Day 11 April 23rd, 2003 Our Last Day

We awoke again to a clear cool 45° blue desert sky. Salome, the town we were in was called the "Arizona Outback"---from what we heard, when it got hot here there hardly would be anybody to be found and nobody came to Salome----and inhospitable place in the hot summer desert heat. The local Motel and the sheriffs office were one and the same---as the guy that checked us in was the sheriff.

This was another unidentified mine hole we stumble onto------and luckily not into !!

Behind my bike is a mine---the yellowy looking stuff is called "tailings" I think. I'm not real up on the exact operation of a mine but plan on studying it, as I have come across so many, it would be very interesting to me now to see just how they did the mining back then.

Now this is a cute little guy-----he was about 15 inches tall but had a very nasty disposition if bothered.

I did a little research and I think this is a prickly pear cactus. Flowers may be red, purple, or yellow; the blooms appear from May to June and last only a few days. We were lucky I guess as this was April.

Here is the same little guy beside this Palo Verde tree. Look how green the bark of the tree is. In Spanish the name means "green pole" or "green stick". The green bark enables the tree to cntinue photosyntheses even during its leafless stage.They can grow as much as 30' in height.

This is pretty----a little seguaro cactus growing under the tree---the little yellow flowers are common sunflowers I think.

All I know really for sure is that they are beautiful.

No job is complete untill the paper work is completed.

Kenny got impailed by a little Joshua tree----and he was in some real pain here as the needles seemed to be stinging him.

He's in a lot more pain now as I pulled about 8 long needles out of him. We couldn't pull his glove off as the needles were into his skin and sticking out of the glove.

It really hurt when I pulled them out as they seemed to have little barbs on them although you couldn't see them. When I would pull one out it would pull the skin away from Kenny's hand about 1 inch before it would let go. Luckily none of them broke off and I got them all out. We took his glove off then and he was bleeding a little.

We decided then----if one of us had the misfortune to fall into one of these bushes, that his buddy would hit him quickly in the head with a very big rock and put him out of his misery.

An old cabin just around the corner from the mine below.
I think this is the "Glory Hole" mine but not absolutely sure. I was riding around a mountain on a narrow ledge and there she was----I never hesitated and went right in--I bet Kenny wondered where I went when he rounded the corner !!!

Anybody Home ???????????????

Can you hear me now ???????????

I turned on my bright lights and could see way in there. If I knew I could have turned my bike around in there (I'm sure I couldn't) I would have just rode on in. It hadn't fell in for a hundred years, so surely if wasn't going to fall in today. I don't worry about stuff like that--kind of like getting struck by lightning. It was about 5ft. wide and maybe 6 ft. tall.

Barely in the entrance was a branch going to the left----I didn't go down it at all.

This is just outside the same mine. We could see evidence of a ore cart railroad track coming out of the mine which went to this wooden structure. I wish I knew more about the old mining operations so I could tell you more.

This is the same mine I went in. Just out of the picture was an open vertical shaft also.

The ole' seguaro stands guarding the mine.

No we are going South on Hovatter road. The tree was in a wash and was a very lush green.

Hovatter Family Ranch Site (Next 4 pictures)

We stopped and had lunch here and probed around for a half hour looking at the water tank, pipes and pump. There is nothing but desert and old sandy rocky roads for many miles of this place. You can't see it in this picture but there is an old deep well pump just behind the water tower. Lets see--for every ft. of height you get .43 lbs. of water pressure at the bottom of the water tower. So me and Kenny figured they had maybe 6 lbs. of water pressure. Just thought would might want to know. I am a plumber by the way.

And here is Kenny by the pump. It appeared to be a deep well pump as there was a 6 inch casing going into the ground. There had to be some kind of power plant mounted to the steel frame structure but I have no idea what it could have been. There was a big flywheel where it looked like a big belt turned the pump. I bet it was an old one cylinder gas engine.
Near the water tower and pump was this old school bus. It was hard riding for our dirt bikes out here---how in the heck did they evern get this bus here--seemed impossible to us.

The Hovatter family built a ranch in what is now the northeast corner of the NWR. They staked several mining claims in the area and lived on the property until 1976. There are many remains of the ranch, including the intricate (and once beautiful) botanical display along the driveway. There are some graves on the hill adjacent to the ranch that is the final resting place of family members killed in a fire. The ranch site contains thousands of pieces of historical antiquity, and unfortunately it is quickly disappearing to vandals. The site is quite remote and accessible only by 4x4 (or 1X2), but even so, there are fewer remains with every visit.

This cute little "Jumping Cholla"---just makes me want to snuggle him !!!

I had decided on this trip that I would turn over a new leaf and not do anything illegal. Well---it just wasn't in the cards.

We stopped here and zoomed out on our GPS's and couldn't find a town or even a road for 100 miles. And we had already went down a couple dead end trails---what to do !!!!!

For 10 miles me and Kenny rode with our asses so puckered to the seat we couldn't stand up !!!

Then we went by this old Army Green stuff laying out here---looking like it had been blown up or something.

That's when Kenny stopped following me so close and rode right in my same line 150 ft. back. If I didn't blow up I guess he figured he wouldn't either. I didn't even fart going across here. We kept dodging these big round shiny things sticking up out of the ground----not really, but I was looking for them !!!!!

We rode out of there at this sign and gave a huge sigh of relief as we just knew we were going to come up on an army outpost out here and get thrown in the pokey and get a citation that would mean something. I had one of them before----in fact two !!!!!

This was the last picture I took on this trip-----I guess the Joshua tree could have been my last !!! I even thought we might have been on radar or government sattelite camera----nobody's came looking for me or Kenny yet. We had a lot miles on our bikes at this point and we were worried about running out of gas before we found civilization. It took a lot of fancy navigation on my part to get us out of here. We had been riding some pretty remote areas out here but this one took the cake-----I saved the best for last Kenny !!!!!
Me and Kenny would have loved to stay longer but Kenny runs a very busy construction business in Missouri and he was needed back there. Also---I had quit a job I had been working on because my old employer of 29 years was needing me back to work for him. What are we going to do next year guys ????????? I haven't a clue--but will come up with something !!


Adios' Amigos