Winter 2009-2010 travel blog

Unloading the Rhinos at the trail head

Check out the GPS and put in location of the trucks.

The saguaro cacti are starting to bloom.

A little closer - they will be beautiful next week.

I'm not sure what these bushes are - but they have beautiful...

Some of the beautiful mountains and an ocotilla.

Orange cholla flowers and the yellow is a cresote bush.

This is also a cholla - but it has yellow flowers.

There were lots of this bush - with teeny tiny purple flowers....

Way down there is the road to Dripping Springs.

Saguaro on steriods. I've never seen that many branches on one cactus.

Dripping Springs. You can see one of the many spring as a...

Rod in the rock house at Dripping Springs.

Lunch time.

Apache Trail house

Inside the house. There used to be dummies dressed up in the...

Things people have left and a guest book to sign.

More stuff.

Some of the shafts of the Apache Trail Mines.

House at Gold Nugget Mine

Unfortunately, this house has been destroyed instead of decorated like the Apache...

Rod outside the Gold Nugget Mine house.

Sara and Blaze with the new ribbon - 8 more to go...


The morning started off great. I made oatmeal for breakfast and then I got the sandwiches made and started the chili for our evening meal. The ‘boys’ got things ready with the Rhinos. Extra gas, tied down on the trailers, and of course appropriate beverages in the cooler.

By 8:50 we were on the road. It is about 20 miles from our place to Gold Nugget Road down I-10. We found a place to park the trucks and trailers and unloaded the Rhinos. Rod took the lead as his GPS was working better than ours. We headed down the road and then took a right into the wash.

After that is was over hill and dale just enjoying the scenery and looking at the flowers (at least I was). The weather was perfect, just a bit of a breeze and sapphire blue skies. The saguaro are starting the bloom and the ocotilla are in full color.

It was really great getting to the top of the hills and seeing the panorama before us. Since we didn’t know where we were going – we couldn’t get lost.

At one point Rod’s GPS indicated that Dripping Spring, AZ, was .3 of mile ahead of us. So, since there was a trail going that direction, we decided to see if we could find it. The trail soon joined a wash that was only as wide as the Rhino and had enough twists and turns to make a snake dizzy. The next thing we knew we were coming out of the wash almost straight up. But 4-wheel drive and low gear got us to the top. And there it was – a box canyon with water coming down the face of it.

There was a turn around and the remains of a stone house. It was really cool. There were lots of birds in the canyon and we saw 3 or 4 little ground squirrels running around over the rocks.

We were about as far southwest as we wanted to go from where we parked the trucks so we decided to turn around to see if we could find the Gold Nugget Mine.

After we got back to the main road (really a wash as the road ended about ½ mile from where we parked the truck) we headed off another way. I told Rod it was almost time for lunch and to find some shade. He did very well and we ate under a big palo verde tree.

While we were eating we heard a 4 wheeler going by just over the hill. Since that was the way we wanted to go to find the mine – after lunch we found the road he was on.

Well, it wasn’t the Gold Nugget Mine it was the Apache Trail mine. Instead of destroying the house that went with the mine – people have been decorating it. See the pictures above for details.

Then we headed back north again. When we got to the various forks in the trail we took first a right and then a left and ended up on old Hwy 60 that had been replaced by I-10. It is just about ¼ mile south of I-10 and headed west. So we followed it back to the trucks.

Ron had seen another house as we went out earlier that morning so we decided to go check it out. It turned out to be the Gold Nugget Mine. The house had been vandalized and most of the out buildings were falling down but it was a neat place to walk around. We went up the hill to check out some of the mine tailings and found a huge vein of pure white quartz. You could tell it had been blasted out as the smaller chunks were scattered all over the hillside.

While we were at the Gold Nugget – I got a call from daughter, Sara. Her pup, Blaze had earned her first ribbon in the Started Hunter/Retriever trials. She was all psyched about that and wanted to share with us.

After we got home the boys sat in the shade house and I took a nap. All in all it was a great day.

See you all on Thursday. We will be in CA visiting Ron’s mom before we head out on our summer travels.



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