I have been looking for a new trail to try and found one on the “Experience Arizona” web sight called The Old Ripsey Mine. It looked like fun so yesterday Patti and I took off to try and find it.
On the web sight the instructions for how to get there started in Tucson but eventually came to the intersection of Diffen Road and the Florence/ Kelvin Hwy. which is just east of Florence.
Patti and I headed to Florence where we topped the gas tank off and drove east past the Arizona State Prison to the before mentioned intersection. Here the directions said to zero your odometer at this intersection then drive from the intersection east for 20 miles to Red Cloud Trail.
Just east of Florence we passed what looked like a large feed lot but instead of cows it was full of horses.
I think they may have been Mustangs since it was real close to the prison and I have heard that a lot of times prisoners are allowed to break mustangs so the horses can be put up for adoption.
We continued east along the main road, through the Saguaro forest keeping one eye on the odometer.
We spotted a hawk on top of one of the giant Saguaro’s.
Continuing along the the road we passed an area called…
There is nothing else around like this in the vicinity.
Unfortunately the area is private property so we couldn’t do any exploring.
We continued along the road. In the distance to the east we could see a large open pit mine.
When the odometer reached about 20 miles we started looking for trails going south.
We found a few and followed them as far as we could.
Most of the trails ended in col-de-sacs or at corals.
On one trail we went through a couple gates and after a while we ended up back on the main road.
The trails were always scenic.
At around 20.2 miles we entered a wash and drove through some picturesque canyons.
We decided to stop here in the shade of the rocks to have lunch.
After lunch we continued along this trail occasionally turning off to investigate side canyons.
This particular canyon ended after just a short distance.
We turned around and continued following the main trail enjoying the views;
and looking into other side canyons.
Eventually we came to a metal gate and I thought that we probably shouldn’t go through since there was a lot of obvious ranch activity around.
We turned around and headed back to the main road. Along the way we took some more side trails, they all came to dead ends. Along some of the trails we found evidence of prospecting activity.
When we got to the Florence/Kelvin Hwy. we turned east toward the giant mine.
We crossed a bridge over the Gila River and arrived at Highway 177 where we turned around and headed for home.
Although we never found the Ripsey Mine, we had a very nice ride in the desert.
Right after we got home Dave came over to say that we, JoAnn, Dave, Patti and I were invited to Happy Hour at Suzanne and Roy’s. While we were there, Denis, Sue and their daughter, Michelle, came over. Once again Patti was designated driver. All had a good time.