A Ride up The Hassayampa River.
We checked out of the motel and left Wickenburg going north on US 93. After a couple miles we turned right on Rincon Rd.
After a mile or so we turner right again into the dry bed of the Hasayampa River.
Where’s the Water?
Since we have had a lot of rain (for Arizona) this winter we expected a lot of water in the river but after a mile or so we still hadn’t found any water.
The last time we were here we were driving in about 6” of water by now. We stopped to discuss the water situation.
After the break, we decided to continue up the river to see if there was any water in it.
We only went about half a mile before we came to some water.
As we continued up the river we found the water getting a little deeper but nothing like the last time we were here.
We hit a couple of spots pretty fast and had water splashing over the windshield.
We were having fun.
After about a mile of this we came to where we had to leave the river bed.
We climbed out of the water and stopped at a large flat area above the river.
Strange Noise From the Engine.
When we stopped and I put the transmission in park I could a loud squealing sound coming from the engine.
I got out of the jeep and popped the hood and we all got around the engine compartment to see if we could find what was making the noise.
We checked the belt and oiled some pulley's but couldn’t get rid of the noise.
For some reason when the transmission was in drive or reverse the noise went away.
After a while we decided to take the Scenic Loop Road back to the highway instead of driving back down the river. That way if the jeep crapped out we wouldn’t have to pull it through the water.
A School Bus?
A short distance along the road we saw a school bus coming toward us. There isn’t much out here so we couldn’t understand why a school bus was coming our way on this narrow dirt road.
Semi Wild Life.
A little further along the road we came to a bunch of calves walking down the road.
We made it to the pavement without any problems.
We stopped to air up the tires near a horse ranch.
I left the engine running while I aired the tires up and didn’t hear the squealing.
The horses were curious about what we were doing.
The Noise is back.
By the time we were done with the tires the noise had returned but when I put the jeep in gear it went away again.
No Alternator Output.
The next place we were going to visit was a mining museum. It was on the way home so we decided to stay with the group instead of heading directly back to Quartzsite.
We continued north on US 93 to Congress, AZ where after a pit stop we turned west on Highway 71.
As we were driving on 71 I heard a beep and looking at the interment panel I a saw message that read “Check Gauges”
I looked at the gauges but at first I didn’t notice anything wrong. I radioed the group and we pulled off the highway. I got out the Code Reader and hooked it to the jeep but there were no error codes so we got back on the highway and continued.
When we started out, the message had disappeared. A little while it was back. This time when I looked at the gauges I noticed that the alternator wasn’t putting out.
It should read 13.8 volts but was only indicating 12 volts.
I almost decided to bypass the Museum but it was only four miles off the highway so we decided to check it out. I figured that the battery could get us home if I didn’t run any extra electrical stuff.
Robson’s Arizona Mining World.
About four miles before 71 gets to the junction with AZ 60 is the turnoff to the Robson’s Arizona Mining World Museum.
Patti and I aren’t real big museum fans but this place turned out to be something special.
After going through the gate we were met by Brett, the site manager.
Brett, his wife and four children live on sight and have been resurrecting the place after several years of neglect.
At this time the museum isn’t officially open to the public as they are trying to get it back in shape for visitors.
Charles Herbert Robson.
Charles Robson was the man who saved this old town and filled it with items that he collected over about 60 years. He was a prodigious collector and had several buildings full to the rafters with all manner of stuff.
A Big Job.
Until about ten years ago there was a working hotel here and tourist gift shops. The hotel burned to the ground and the place was closed and was abandoned by the then owners. The property was sold and about two years ago Brett was given the job of resurrecting it.
Brett and his wife have been going through the buildings for over two years trying to organize and display the artifacts.
Brett is very knowledgeable about the history of the place.
He was happy to show us around and point out what they have been doing to get the place in shape.
There is a lot to see and Patti took a bunch of pictures, unfortunately there are too many to put on this blog but here are some highlights.
The Ice Cream Parlor.
The first building we entered was the Ice Cream Parlor. It is a 50’s style soda fountain.
In the parlor is a beautiful player piano that still works.
The player piano still works. It is a bit loud but is still an interesting piece of kinetic art.
Here it is with the stained glass doors open.
Also in the Ice Cream Parlor were displays of all kinds of stuff.
Here is a display of antique china.
The Opera House.
Our next stop is the Opera House.
The first thing you see when you enter the opera house is a display of minerals of all kinds.
To the left are shelves of old books and other stuff.
Brent told us that they climbed into a loft in one of the buildings and found all these manikins in a large pile like a bunch of corpses.
They have been dressing the manikins in traditional clothing that they found and placing them in strategic locations.
Theater seats face the stage with manikins on stage and in the audience.
In one of the display cases along the wall are some ancient bowls. Some of them (according to Brett) apparently date back to the Anasazi.
Everywhere you look there is more stuff.
It is in glass display cases…
and on shelves.
A Great Wood Stove.
There is a really neat wood stove in the Opera House that looks like it was pretty efficient and is still used.
Outside On the Boardwalk.
All along the boardwalk are hit and miss engines, steam powered stuff, water powered Pelton wheels and other mining stuff that are enigmatic.
This kind of stuff is everywhere on both sides of the street.
An Awesome Old Car.
This is an old model “T” Ford that still runs; “If you know the trick” as Brett’s wife Tina told me.
The Gold Leaf Saloon and Café.
The next building was the Gold Leaf Café.
The first thing you notice when you enter the Saloon is the stone faced bar at the far end of the room.
Apparently this bar was rescued from an old casino in Las Vegas and brought here.
We will return here later for lunch.
Next was the Mercantile.
Once again there is a prodigious amount of stuff on display on shelves…
and in glass display cases.
The Mercantile also houses the Post Office.
Old Trucks, etc.
All around the property are old vehicles. Some are heavy trucks from the early days.
Behind the Mercantile is the Carriage House which houses some of the trucks…
There are also some antique one cylinder diesel engines…
here is another Model “T”. I don’t think this one runs.
Here is an old buck board and behind it is an ancient Conestoga Wagon.
Those hoops on the Conestoga Wagon are made of wood and have survived all this time.
There is a Blacksmith Shop…
a Generating Plant …
a Print Shop…
Lunch at the Gold Leaf Café.
We wandered around the town until about 1:00 and decided that we should have lunch.
Although the Gold Leaf Café wasn’t open for business, Brett invited us to use it to have our lunch.
We got our lunch stuff out of our jeeps and sat at the long dining table in the café.
After lunch we continued to wander around the property marveling at all the stuff.
What impressed me was the volume of stuff Robson collected. It didn’t seem possible for anyone to collect this much stuff even in over 60 years. Some of the motors and other mining equipment was huge.
The Mine and Petroglyphs.
After a while we got in the jeeps and drove up the hill to check out the mine…
and walk up a trail where there were supposed to be some Petroglyphs.
The trail started out easy…
We climbed a bit further but eventually decided that it wasn’t worth it so we never saw the Petroglyphs.
Analyzing the Alternator Problem.
All the way home I was analyzing the alternator problem.
I decided that the probable cause of the problem was, that when we were in the river, water splashed up under the hood and filled the alternator with water and possibly sand. The sand got between the brushes and caused the squealing and eventually caused the brushes to hang up so they weren’t contacting the slip rings.
I know that some times a starter will have a similar problem as they are under the car and can get stuff inside that jams the brushes.
The fix for this problem is usually is to whack the starter with a hammer which frees the brushes.
I decided that when we got home I would try that and see what happens.
When we got home and after we unloaded the jeep I went out and opened the hood. I grabbed my rock hammer out of the jeep and gave the alternator a couple of good whacks.
By golly it worked!!
Now the gauge reads just under 14 volts like it should. What a relief, now I won’t have to buy a new alternator
A great trip.
This was a great trip and I am sure glad we didn’t miss the museum.