This was a short drive, only 35 miles to Salome. The Desert Gem isn't a lot to look at, but it has full hookups and is only $15 a night for Passport America. This is another stop on the Arizona Peace Trail where Dirk and company will be stopping. We took a ride out into the desert on what we believe to be part of the APT. It is really nice out in the desert.
On Wednesday we took a ride out into the desert trying to get to the mountains. We ended up making several attempts before we got going in the right direction. Along the way we disturbed some free range cattle. The second time there was a huge bull with the cows and calves. He was lying just on the side of the road and slowly got up as we got close. Since it was his road he chose not to move so we gingerly moved on by him!! We finally got headed towards Indian Springs which is a beautiful rocky outcropping in the desert. Much of the area around there looks like desert gardens. There are many different types of cactus and other flora and just magnificent. We stopped and had a little snack and enjoyed the beauty of the desert. On the way out we came across a jack rabbit sitting in the road. He didn't seem the least bit bothered by us as we inched closer. Finally he had enough, but what a treat!
On Thursday we took a drive out to Harquahala Mountain Peak on the Harquahala Mountain Back Country Byway, 10.5 miles of rugged rocky road up to the top. Atop 5,620-foot Harquahala Mountain is an abandoned astrophysical observatory, built by the Smithsonian Institution in the 1920s to measure solar activity. It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A four-wheel drive vehicle is required to make this drive. It was hairy in some places, but so worth the effort. The views on the way and at the top are just magnificent! It was such a worthwhile trip.