickenburg mountains.  
Old miner's cabin

Miner's Cabin
Our new trail friends were kind enough to offer to take us over to the no-name mine I had seen on Google Earth from a different trail, so we all piled in our vehicles and headed out to the no-name mine.  On the way, the Jeep suddenly stopped when a destroyed old mobile home on the side of the mountain came in to view.  We assumed he had stopped to take pictures, so we stopped to take them as well.  As I finally got out of my side (Paul had parked me on the side of the mountain so I couldn't really get out of the passenger door very well), Sharon hollered "it's a gila monster."  So we rushed up and caught some not-so-great pictures of our second ever gila monster in the wild.  He was pretty big and very fat, and he moved slowly (as they usually do).  So we watched him meander down the side of the mountain and talked about how rare it is to see one, then we climbed back in our trucks and drove the couple of hundred feet to the old miner's cabin and parking area that looked over San Domingo Wash.  The miner's cabin apparently used to be in quite good shape.  He had some kind of electrical hookups as he had an air conditioner, a microwave, a can opener, and other electrical items up there.  The roof fell in over the last couple of years, and the old mobile home has been moved from where we parked and pushed over the side of the mountain.  
Inside the miner's cabin
As we poked around, we got to talking to Rick and Sharon, and I asked about the "concrete swimming hole" I had seen just over the mountains, and they said it was very easy to get to, that the road was very good, and that we could follow the Trilby Wash out from there to the Castle Hot Springs Road.  They were going to go down by the Anderson Mill, down the nasty ridge we chose not to go up, so Paul and I had to make a decision.  Go back the way we came?  Go down the nasty ridge?  Or head out towards the "concrete swimming hole" and see what we can see.  
Concrete Swimming Hole - probably actually an evap pond or water source for the mine
Paul and I decided to try the concrete swimming hole and the Trilby Wash.  Our new friends then told us about a cool old International Harvester TD25 that was on top of a mountain over in that area.  So now we had to go!!
International Harvester TD-25 Crawler with ripper and blade - 48,000 pounds of iron right there!
The concrete swimming hole wasn't actually a swimming hole or pool - it appeared to be some kind of evap pond or water retention pool for the mining operation.  There were other concrete pads, but clearly not building pads.  There was also a hopper at the site.  Not much else interesting to see there, but now I could say I've been!  Then we were off to see the old crawler on the top of the mountain.  We had good directions regarding heading that way, and we found it without any trouble, and I just fell in love with it!  Paul bought me an old TD24 Crawler for my office some time ago, and this is a TD25 - a crawler with a ripper on the back and a dozer blade on the front.  It's been up there for some time as it has been pillaged and plundered by all the idiots that like to steal stuff and shoot at things, but it was really cool to see up close how big they really are.  I believe Paul said after the fact that they weight close to 48,000 pounds!!  
International Harvester TD-25 with an ATECO ripper
The trek out Trilby Wash was uneventful but beautiful.  We went past several springs and seeps that were flowing, and the canyons were green and beautiful.  It was a gorgeous day with the perfect temperature, new friends, and of course, me and my guy out bouncing around on old mining roads trying to discover what there is to discover...in Arizona!
Paul on the International Harvester TD25