Tag Archives for " Outdoors "

Purple Pansy & Black Rock – Abandoned Arizona Mines

Black Rock Mine

Beyond the Pavement – 4 Wheeling Arizona

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.

Beyond The Pavement-Dragoon Springs Station

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.

Beyond The Pavement-Wickenberg Massacre Site

On the morning of November 5th, 1871 a stagecoach belonging to the Arizona Stage Lines was ambushed by 15 presumably Yavapai Indians from the nearby reservation, killing all 8 on the stage. While there is a Historical Marker not all that far away on US 60 on the western fringe of the City of Wickenberg, Arizona, one doesn’t get the real feel for the scene until you stand and see where it actually happened.

Beyond The Pavement – A Trek Thru The Desert

We started off February with another great trek through the desert in the local area around Wickenburg, Arizona. Morristown, AZ is located on highway US 60 just northwest of the greater Phoenix area, not far from Wickenburg. There are several destinations in this area between Morristown and Vulture Peak accessible only by foot or Off Road vehicles. These include mountains, caves, natural arches, mines, wildlife and plenty of trails to access them.

This time we give you two different videos of this trek, first is an overview of sorts of our ride, this gives you a sense of the terrain we traverse that is often lost in our “dashcam” videos as everything appears flat.

Use Your Hobbies To Help Solve Mysteries

Some of you are into metal detecting, rock hounding, geocaching or just love to visit historical places. We like to off-road and explore sometimes with a specific destination in mind such as historic sites, mines, ghost towns and other sites or places of interest. Regardless, your hobby interests could stumble upon the very things you seek or unintentionally find something that could solve a mystery or a criminal cold case.

A recent local news story caught my attention the other day. A cold case involving the discovery of a little girl’s body found more than 60 years ago. I guess the part about where her remains were found is what sparked my interest, it is close to where we are staying.

The news media too often provides inaccurate or misleading information, in this case the various news outlets reporting on the case gave very vague locations as where her remains were found. The Phoenix media gave the location as Wickenburg, AZ. Another said, Congress, AZ.  The most inaccurate of all was and I quote “near Prescott.” Prescott’s only link was it is the county seat of Yavapai County which is as large as New Jersey! The news stories referred to her being found in Sand Creek Wash or Sand Wash Creek depending on outlet. A little cyber sleuthing led me to the actual case file and a more exact understanding of the facts.

The facts… The body of an unidentified girl approximately 3-6 years old  was found partially buried in a creek/wash along Old Alamo Road west of Congress, AZ on July 31, 1960. She was dressed in white shorts, a checkered blouse and adult flip flops that had been cut down to fit her feet.

This is the general area along Old Alamo Road where she was found.

She became known as Little Miss Nobody and that is how her case is named, because no one knows who she is. This story came to light because the Yavapai County Sheriffs Office was able to allocate some funding to help offset the cost to do DNA testing. The amount fell far short, but a fund raiser posted by the company to do the testing raise the money within hours of taking it live. It may take several months yet to learn who she is. Modern technology helped to provide the picture of what she may have looked at the time of her demise.

Old Alamo Road is a heavily traveled road by off road enthusiasts, we have traveled it ourselves many times never knowing the history of this case. Many of us have stopped along this trek to check out the views, the rocks and even the wildlife. Who knows, maybe one of us will stumble upon something that might be connected with this case or another one somewhere in our explorations.

The next time you find yourself out for a hike, stroll or are engaged in the activity of your outdoor hobbies give what ever you find a little more scrutiny for what it is or might be. Mother nature can conceal as well as reveal over time. From lost jewelry to things as large as planes and ships.

If you are interested, HERE is the link to the case file. Read through the case file, its a sad tail but with modern technology and maybe some other freshly discovered tidbits such as something else of hers or belonging to those who left her might answer questions to identify her.

More info on the case from Wikipedia.


Her name is Sharon Lee Gallegos (age 4), who was abducted from her grandmother’s backyard in Alamogordo, NM on July 21, 1960. A sad note, very soon after her remains were discovered, the Alamogordo PD reached out to the Yavapai County Sheriff’s office believing the little girl they found was that of Sharon. Because of the different clothing the child was wearing compared to what she had on when abducted plus the miss assessment of the age of the discovered child due to decomposition she was thought to be 7 not 4. The family now has closure and her remains can be laid to rest nearer to her family. Great job by those working this difficult cold case thanks to evolving medical and crime investigative technologies.

Travel Along With Us ...

Subscribe to virtually ride along. You'll get RVing tips and updates as we post them and info to help you plan your own grand adventure.