Day 10 April 22nd, 2003

It was a sunny cool 48° and we crossed the dam at Parker to enter California once again. There was no riding I was really wanting to do in California, it was just so close we just went across the dam and came back.


Back in Parker we went South then East on Shea Rd. The road and rairoad crossing were both posted private and no trespassing but it was obvious many people were using this road. I was going to go on--but found a lady and asked her what was the story on this road. She said it was no problem to go down the road---so off we went.

Maybe it was the snakes---here's another little critter we ran into----or should I say over :)

This fast moving, deep, clear water way really fascinated me and Kenny as we had rode over it many times on this trip. It was heavily posted as no trespassing and was patrolled regularly by airplanes. After a little map (actually GPS) studying we noticed it tapped into the Colorado river and ran right into Phoenix. I bet a dollar to a donut this is Phoenix's biggest water supply. The water was moving as fast as any river I had ever seen in my life----if you fell in there is no way out and you would definitely drown. The water was a real pretty bluish green.

Here is Swansea road which leads to the old Ghost town of Swansea which we were going to visit.

On our way we tried to ride the Bill Williams river trail from the East to the West but ran into impassable deep water holes again. The Bill Williams River is pissing me off----and it would doit again.

This is still Swansea road and we were high in the mountains riding a shelf road----the remains of the town of Swansea are down in the valley below.
The old townsite of Swansea is one of the best preserved old mines and towns out West. These are old dwellings that the miners used. There are many old building still standing here and you could spend all day looking things over. This was quite a town in its day---nobody lives here now--population zero.

Here is an open mine pit. Prospecting began in this area in 1886----in 1904 the Arizona & California Railroad decided to build a line West from Phoenix. The improved transportation was completed in 1907 and led to renewed interest in mining districts along the line. The townsite of Swansea with an eventual population of 750 boasted a newspaper, restaurants, saloons and a movie house. It also featured an insurance salesman and a car ealership.

Here are some open horizontal shafts. There was once a 700 ton smelter here. Falling copper prices and the depression finally took its toll on the mine business here and it finally closed in 1937. It is said that 5 million dollars of copper came out of these mines.

Me and Kenny poked around the old townsite for quite awhile and Kenny spotted the old railroad bed and the remains of a bridge where it crossed a wash. There were many many more buildings and equipment to see here than I have posted pictures. Go to the internet and search for the "Swansea Mine" and I bet you'll get to see it all.

Now it was time to find the old pump house on the Bill Williams river that fed water to Swansea. This was many miles away and we had to hike to this spot where we had lunch in search of the old pump house.

We never did find it and were so disappointed. It was hiding in the weeds somewhere and we were just unlucky.

The Bill Williams River is so weird----it can be very deep and wide in places-- here it is 10 inches deep and 6 ft. wide. No motorized vehicles were allowed at the river here. The water level can change drastically and quickly if the Colorado backs up into it---or they dump water into suddenly from up river over the dam.

Oh yeah these rocks are beautiful---looks like big monster turds to me !!

Kenny is riding to another point on the Bill Williams where I found out there was a crossing place. Finally we would conquer the Bill Williams and get to the other side and get to ride the Rawhide Mountains trail.

I got to the crossing first as Kenny got a little lost behind me. I thought I would be a smart aleck at first and ride thru the river and be waiting for Kenny on the other side and he would have to pick his own line thru the water.

After looking at the water------I thought--Nah !!

Better wait for Kenny.

So I thought it was a good idea for us to flip a coin to see who was going to wade thewaters across the river and check out the depth.

Seems Kenny thought the trail leader should do this !!! He didn't say this---but I seen the look on his face. OK----I got the gortex boots. In I go with a stick----the water is crystal clear and after I get 30 ft. out in the water I could see it was 3 ft. deep. Our bikes couldn't cross here---but I knew I could find a place to cross and I was determined to cross it. After much wading around in the lush bush I came up with nothing. I suppose world adventure travelers would have whipped out the ole' leatherman and built a boat. We didn't-----damn Bill Williams river !!!!!

I quickly made an alternate route up and off we went on the same side of the Bill Williams river we had been on for the last 2 days. Just up river the trail turned up on a high mound and we looked back at this neat structure crossing the Bill Willimas. It was a 18 inch high pressure natural gas line on a suspension bridge. There is a much bigger structure just like this near my home town crossing the Mississippi river in the old river town of Grand Tower, Illinois.
These plants are beautiful, with big, red, bright flowered blossoms on them. We are on transmission line road here heading East toward the little berg of Wenden, Arizona.

We rode across a very wide deep valley with a sandy floor for maybe 15 miles keeping the distant mountains in our view.

This was a beautiful and different ride----with a big saguaro cactus popping up here and there.

The town of Wenden was very far away and it seemed this road was never going to get there. We had lunch in the very small town of Wenden and while in there I looked outside and could see nothing. A fierce wind and sandstorm kicked up--I'm so glad we weren't out riding in it. In 10 minutes it had stopped and it was like it never happened. I had expected our bikes to be blown over by the winds.

The valley around Wenden was leased by the Del Monte Corporation and some huge farming and irrigation operations were going on as they were growing cantelope and lettuce for Del Monte. There was no lodging in Wenden so we headed South to Salome where we were promised gas and a Motel-----we found both. Both these towns maybe had a population of 200 each---we were lucky to find services in them.

On To Day 11 Our last day

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