A short distance south of Aguila, Arizona along Eagle Eye Road, we arrived at the trailhead for visiting two abandoned Arizona mines. We were with a contingent of off-roading enthusiasts, like ourselves. We were the only Jeep; the rest were side-by-sides but we’re all members of the North Ranch Outdoors Club, from the RV park where we winter.
We always look forward to any trips with the group that are suitable for our Jeep Wrangler. This particular run to the Purple Pansy and Black Rock Mines was just such a ride. Sadly, it would be our last ride with the group this season. But for good reason … soon we’ll be starting our migration back north … if the weather across the plains and the upper mid-west cooperates. Otherwise, we’ll have to hold up somewhere along the way.
Our first stop will be in Cottonwood, Arizona to meet up with friends and spend a few days riding trails in the surrounding area including Sedona. More on those treks will come later, for now let’s focus on the two abandoned Arizona mines we visited.
Arizona isn’t just a big flat desert sprinkled with cactus and rattlesnakes and you don’t have to travel very far from where we are staying to see some pretty spectacular scenery.
Our last trail ride was a group ride with the local off-road club here at North Ranch in Congress AZ. Four rigs, two side-by-sides, our Jeep Wrangler and a vintage International Scout. After arriving at the trailhead parking area, while the side-by-sides unloaded off their trailers, the two of us aired down and readied for the ride.
Back in the late 1800’s traveling in what is now known as Arizona was a difficult and dangerous journey . Not only was the terrain often inhospitable for humans, the local natives weren’t always on good terms with the people who were trying to colonizing these lands. Natives were not the only ones who attacked the outposts that sprung up to support the stage lines and those who worked or rode them. In most cases it was a fellow countrymen that attacked and killed them. Such as the massacre at the Dragoon Springs Station which sits on the western slope of the Dragoon Mountains near where Cochise hid from the US Army in what was to be called Cochise Stronghold.
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