Thursday, December 8, 2016

A Fun Ride to the Bill Williams River


I Got the Leaders Job.Confused smile

When we were at the jeepers party Monday, I was tasked with the job of figuring out where to go on and to lead our Wednesday ride.

I haven’t been to the Bill Williams River crossing place for several years so I thought that would be something new to do.

Getting Started.

We met at the fire station on the north end of town. There were 6 jeeps in the group this time.

From the fire station we headed north on 95 to Plomosa Rd. Here we turned east on Plomosa Road and drove through the town of Bouse where we crossed Hwy.72 and got on Swansea Road. We drove north on Swansea Road (a wide graded dirt road) until we came to a large ORV staging area at the intersection of Swansea Road, the power line road and Lincoln Ranch Road.


Here we aired down. Once that was done we headed northeast on Lincoln Ranch Road.

A New Area.

While we were airing down Dick told me that he knew of a trail off this road that went to an old cabin and an interesting mining area.

A little ways up the road Dick took the lead and found the wash where a trail turned off and went west into the hills.


After a short distance we came around a hill and saw the cabin.


At the Cabin.

The cabin was almost falling down and probably would have if some good samaritan hadn’t propped it up.


We walked around the area checking out the cabin for a while.

The First Mine.

After a little while we decided that I should check out the first mine to see if there was enough room for all the jeeps to turn around at the end of the trail.
As it turned out there was plenty of room at the end of the trail for all the jeeps. There wasn’t a lot of stuff at this mine but the views were good.


After a little view watching we headed back down the trail to the Cabin.


Lunch Time.

We had lunch back near the cabin.


The Second Mine.

After lunch Patti and I drove up to the second mine to see if there was enough room for all the jeeps to park. It was a little tight but by letting two jeeps at a time come up we were able to get them all to the mine.

This was an interesting mine with several short tunnels.


The area had a lot of “Crisocola” which is a blue rock that is an indicator of the presence of Copper.
You can see some of the blue in this picture on the left, at the end of that piece of metal on the ground.


The blue thing in the foreground is someone's glove.
The rock hounds in the group had a field day collecting rocks.


Becky and Dennis were dog sitting ‘Lucky’, Freda and Gene’s little dog. It looks like he is having a good time.


The Wash to the River.

Eventually we left this area and drove down Johnson Ranch Road; we took a left turn into a large wash that I believed the was the way to get to the river.

The wash went through some very cool canyons.


The Crack.

It has been several years since I have been through this area. The last time we were here we found a really neat side canyon, actually more like a crack than a canyon.
After checking a couple of places that turned out not to be the crack we eventually found it.

The entrance was kind of wide…


but it quickly narrowed down. 


Along the way we found some interesting plants growing in the crack.



About 50 yards into the crack, it splits. One branch going south and the other, more or less east.

Patti and Dick took the north branch.


This branch gets a little tight and requires some climbing on steep rocks so they didn’t get all the way to the end.


The Easterly Branch.

The rest of us took the easterly branch. It was a bit wider and easier to follow.


A little ways up the this canyon Robert and I took a very narrow crack off to the left.


This crack was very narrow with some big rocks jammed between the walls overhead.


A little ways passed these rocks the crack became too narrow to proceed so we turned back to the main trail.

The end of the main crack ended in a vertical wall that during the monsoons must be a beautiful waterfall.


Crossing the Bill Williams River.

After exiting the crack we continued north in the wash to the river.
The area has changed a lot since the last time we were here.
It used to be an easy crossing but there is a thick growth of new trees that has clogged the trail across the river.

We did find one place to cross…


but it ended in a col-de-sac so we had to turn around.
It is amazing how much things change in a just few years.

Heading home.

Back in the wash we drove back the way we had come with Tom in the lead. A short distance down the wash Tom turned onto the Swansea Road which follows a small gas pipeline and ends at the Swansea mine site. From there the road becomes a wider graded road that connects with Shea Road about 7 miles from Hwy 95 and Parker, AZ.


Dinner at Al’s.

We had decided to meet at Silly Al’s for dinner.


Again, it was a fun ride. Smile

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