Monday, February 23, 2009

Gentle Jeeping to Camp Reno

It's been a while, between the rain and a back injury, we haven't done much Jeeping. Glad to say the rains have gone for now and my back injury is well on its way to mending. We decided to head to Camp Reno and take a trail that we've been on before and do a bit of walking around while we were there. The trail is a good one, just muddy in a few places and not as rocky or rough as other trails in the area. I didn't want to risk bouncing my back around just yet, so this particular trail is a good one for gentle Jeeping. I haven't got a clue how I injured my back, it could have been most anything, even stretching the wrong way or lifting something too heavy, whatever is was it made life difficult for a bit over a week. Man oh man, this getting older sure isn't for sissies.

Anyway, the trail was good, the weather spectacular, albeit a bit warm for February, 80 ยบ would be better a temperature for Spring but it was nice to be out in the sunshine again. (I sure won't be saying that this summer) We went to the area of Camp Reno. Camp Reno was used as an outpost of Fort McDowell between 1867 to 1870 to protect the area's settlers from Apache attacks. Since the Camp was only operational for three years, one would assume that the necessity for it had ceased, however, it is speculated that because of the remoteness of the camp, the high cost of supplying the camp was more likely the reason for its demise. The 1st Cavalry proved to be effective in curtailing the murderous raids during the three years they were encamped at the foot of what is now Reno Pass. Camp Reno sat on a mesa overlooking a large valley. There was a Suttler's store below it, in an area alongside Reno Creek. (a Suttler's store is a general store established by private citizens to sell goods and provisions to the military in the field) Not much remains except for a few concrete slabs where the store was and the outline of rocks where the tents once stood. In the distance, we could see the stone wall that surrounded the area, probably built to delay the Indians from their sneak attacks. We found a road that we hadn't seen on previous trips which ran from the mesa where the soldiers camped down to the Suttler's store area. We'll return to check the road out and see if there are any remnants of the not-so-distant past remaining.

Standing on the mesa overlooking the valley below, we could imagine a cavalry soldier standing guard and listening to the eerie howl of a distant coyote. It must have been a very rugged, dangerous, lonely life.

This is the road we hadn't seen on previous

trips. It goes down to where the Suttler's store

once stood.

This is where the old Suttler's Store once stood,

alongside Reno Creek.

You can see the remains of the wall built to delay

the Apaches on their raids.

Ralph found a nice chunk of quartz to bring home for

our cactus garden.

Reno Creek rushing down the mountainside

on its way to Roosevelt Lake.