9:00 AM sharp Larry pulled up in front of our RV in his 95 Geo Tracker that he had rebuilt to handle the desert even better than a Jeep or ATV. Off we went. Our first stop was the grave of a Buffalo Soldier who was killed in an Apache ambush. Next stop was to check out the RV Park owner’s herd of cattle, its calving season and he has had five calves born so far this spring. We noticed that a burro was hanging out with the herd and the reason is that a burro will protect the calves against any predator even a mountain lion. This ranch raises cattle for rodeo roping not for beef. Our next stop was the Lucky Fluoride Mine we walked up to the ruins of the mine and found another grave site, our thoughts were that it was one of the miners buried there. Larry also showed us a buried Geo-cache that he found on one of his first visits. By this time we had come quite a distance out into the desert the roads were getting to be quite a challenge, we were going through narrow washes and boulder strewn areas, but Larry’s little Geo really could handle the territory. We traveled a short distance over the Butterfield trail that was once the original Butterfield Stage Line that crossed this area. Larry told us that in some areas along this trail you can still see the wagon wheel marks in the rock. Our last stop was the Candy Rock Fluoride Mine and Homestead. The mine is open and has a ladder leading down into the depths. A short distance from the mine was the homestead thought to be owned by the first miners at Candy Rock. This homestead was so far out in the desert we wondered how anyone could survive out here without water, they apparently raised animals as was apparent by the ruins. Larry pointed out the area of green growth around the homestead and explained that the water table was so high here all they needed was a shallow sand point well for all the water they could use. Larry was so informative you could tell he really loves this area, this year he and his wife bought a park model and will be spending most of next fall and winter down here. We spent three hours riding with Larry and had a great time and really learned a lot about the history of this land.
We returned home in time for to Richard to make a delicious lunch of sausage and eggs and then took a short hike to the Petroglyphs that are close to the RV Park, we weren’t expecting much but were really amazed at what we found, as the photos show. Hidden Valley Ranch is really a treasure, wonderful people, beautiful scenery, and so much to do and see I would recommend this place to everybody. Tomorrow we will be heading into Arizona.
Our guide and his GEO tracker
4x4 only way to get to the areas he showed us
Grave of PVT Charles Williams 1866
Steers raised and sold to rodeo's
the owners also have a couple of burro's
a couple of the young calves that were just born
cruising along to our next stop
heading to an old mine
Larry also likes to geo-cache and showed us a cache that he found
found a treasure
unmarked grave found at the old mine site
a couple of miles further on we stopped at another old mine
this one looks interesting
we could enter this mine for a sort distance
once inside there was a ladder that led to a tunnel and no we didn't check it out
making a quick exit from the mine
then on to an old homestead
After our day with Larry we decided to take the short trail from the campground office to area where there are petroglyphs. Here are some of the pictures from that hike.
Hidden Valley ranch house and buildings